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camino on a tight budget

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by gazzababe, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. gazzababe

    gazzababe New Member

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    hi folks
    i intend to walk from sjpp to santiago, 4-5 weeks maximum, any ideas as to how much i would roughly have to take. Do you think it possible to do it on 800 euro? thanks gary

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  2. MichaelB10398

    MichaelB10398 Member

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    You should budget somewhere between 25 and 30 Euro per day for lodging and food on the Frances. If you take some of the other routes you may spend a little more becasue lodging may be more expensive. Good luck. There are several threads of conversation about the cost on various routes. Should you peruse each of the routes on this forum you will find a lot of additional information. Cheers.
  3. gittiharre

    gittiharre Member Donating Member

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    30 Euro per day allowed for a bed in a refugio, sometimes a private hostel and a pilgrims menu on most days, sometimes I cooked with a group. This also included a coffee and pastry for breakfast, sandwich/fruit for lunch and a beer/olives before dinner, I also covered the odd pharmacy item on that. In France I spent 37 Euro per day on average. Regards, Gitti
  4. sloeve43

    sloeve43 New Member

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    Taking about 5 weeks, I did it on about $700 American dollars (about 560 euros) plus transportation there and back. I got caught twice having to get a "real" room (30 euros) but otherwise stayed in public (not private) albuergues (3-7 euros/night), pretty much stuck to bread, cheese and sausage (don't forget the multivitamins and vitamin C) and rarely ate out except for cafe con leche grande and toast for breakfast, almost every day towards the end. A few glasses of wine and beer here and there, and that was it. It wasn't thrilling, and I missed some of the camraderie of eating out with a group, but it was cheap, and it made the trip possible. You can always participate in group meals in the albuergues, usually pasta and salad. No bottled water; I had no problems with fountains and taps. Next time, I'd go for 20 euros/day.

    Buen camino.
  5. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Well-Known Member Donating Member

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    I agree that it is perfectly possible to do the Camino on very little money. In fact it's cheaper for me to walk the Camino than to stay here in Portland Oregon!

    Lodging: If you can stay in the refugios run by the church, they are often less expensive. If the alburgues are full, they will sometimes allow you to shower and cook, and sleep in the yard. I did that several times. And don't forget to look for habitaciones along the way. These are private rooms in people's homes, and if you get 2 or 3 fellow pilgrims together, you can have a quiet, clean, comfortable night for less than a private alburgue!

    Eating: Look for the panaderia and buy bread fresh each morning for 1 euro or less. The bread is baked fresh each morning and is much healthier than what is in the grocery stores in the USA. Bread with butter is a fine breakfast if you add a cup of coffee.

    Look for vendors selling on the streets, vegetables, dried fish (bacalau), fruits or open air markets. Ask prices at several stalls until you find one that fits your budget. Look for little markets behind non-signed open doors in almost every village where they sell fresh eggs (boil them and make sandwiches or eat whole for lunch), dried and fresh fruits and vegetables, canned tuna, bags of lovely olives (.50 euro), cheese by the slice, various meats by the slice, and bottles or boxes of the best wine you've ever tasted for 1 to 2 euros. If you happen upon an alburgue with cooking facilities, get yourself an onion, some garlic, a tomato and fry it in a little oil (or mayonnaise!) until it makes a sauce, then add a cup of pasta and cover with water. Simmer until the pasta is soft. This is a 2 euro meal for 2! Make your own bocadillos for less than half the price of a store-bought one! Make sandwiches from fresh bread, sliced boiled eggs, tuna, tomato, and olives... or cheese and meat... or just vegetables.

    If you drink coffee, you can buy these sweet little tubes of instant coffee that you can carry in your pack. They're good hot or cold.

    Yogurt is cheap and good.

    Buy a beer, or a cerveza con limon, and you usually get served something yummy to eat with it. Tapas! A cheap way to go!

    Try the tortilla for breakfast. It's like a fat egg omelet with potatoes, onions, and eggs and is VERY filling and good with a slice of bread.

    Try the fresh squeezed orange juice... the BEST way to start the day.

    Pilgrim's plates are nice, but we reserved them for maybe 2 to 3 times per week. They usually include a salad OR macaroni starter (the salads are FANTASTIC), a good portion of meat, a side of vegetable (usually potato), bread, wine, and dessert. Prices ranged from 5 euros to 12 euros, just depending on where you were.

    Try the pastries!

    One rule: NO TOCA LA FRUTA! Don't touch the fruit. Just point to what you want. It's always good.

    Don't be afraid to ASK to pick fruit or grapes from trees and vines. Often, the answer will be yes, or it was in my case. But please do ask.
    its_Mayday likes this.
  6. falcon269

    falcon269 No commercial interests Donating Member

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    A Quebecoise I met walked from Le Puy to Finisterre on peanut butter and bread.
  7. AJ

    AJ Member

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    I find staying on the Camino to be generally both easier and safer.
  8. Bridget and Peter

    Bridget and Peter New Member

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    But it could be worth a try for preventing blisters?
  9. MargaretWilson

    MargaretWilson New Member

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    We took a lightweight two man tent and that saved heaps on accommodation
  10. PilgrimChris

    PilgrimChris New Member

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    A very interesting topic! Thanks for posting it Gary, and Annie - your points are very thorough.
    Margarete your comments on camping are especially interesting to me as it is my prefered method for shelter of an evening.
    A priest friend of mine walked the Camino Frances 6 years ago and camped every night. He averaged 8 euros a day drinking readily available fountain water or boiled water (he took a camping stove for hot drinks) and eating in a similar way as mentioned my Annie.
    I think it depends on how one wants to experience their own Camino. There is a lot to be said for using albergues not least the companionship of other pilgrims (though ear plugs seem to be advisable to combat the sound of the roncadores (snorers) lol), however these admirable places still add to the cost.

    800 euros over 5 weeks would still give you over 22 euros a day so forsaking the odd beer or two and other occasional 'luxuries' you should manage quite nicely in albergues every night Gary.
    Chris
  11. LTfit

    LTfit Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Hi Gary,

    I agree with the others that it is definately possible to do it and stay within your budget. Last July I averaged E15 per day by staying in Muncipal and Parish Auberges. You can check out this thread to see where I slept and the costs http://www.caminodesantiago.me/board/camino-frances-albergues-pensions-and-hostals/topic9169.html.

    Here is other thread that you might want to look at about budgeting:
    http://www.caminodesantiago.me/board/el-camino-frances/topic8330.html. As you will read budgets vary - just as people do!

    I consider myself frugal not cheap and that is how I walked my Camino. I thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity of buying fruits and nuts along the way, stopping for my daily café con leche or Cola Cao and the occasional beer/wine. Dining out was not my thing but I don't feel that I missed out in any way. It was my choice. Instead I joined in with others at the auberge, shared in conversation while eating by the waterside or helped cook during parish communal dinners.

    I spent what I needed (E15 didn't include pharmacy supplies for blisters or a new pair of shoes). It was only when I returned home and made the calculations that I saw that I had averaged E15 per day on food, drinks, lodging and the occasional museum.

    Of course it is always wise to have a "buffer" in case of emergency.

    Cheers,
    LT
  12. Bella.H.24

    Bella.H.24 New Member

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    Hola all,

    adding to this topic just to say that I will be beginning my camino in ONE MONTHS TIME! (eek!) and am planning on budgetting around 10-15 euros a day INCLUDING accomodation.
    I have made a list of all the cheapest Albergue's for each place I will stay in, and so hopefully, with a lot of frugal-ness, this plan shall succeed.
    To be honest, being a poor unemployed graduate, I don't have a lot of choice in the matter, once I run out of money, I run out of money, but I am more than happy to go the 'sleeping in a yard and eating peanut-butter and bread' way if need be :wink:

    Besides, I feel it will all add to the experience. It's only for five weeks, I can go back to gorging myself once I'm back home with Mum's cooking! :p

    Keep the faith!
    Bella
  13. ffp13

    ffp13 Member

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    Another way to keep costs lower is to prepare a share meal with a group you may be walking with, it is a lot cheaper and easier to prepare meal for a group, the cost of buying the ingredients for a meal for one can add up to almost the cost of a menu del dia , whereas sharing the grocery bill between 5 or 6 could be very cheap ( if you are all of the same mindset )
  14. Aldy

    Aldy New Member

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    Frances (2011), Part of the Camino Interior and Frances (2013) Cuenca to Burgos (Camino de Lana) connecting to Camino Frances (fall 2014) - Hospitalera 2013, and 2014
    One way to cut down on the cost of food is to make use of leftovers from meals cooked in albergues or community centers. Buy a bit more than for one meal (ie, double your pasta or meat or cheese) cook your dinner, then if you bring small plastic lunch bags you add your leftovers for the next day. Great for things such as salads (that CAN be kept without being in a refrigerator), and sandwiches.

    For some reason, many of my pilgrim friends did not eat the cucumber skins - they knew I really enjoyed eating those, so they would keep them for me as a snack (of course, thoroughly wash items before consumption).

    I always bought olives in their own juice, in a little bag. This helped with replenishing salt (of which your body could lose during long hot days) and they were a nice pick-me-up snack. I ate a lot of canned asparagus and sardines on bread - - again, cheap in Spain. I also often bought bread during the first part of the morning, and if they had day-old bread, that was a bonus - still very tasty and not that dry! they would often just give those to me!

    There are many ways to work within budget - I traded "translation" services at some albergues for the cost of room and board... Since I speak 3 languages, I often could help them out translating written letters, emails, posters, adverts. I even traded a night in a private newly constructed room (with a private bathroom) and translated the albergue's website for them upon my return home.

    Opportunities will arise - just be ready to "think out of the box"! You'll be surprise at what you might find!
  15. dxm300

    dxm300 New Member

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    I think 800 Euro is a fair budget. I would say I spent between 15-30 Euros per day (incl. food, lodging and, of course, wine. I bought groceries rather than eating pilgrim menus wherever possible, and teamed up with people to make shared meals as well.
  16. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Well-Known Member Donating Member

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    Frances, Ingles, Invierno, San Salvador, Vadiniense, Portugal coast. Hospitalera, Federation hospi trainer, guide writer, waymarker, litter-picker.
    with a deepening employment crisis in Spain, more people are appearing on the trail without any money at all, seeking odd jobs and walking with the proceeds until they can pick up another odd job. Many of them are from Germany, Portugal and Eastern Europe, they have been on the road a long time! (we recently found a "pilgrim" sleeping in a drainage pipe :cry: )

    If you are considering this kind of earn-as-you-go camino, I advise AGAINST it. The people who live along the trail are running low on odd jobs that need doing. Social services in Spain are strained to the limit already, dealing with the needs of Spaniards.

    No matter what they say about the faithful Divine Providence pilgrims of old, if you do not have enough money to make the pilgrimage, please wait until you do.
  17. Peronel

    Peronel Member

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    Rebekah, how is this impacting places like Granon with their "Leave what you can, take what you need" policy?
  18. alexwalker

    alexwalker Active Member Donating Member

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    (2009): Camino Frances
    (2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
    (2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
    (2014): Camino Frances (23rd April and on)
    The deepening problems of Spain are hurting my heart. I have met so many lovely, helpful Spanish people on my ways, walked and talked with them, and I have had such uplifting experiences there, that I am feeling so sorry for them. I ponder on ideas on how I can make a difference (I am a pensioner now). While I completely understand the need for many pilgrims to think economics in order to complete their Way, I try to think differently: How can I contribute?

    Certainly not by thinking that "donativo" means "free": it is just a polite way for the proud Spanish to say "please help". And spend your money on services offered, buy the things you need without arguing, etc. Sorry; the situation for the lovely Spanish people simply upsets my heart.

    Your budget as a pilgrim might be tight; That is fair. I believe that Spain is in a much tighter position than we understand. The reports about old (and young) people who commit suicide because of economic distress is a saddening alarm clock.

    I know that this pilgrim will keep his budget roomy this year. I actually want to move to Spain and see what little I can help with. I myself am in fact seeking out what my opportunities are.

    My Camino experiences have taught me to love this country.

    Rebekah, thanks for the T-shirt you gave me in 2009. It was strong and lasted also all of the VdlP in 2011 and 2012... You finally wrote your book, I see, although not an ebook, as I tried to teach you. Interesting title... :wink: Will now go over to Amazon for shopping.

    EDIT: Your book has now been purchased :wink:
  19. newfydog

    newfydog Active Member Donating Member

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    Remember, the Camino does not go from SJPP to Santiago, it is a network of trials from all over Europe. Rather than a really cheap long walk, I would do a shorter one which included some local food and wine, a few stays with families etc. If you walk the trail, camp and live on bread, you will miss much.

    If you find the pilgrimages are for you, you will be back to fill in any segments you miss this year.
  20. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Active Member Donating Member

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    never was a truer word spoken;-)
  21. newfydog

    newfydog Active Member Donating Member

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    OOPS! One man's trail is another man's trial. I think I'll leave that blooper unedited!
  22. reg2450

    reg2450 Member

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    Have not really looked at my funds! After all this time, I just want to be there. I believe I have enough ("and all my supplies are in Thee"), but I'm over the planning, the packing, the reading... the calculating. It's bringing me undone. I'll see you there in a month Bella! I'm starting SJPP around the 21March. Sería muy bueno para reunirse con usted
  23. ffp13

    ffp13 Member

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    If on a tight budget, check out the kitchen cupboards, many have a free stuff cabinet , stuff left by previous pilgrims, often you will find rice, pasta, lentils salt etc, if you find something you can use put it away it is likely it may not be there later tat day/night.

    Many a time I have gone to the kitchen to prepare my dinner and there would be others just finishing, often they will offer there leftover pasta etc, its a nice surprise to not need to cook a meal, I think other people's cooking always tastes better then my own :)
  24. jadidmasihi

    jadidmasihi New Member

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    so what is the optimum budget, regardless how frugal you are? Please give me a number as a whole instead of how much euro per day
  25. fortview

    fortview Member

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    Hi jadidmasihi,
    It would be very difficult to give you "the number as a whole" without knowing more about you, like how long you are going to take, where you are coming from, where you intend to stay, how much you eat ( and drink !) etc. :)
    It's easier to say , roughly, how much you need on a daily basis, which varies depending on who answers you., but could be around 25 to 30 euros.
    Sorry not to be more helpful than that.
    Buen camino !
  26. jadidmasihi

    jadidmasihi New Member

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    no problem. i'm a first timer so I have no idea where to stay and what to eat during the journey.

    I'll be starting from SJPdP since I'll be entering Europe from Italy (i'm coming with the blessing of our Bishop). My plan is to travel the cammino "Franciscan style" (if it is possible)
  27. fortview

    fortview Member

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    Well, you will find lots of information here on this forum. :)
    Good luck ! Go well :)
  28. pablo.m

    pablo.m New Member

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    go for E20 p/day, that's a good target, but make sure you have another E20 p/day up your sleeve. better to know you have it but not need than to need it & know you dont have it. besides, being frugal is one thing, denying yourself the odd indulgence, having travelled so far, seems a bit silly, & rather unnecessary.
    as the wise old cow said to the young calf, when walking life's pathways, don't forget to stop & graze the flowers
  29. jeff001

    jeff001 Member

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    jadidmasihi: If by "Franciscan style" you mean depending on the charity and generosity of people along the way you might reconsider. The current economic conditions make it unlikely that many people will be willing to support you and most of your fellow pilgrims will be on limited budgets themselves.

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