The title of this blog post probably sounds super wild.
Earlier this year I promised my mom I would be home for Christmas finally, instead of taking off somewhere hot like I usually do. For normal people that might mean, 'you know what? maybe this year I will take it easy and spend my winter holidays at home.' Me? I am not one of these aforementioned normal people. At my place of work, I am fortunate enough to have two weeks off during the Christmas break every year. While most people have this as a BLACKOUT period and can't usually take work off, I will automatically have it off every year. This is great for me because I plan everything super far ahead.
So, yes, I will be home this year for Christmas - but I will be flying at 6pm on Christmas day! I figure by that time I would have already opened presents and be somewhat sober, right?
This year I am not going to a hot place during my winter break, I have decided to go to Europe instead. I realize I am going from cold to more cold, but I looked at the benefits of Europe in winter; less tourists + cheaper airfare! My goal was to hit up as many countries as possible between December 25th and January 6th. (I start work on the 7th)
The magic number is EIGHT. I wanted to hit eight countries in a matter of 12 days and I also wanted to do it under $2000. I am traveling solo, so I knew the 'private room' option for the AirBnB's would be necessary because in places like Zurich, even that would break my pocket. Also, I refuse to stay in hostels regardless of how cheap they are. I had to find a nice middle area that would keep me under my budget.
Guess what? I FRIGGING DID IT!
I managed to stay under the budget I gave myself, without having to sleep in places where I may wake up to strangers breathing heavily over me in the middle of the night. Like the posts I did for Cropover, Carnival in Jamaica and the Maldives - I wanted to post this because I want people to see/know how cheaply they can accomplish their travel goals. I get asked a lot during or after my trip about how much such a trip costs so sending people a link to a blog post makes it must more straightforward.
The countries I will be going to are: Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, England and Iceland.
All of these countries are first-time trips for me and by the time I reach Iceland, I will be at country #40 in my country count. I'm very proud of this trip and the budget for it so I hope the price breakdown is informative and gets some of your imaginations going too!
Flight to Iceland with Iceland Air: December 25 - January 6 = $494.10 CAD (roundtrip, direct)
*this flight is the reason I will be only traveling with 10kg in my bag this whole trip, to keep everything nice and cheap*
Flight to Zurich, Switzerland with Iceland Air: December 26 = $194.50 CAD (one-way, direct)
*I fly to Zurich about two hours after I land in Iceland*
AirBnB in Zurich: December 26 - December 30 = $299.00
*yes, this frigging costs too much, yes it does. I wanted to be central though*
Day Trip to Vaduz, Liechtenstein: December 29 = $40.00 CAD (roundtrip, bus)
*because, why the hell not?*
Flight to Paris, France with Air France: December 30 = $91.00 (one-way, direct)
AirBnB in Paris: December 30 - January 1 = $161.49 CAD
*I got lucky and found a great place walking distance from the Eiffel Tower so for NYE I can avoid any taxis and transit because I am paranoid*
Flight to Copenhagen, Denmark with Air France: January 1 = $78.33 CAD (one-way, direct)
Hotel in Copenhagen: January 1 - January 3 = $187.00
*honestly, I had FOUR AirBnB's cancel on me and I gave up and got a hotel*
Day Trip to Malmo, Sweden: January 2 = $17.00 (roundtrip, bus)
*I'm only going here to try and find Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the MLS off-season to be honest*
Flight to Prague, Czech Republic with Norwegian: January 3 = $89.06 CAD (one-way, direct)
AirBnB in Prague: January 3 - January 5 = $125.49 CAD
Flight to London, England with British Airways: January 5 = $69.00 CAD (one-way, direct)
AirBnB in London: January 5 - January 6 = $60.14 CAD
*I realize one day in London for everyone else seems crazy, but I genuinely have no interest in going to England, I was just capitalizing on flight prices. Maybe I will see Big Ben?*
Flight to Iceland with EasyJet: January 6 = $88.24 CAD (one-way, direct)
*I have a 6-hour layover in Iceland before I head back to so I will maximize this by wandering around aimlessly and making my way over to the Blue Lagoon*
Cost for flights = $1104.23 CAD
Cost for stays = $833.12 CAD
Cost for transit/taxi/bus = $57.00 CAD
Total Cost of flight + stays + buses = $1994.35
I am very very excited to embark on this trip in December. It may not be the fanciest accommodations and I will be roaming around with only a backpack of winter clothes - but I am super delighted. I didn't include cost of food and tours in this breakdown because I'm really not sure what that will come to yet, especially with me switching between like seven currencies? Insane. It is possible people don't go at this pace when they travel and would rather take time and take in cities for longer but I prefer moving quickly because I get bored really fast. Spending two days somewhere is perfectly fine with me because I seen it, I did it, I ate what I wanted - I'M OUT!
Happy travels :)