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Daily costs

Br. David

Active Member
I wrote this on another thread and then thought that it might make an interesting thread in itself (I may be wrong - I often am)
It was a friendly response to a 30 euros a day comment. I live quite simply at home, often eating the same cheap meal day after day - it is only food after all -
.. I would be interested to see other info on the 'travelling simply' costings - without scavenging perhaps :wink:

I found that the daily costs can be quite a lot less than 30 euros. If you live simply then you don't have to buy coffee or cold drinks or ice cream. You don't ever have to buy a meal in a cafe, nor wine.
It is really simple to carry food with you - for instance, were you to carry sausage, cheese, tomatoes, and bread and water then this will do very well during the day. If you also carry some dried pasta then it is a simple thing to boil it up in the evening, add some cheese and herbs - voila! simple meal.
If you carry salt, pepper, some herbs, and olive oil with you then you are pretty independent.

The extra weight is much less than you think it may be - pasta is dehydrated, as are some soups. When stopping over in a town with shops you could pick up something cheap and 'special' - salad stuff or a tin of beans, for instance. If you pass a shop selling apples cheap then buy a dozen and eat them all day.

This would mean living a very simple independent life on the Camino. To some, the thought of eating the same meal every day is an absolute NO - but most people in the third world tend to eat the same food every day for years - it isn't a problem at all. The 'problem' would be were you to find a simple life difficult, and were you to miss the meeting of friends at cafes and bars - though you could join in but opt for one glass of the cheapest drink. That 'sitting in' can feel quite important at times, but the back yards of refuges have that too, as does sitting on a low wall outside the refuge, luxuriating in backpack free leisure - the view is free, as is the weather :wink:
Were you to find yourself in a village with no shop to buy extras for your evening meal - well, you would always have your staples with you.
Refuge prices vary - 3 to 8 really, so with an average of 6 you can live very well indeed on 12-15 euros a day, very well indeed. :wink:
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Thanks for this topic Br. David. Although I have not walked the camino yet (can't waot to start in 2 months) I have travelled a lot in different parts of the world.

One can live on uch less than 30E a day - which is an amount that I would never consider spending if I don't have to. Being a student with only a part time job money is always a bit of an issue but even so I live of 40£ a week here in England which includes food/spending money/phone bills and clothing.

During 2 months backpacking through Croatia/Hungary and Slovenia I never spent more than 15E a day which was mainly due to the very expensive accomodation. Food-wise I can very easily live of bread/cheese/cold meats and salads. It's a diet that slowly releases energy throughout the day without being too heavy. Instead of a cafe con leche or a coke a piece of fruit will give me enough sugar to keep going.

I'm fairly lucky in the respect that I don't drink soft drinks or coffee - water is all I need :) And after being a student for 2 years I'm an expert when it comes to one pot pasta dishes.

My budget would be 15E a day (accomodation, buying food in supermarkets, giving money to churches I visit along they way as most of the smaller ones will need all the donativo they can get). I thought of taking every 5 or 7 days 105E from the ATM and spend it acording to my budget. what is left of the end of the week I'm going to spend on a lovely meal or a bottle of wine - and if nothing is left then well, I'll be just as fine without it.

I can't wait for my camino and I am sure that being on a budget is not going to cloud the experience. Communal meals in hostels were always my favourite part when travelling :)

Br. David

Active Member
Way to go! - a long time ago now but that's how I learnt my one-pot pasta dishes too - and I do like your treat day when you find you still have funds! Definitely, in the uk, if anyone has been an undergrad they certainly know how to budget and enjoy life whilst doing it - ketchup bottles upside down in the cupboard, toothpaste firmly rolled to the end .. and that tends to lead to water conservation, awareness of how much one uses on this planet, even empathy for others. (Plus an allowance for the cheap claret of course :wink: )
Wealth really isn't measured by how much you have but by how little you need, isn't it.

I have fallen into a number of communal meals in refuges - and each one of them has been utterly wonderful.
Enjoy your Camino - it's a stunner

By the way pilgrims, I don't want to make restaurant users feel guilty, we all have different lifestyles, different incomes - locals survive mainly because we do spend .. it really came from a mention from a pensioner wondering if they could afford to go. simple if a uk resident, the State pension is paid into the bank account every monday and the Camino is just across the water.


Veteran Member
Thanks Br. David for bringing up this topic once again. Like you, I live simply - at least in comparison to those around me and so my Camino reflected that. I have posted more than once that E15 a day is sufficient. Although not planned, this is what I spent on average last summer on the Francés. I was very content to carry fruit and nuts to snack on during the day and I always had a tin of tuna or beans and a pack of olives in case of emergency.

Did I stop for a daily café con leche or colacao (or 2!) Yes. Did I have a glass of wine or beer in the evening? Often although I rarely drink at home. What I didn't do very often is eat in a restaurant but that was by choice, not a requirement.

I find it quite off-putting to read that such pelegrinos are "boring" or "cheap" (comments from previous threads). Having a meaningful Camino is not dependant on spending money and interaction with fellow pelegrinos is possible while walking, during a break or around the table during evening meals in auberges.

If you want to stay in private auberges or eat out every night than no, E15 is definately not sufficient. But if you are content and able to stay in municipal or donativo auberges and make your own lunch and/or dinner than yes it is most definately possible AND enjoyable.

I am curious to see what my experience will be on the VdlP .

Long live simplicity!!!



Active Member
Br. David said:
.. I would be interested to see other info on the 'travelling simply' costings - without scavenging perhaps.
A subject close to my heart Br. David.I have been wild camping a lot lately and always with a view to minimum food costs.

I am not sure how you define 'scavenging' in your post, but i often 'eat from the land', buy 'expiry date discounted' foods, and wait for 'end of day' market produce to purchase at very low cost. I recently did a wild camp in the UK for a week and spent £10 in total on food for the week!

I guess it is down to the individual and what his/her preferences are. My own (much delayed) Camino will be,in part, an exercise for me in ultra low cost hiking (food and accommodation wise). I will blog my journey and share the results :)

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Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I took $3000 on my last Camino trip.

I was in Europe walking various stretches for 90 days.
I spent probably $600 - $700 (maybe more - my journals are not here) in bus fares and train fares (Santiago to Seville, Santiago to Bilbao, Santiago to Jaca, Santiago to Leon, Santiago to Rome and back, Santiago to Amsterdam and back) so that means I spent around $2300 for 90 days.

That's an average of about $25 per day. Besides nights in Amsterdam and Rome, we spend several night in private albergues along the way. We also ate quite well!

I believe I could do the Camino easily on $15-$20 per day.. EASILY!


New Member
And don't forget while staying in donativo albergues, if you can afford to leave more money, do, so those with less money can also stay. That said, I met 2 Nuns last year walking with no money what so ever. They gave food to us, their abundance was that great.
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Yes, donative means "donation" ... it does not mean FREE!
If you ARE strapped for cash, spend a couple of hours cleaning up the place.. scrub toilets, showers, sweep, mop... do something for your keep. It will give you good Pilgrim karma... :lol:

Br. David

Active Member
I didn't really start a thread about doing the Camino by not donating where it says donate - just a general thread about actual real costs - without scavenging ... :?

AnnieS - nice idea, would be really neat if that worked! but you don't get 'good' karma by doing 'good' works. There is no such thing as good or bad karma of course, but, beside the point - to do something with the conscious aim of improving future karma has no effect - you can't trick the universe - it is the deep reason that you do something that has that effect ..... always it comes back to the heart ....

so ... I suppose it all comes down to - refuges, carry and prepare your own simple food, avoiding buying in cafes and bars, living simply but paying one's way ... - 10 to 15 euros a day ....?
Then up from there to ... refuges, regular bought meals and coffees and teas and ice creams, etc - 30 to 40 euros a day?
Then ever upwards along the scale?

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