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How much money should I need for the entire pilgrimage?

DeCassia

New Member
Hello.
I live in Los Angeles, USA and would like some information about costs and how much money I should bring.
Also, what is the cheapest way to buy my tickets? Do I fly around trip to Paris? When i get in Santiago how do I get back to catch my flight home?
 
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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 spend 3 months walking various Camino Routes in 2009 and spent about $1000 U.S. per month. But I picnicked, cooked, and stayed in inexpensive albergues, camping occasionally.

Regarding your flight...you could fly directly in and out of Santiago (I did this last trip) or to Paris (I did this another time). There are trains, buses, and flights to get you to Santiago. There is a lot written about this already if you do a search on the forum - as many ways to travel to and from the Camino as there are pilgrims, really.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

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You can fly from Los Angeles to Pamplona and return from Santiago de Compostela on Iberia Airlines for about $1,500. A budget of 30 Euro per day will be adequate for staying in albergues and eating at restaurants. You can do it for less if you self-cater, and a lot more if you stay in hotels.
 

markss

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances from SJPP (3/10 & 10/10); Primitivo (6/12)
Yes there is much written here related to air arrangements. Unfortunately reading it all can make you more confused than when you started. Not because one person's opinion is better than another, but rather airfares vary greatly depending on dates, destinations and all sorts of other factors.

Certain counties impose high tarrifs on air travel into their cities making them, given all other things equal, more expensive to fly in to and out of. Fortunately in this regard Spain is one of the least expensive European destinations from the US. Given this and due to Los Angeles' competative market you'll usually (not always) find the best fares by avoiding Paris and getting to the start of your Camino from a destination in Spain. You'll have to play around a bit with some of the travel websites (Expedia.com, fly.com, tripadvisor.com, or directly on airline websites, etc.) to find the best deal.

As to itinerary, assuming you do find good airfares for your dates of travel, Falcon's recommendation is probably the best. However I have one exception to it. While it may be necessary to fly Iberia within Spain, if at all possible I'd avoid them in the trans Atlantic portion of your flight. They have got to be the worst airline on the face of the earth. Run into a delay with them or have luggage go missing, which both happen on Iberia with great frequency, they will not take appropriate responsibility. You'll be treated with rude disregard and on your own in a foreign country. It doesn't make sense because Spanish people are among the friendliest in the world. Where Iberia finds and how they train such terrible employees is not representative of anything else about Spain. (Sorry if anyone here works for Iberia. I know you must be an exception)

Neither Iberia nor any airline has direct LA-Spain flights. With a stopover somewhere further east in the US or in a city in Europe with a European carrier, there are many airlines that can get you to Spain.

Know also that airfares between the US and Europe drop dramatically after summer. If your plans are to travel sometime outside of summer you may want to wait a bit to book any flights as booking too early could cost more. That said, do book at least 21 days in advance of travel date. If you have the option, also play around with travel on specific days of the week. It is often considerable less expensive to fly mid-week.

Have I now added enough to all of the confusion?
 
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mmm042

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VDLP 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
To all that I'd add simply:

Normal breakfast (cafe con leche and toast): 3-5 euros
Typical menu del dia for dinner: 9-12 euros (includes wine)
Albergues: 0-15 euros
Casa Rurales: 20-60 euros
Hotels: 60 on up to +200

Not sure about lunch costs, as I always bring energy bars to eat along the way or buy bread/snacks in a grocery.

Melanie
 
Year of 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
Picnic for lunch or dinner if you're on a budget. It's really an inexpensive way to eat, especially if you have a friend or two to share with. Buy a pilgrim's plate in the least expensive places:

If you spend 2 to 3 euros per day for lunch or dinner you have a variety of great foods to choose from like

a bag of awesome olives
local cheese
local ham
freshly baked bread
tomatoes
fresh organic eggs (which you can boil at the albergue)
fruit of all kinds, fresh and dried
tuna with pop top lids
pasta
pastries
wine (amazingly good wine for very little cash. Try the bottles for 1 or 2 euros, you'll be surprised!)
nuts

We often made sandwiches or pasta for dinner. Making our own was cheaper than buying them. We'd eat a Pilgrim's Dinner once or twice a week.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
If you are waling any sections in France those will be a bit more expensive than in Spain; roughly 35-40 euros/day. The lodgings in France are smaller and tend to be privately run; and demi-pension (dinner and breakfast) is frequently available.

If you are flying from LA, your choice is to change planes on the East Coast or in Europe. Changing in Europe gives you a decent night's sleep on the way over. Heathrow is not bad and has good connections to the US west coast. Changing planes in Paris is a true challenge; there are multiple terminals, illogical layouts, difficult signage. Changing from plane to train in Paris works quite well since the rail station is right there.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The more the plane changes, the greater the chance of baggage getting lost. While Iberia is rated 61st out of 74 in customer polls about international airlines, your bags would go from LAX to MAD, then onto the subsidiary Iberia airline to Pamplona. While it is not impossible for Iberia to lose your bag in that routine, it is pretty unlikely. If you go to England or Paris, you will change airlines, even airports, and your bags may head for Moscow. Take your rest in Pamplona or St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port if you need one, unless you are planning something else in Europe. And remember to inform your bank and credit card companies where and when you will be in Europe. Otherwise, they may deny all your transactions. If you have considered travelers cheques, don't. They are impossible to cash, even at banks.
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
Kitsambler said:
If you are flying from LA, your choice is to change planes on the East Coast or in Europe. Changing in Europe gives you a decent night's sleep on the way over. Heathrow is not bad and has good connections to the US west coast. Changing planes in Paris is a true challenge; there are multiple terminals, illogical layouts, difficult signage. Changing from plane to train in Paris works quite well since the rail station is right there.

I just received an email today from travelzoo. Their search engine, http://www.fly.com , was promoting Spanair's flights into Madrid. From Boston (via Philly) they started at $357 RT INCLUDING TAXES for the months of Sept- December!! Not every day is it that cheap, but they have a cheap fare calendar, so you can click on the weeks and/or days and see when they're the cheapest. And unlike Travelocity (which I think pulls the bait-n-switch on you all the time,) with "no seats available" there were lots and lots of dates to choose from. I was SHOCKED.
 
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Whizzer

Member
The best airline web page is to use KLM. I have done all the way to go and from. Hit ( multiple destinations). You can make a trip in and out easy.
By using KLM out of LAX there is direct flight to Holland. Flight 601 and 602. There is one airline fly to Biarritz 3 times a week. France/Spain rail pass can be done too. I was think to buy a railpass\
http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets- ... icing.html

Here is all the airports
Paris CDG
Biarritz BIQ
Santigo SCQ
Madard MAD
LA LAX
Amsteldam AMS
 

fiddletree

Active Member
I have found KLM to usually be one of the more expensive. I live in Italy now (American, fell in love with an Italian on the Camino 4 years ago, and we got married and now I live in Italy), and have pretty well figured out the going back and forth ferom the US thing. Kayak.com will usually find you the best deals, and one of the cheapest airports in Europe to fly into is Geneva. From there you can catch a train (pretty long) or a cheap flight (50 euros or so on ryanair or easyjet) to closer to the start of the camino. Unfortunately, prices for flights are about double what they were a few years back, and you probably won't get much under $1500, and certainly not under $1000.

I have heard prices have gone up on the camino, but 4 years ago I spent an average of 13 to 15 euros a day. Public albergues usually cost less than private ones. Instead of buying meals, pack snacks in your bag, and use the albergue kitchens. If you split ingredients with people and eat things like cous cous, beans, pasta, and vegetables, you can easily spend 1 euro each on dinner. I always carried some bread, hard cheese, apples, and nuts to eat for breakfast and lunch. I would usually have a coffee in the morning and a beer or wine in the evening, but those are both usually in the euro range if you don't get them in bars. Eating out and choosing the expensive accomodation is what will double your daily costs. Near the end I ate out more, because the kitchens became really crowded. I think I spent about 500 euros for 5 weeks. With price hikes I have heard about, It would probably cost 10-20% more now. Also, keep in mind that you should NOT carry all that cash on you at once. There are ATMs regularly throughout the Camino, every 3 days at a minimum, and usually more often.
 

Whizzer

Member
I did a test plan trip of Sept 15 to Oct 20 and used KLM web page.
The page show me a direct flight with Air France to Paris. Then a flight to BIQ. Then a flight from Mad and to Ams to get direct flight back to LAX. The cost is $1500.

If fly in to Madrid is it $1100 but it not a non stop.
Same thing flying in Barcelona $1160 and not a nonstop.
What kill it is the flight to the east coast.

The thing would be where to start the trail.

In mine case the $1500 would be the best because it get me by the trail head unless I go in to Madrid and buy train pass. Can drive up the cost a little more then the flight in to Paris. Two thing good about tthe Camino is there is no time table per say. The only thing is the Iceland volcano if it go off, Spain was not shut down.
 
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Whizzer

Member
It say do the whole trip it a 930e ($1339) for lodge and meals. If only a bed it is 270e ($388).
If I took the trip I would be looking at
1500 + 1400= 2900 plus 500 for other hotel staygoing in and out . I would have to have $3500 do to this Camino.

Thanks for that web page that really help a lot. When using the translator on it I can get read more about the trail.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Year of past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
I just bought RT flights for $750 from Portland, OR to Madrid in mid-October on American Airlines. I would suggest using Kayak or HipMunk to find flights AirfareWatchdog is also a good site for trip alerts.

You can also look at open jaw tickets, fly into Paris, out of Madrid.....point to point tickets on the train are cheaper than a RailPass.

As for how much money you need for the entire pilgrimage, figure 25-30 Euros/day, depending on how much you plan to spend on housing/food/etc. That's a reasonable figure for budget pilgrims staying in albergues, eating a small breakfast (cafe con leche/tostada) in the am, followed by a picnic lunch (I ate a lot of yogurt, fruit, and occasionally a bocadilla), and then a pilgrim menu for dinner in the evening. $2000 USD should cover your plane ticket and expenses while on the Camino (and after, including transportation back to Madrid or whatever airport you fly into). If you add $500 for incidental expenses (like new shoes, shipping fees, medical emergencies, etc), or maybe a nice hotel every once in a while, then that is MORE than enough for you to walk the Camino. You could definitely do it on $1500, if you needed to.
 

dvivas

New Member
Hey,

I completed my first camino last year. I found my plane ticket on the cheap for about 650. I ended up only spending about 350 Euros for the entire 5 weeks I was on the camino. I would usually search out the churches that offered lodging because they were by donation, no set prices. If you do this make sure to ALWAYS donate. Give whatever you can. These places are more than adequate and everyone is incredibly friendly. As far as food goes I would say pack you own stuff. Stop by a bar every morning for your Cafe con Leche and tostada, its inexpensive and good time to relax. Pack fruit and bread and water. Cook your own lunch, pastas and sandwiches are filling and cheap. And do the same for dinner. Of course treat yourself from time to time. I usually ate at a restaurant on sundays because everything else was closed. It can be done on the cheap, you just have to figure out how you want to do it.

Hope this helps,

Buen camino,

Daniel
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
This thread has information valuable for many readers, but the original poster has not visited a second time to read answers, so if you are answering the original question, well, save your time!
 

Rae2607

New Member
falcon269 said:
This thread has information valuable for many readers, but the original poster has not visited a second time to read answers, so if you are answering the original question, well, save your time!

No! Please, keep providing this great info and options. The original poster is not the only person on the forum in need of these tips!
 
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zoopeter

New Member
Just finished the camino from st jean to santiago on12th may.

on average I spent between 25 and 30 euros on accomodation and food per day. Can be done for less

but a good meal each evening is essential and that cost about 8-10 euros.
 

Wolfmoms

New Member
I also just finished the Camino in mid-May and spent the same ... between 25 - 30 Euros per walking day on the Camino. On layover days in larger cities (Burgos, Leon), spent upwards of 50 Euros counting bus and pension or hotel, in some cases. I ate the pilgrim meal every evening and breakfast in a cafe every morning, shopped for lunch and snacks along the way. I could have gone cheaper but .... why??? Enjoy and treat yourself if it's within your budget.
 

Mary Power

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
going to do the 800k in may/june 2014
I have found KLM to usually be one of the more expensive. I live in Italy now (American, fell in love with an Italian on the Camino 4 years ago, and we got married and now I live in Italy), and have pretty well figured out the going back and forth ferom the US thing. Kayak.com will usually find you the best deals, and one of the cheapest airports in Europe to fly into is Geneva. From there you can catch a train (pretty long) or a cheap flight (50 euros or so on ryanair or easyjet) to closer to the start of the camino. Unfortunately, prices for flights are about double what they were a few years back, and you probably won't get much under $1500, and certainly not under $1000.

I have heard prices have gone up on the camino, but 4 years ago I spent an average of 13 to 15 euros a day. Public albergues usually cost less than private ones. Instead of buying meals, pack snacks in your bag, and use the albergue kitchens. If you split ingredients with people and eat things like cous cous, beans, pasta, and vegetables, you can easily spend 1 euro each on dinner. I always carried some bread, hard cheese, apples, and nuts to eat for breakfast and lunch. I would usually have a coffee in the morning and a beer or wine in the evening, but those are both usually in the euro range if you don't get them in bars. Eating out and choosing the expensive accomodation is what will double your daily costs. Near the end I ate out more, because the kitchens became really crowded. I think I spent about 500 euros for 5 weeks. With price hikes I have heard about, It would probably cost 10-20% more now. Also, keep in mind that you should NOT carry all that cash on you at once. There are ATMs regularly throughout the Camino, every 3 days at a minimum, and usually more often.[/quote
Hey,

I completed my first camino last year. I found my plane ticket on the cheap for about 650. I ended up only spending about 350 Euros for the entire 5 weeks I was on the camino. I would usually search out the churches that offered lodging because they were by donation, no set prices. If you do this make sure to ALWAYS donate. Give whatever you can. These places are more than adequate and everyone is incredibly friendly. As far as food goes I would say pack you own stuff. Stop by a bar every morning for your Cafe con Leche and tostada, its inexpensive and good time to relax. Pack fruit and bread and water. Cook your own lunch, pastas and sandwiches are filling and cheap. And do the same for dinner. Of course treat yourself from time to time. I usually ate at a restaurant on sundays because everything else was closed. It can be done on the cheap, you just have to figure out how you want to do it.

Hope this helps,

Buen camino,

Daniel[/quot

Thank you Daniel. Glad to know that there atms along the way. I was concerned about carrying cash. I can now organise my travel card and use it at the atm
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
I was advised to take two debit cards because, as it was explained to me, all debit cards do not work at all banks. (I found this to be true.) Ask at your bank for the whys and wherefores of this - it has to do with the little logos at the back of your debit card. Of course, if it is your habit to replenish your funds before you are completely out of cash (and therefore desperate) you can always trot off to the next bank where your one debit card will probably work.

Now have I really confused matters? :eek:

Happy planning ! :)
 
Last edited:

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
Personally, I'd recommend getting more cash out when you're down to your last, say, 50 Euros.
If a debit cards doesn't work, you can always go into the bank and ask for help at the counter: most of them are quite helpful and human!
I have only one comment about banks in my Pilgrimage III diary [see web site] ...
"Being down to my last twenty Euros, I decided to find a cash dispenser. I found a branch of the Holy Spirit [honest! Banco Espirito Sancto] but could find no cash dispenser. I thought to myself - why should the Holy Spirit give out cash, as 'the love of money is the root of all evil'. I also thought that maybe that was one bank which would never, ever go bankrupt. It would surely be saved from above? I found another bank and drew out 200 Euros."
 
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Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Personally, I'd recommend getting more cash out when you're down to your last, say, 50 Euros.
If a debit cards doesn't work, you can always go into the bank and ask for help at the counter: most of them are quite helpful and human! ....
I did go into the bank and asked for help at the counter but, because their bank did not recognize my debit card, they were not able to help me.

However, your comment about replenishing funds before one is completely out of cash is a good one. :)
 

Peronel

Active Member
I had exactly the same problem in, uhhhh, Sahagun, I think. Went into the bank, and the very helpful girl behind the counter offered to help me.

This meant her coming out and sticking the card in the slot in the machine. Unsuprisingly, it still didn't work. So she declared it faulty and offered to destroy it for me.

There was certainly no possibility of getting money out over the counter. Fortunately, there was another bank just down the road and, by the time I got there, the card had miraculously fixed itself.
 

CaminoKris2013

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2014)
Are there any kind of prepaid debit cards in Spain? Since I don't want to carry all my cash, and don't want to find myself where the Spanish bank atms don't accept US debit cards, this would be a good alternative.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
don't want to find myself where the Spanish bank atms don't accept US debit cards
That will not happen. If it accepts a prepaid card, it will accept your ATM card.

You need a four digit PIN in Spain. If you have a six digit PIN, have your bank change it before you leave.

Inform your bank of your travel dates and countries. If they are surprised by a foreign transaction, they may reject it.

If you make ATM withdrawals during business hours, you can resolve any problems inside the bank. There are stories of ATMs swallowing a card, and the pilgrim having to wait until Monday to get money. I am a bit skeptical of these tales, but better safe than sorry!

Not all ATMS take all cards. Check your network when you get to an ATM. My card did not work in a Spanish caja banking network, but worked across the street at an actual bank. Different networks, I think.
 

ericdouglas

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Future Camino de Santiago (April 2014)
How much are drinks in Spain (in an average bar, nothing high end)?. I'm a beer drinker and will most definitely be have a few beers each evening and a decent meal. About how many euro would that be each evening? Also, the exchange rate is just horrible. I just bought 1500 euro which cost me $2.451 Australian dollars. Are things cheaper in Spain?.
 
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renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Year of past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
First off, never buy currency. Get it at the ATM at the airport when you land. You get a better exchange rate. Second, my budget of 30€ a day did not include alcohol other than the bottle of wine you get at dinner with the menu del dia. Beer is probably going to run 2-3€ a pint.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Wine and coffee -- about 1E (1.4oE cafe con leche grande)
Beer -- small (cana) 1E+, large 2E
Soda -- 1.50 to 2.00E
Wine bottle -- as low as 2E in some bars for house wine; .80E for a liter in a box in the mercado
 

Christine15

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis (2013)
How much are drinks in Spain (in an average bar, nothing high end)?. I'm a beer drinker and will most definitely be have a few beers each evening and a decent meal. About how many euro would that be each evening? Also, the exchange rate is just horrible. I just bought 1500 euro which cost me $2.451 Australian dollars. Are things cheaper in Spain?.

I walked last September and though not a beer drinker I did gather it was good and well priced. I too like nice food and you will find at times when in a small village you will not have a huge choice in food and the Pilgrim meals are hit and miss but that is part of the Camino and you just accept it in the spirit of the Camino. When in big towns/cities you have wonderful choice and is something to look forward to. I hope to walk again in possibly 2015/16 not sure yet.
 
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GerryDel

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, July 2014
I was spending 70-100 euros per day for two people. That includes lodging in pensions mainly at 30 euros a night.
 
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clearskies

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - 2011 to 2018
Camino Portugués - 2018, 2019, April 2021
Celtic Camino - 2019
May 2013, I was spending 25-30euro per day and I was getting by quite comfortably :)
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March/April 2014
First off, never buy currency. Get it at the ATM at the airport when you land. You get a better exchange rate. Second, my budget of 30€ a day did not include alcohol other than the bottle of wine you get at dinner with the menu del dia. Beer is probably going to run 2-3€ a pint.

It's not a bad idea to bring a few euros with you when you arrive, just in case your bank or credit card company "forgot" you were going to Europe. You don't need to bring thousands of euros with you. I think I brought 150 with me. It was worth the extra dollars to have cash with me, so I could get a meal right away, buy my ticket for the metro, and I didn't have to scramble around looking for an ATM. Oh, and get some coins too, the vending machines don't take bills!

I spent around 25 euros a day, on lodging and food. I could have done it much cheaper, but I ate out too much. Part of the problem was that I always seemed to end up in towns when the grocery stores were closed for siesta and they were closed for the day when I reached my destination for the night! Also, that 25 euros doesn't include the cellphone I bought and other expenses like Compeed and ibuprofen.
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several alone and with children
I have found KLM to usually be one of the more expensive. I live in Italy now (American, fell in love with an Italian on the Camino 4 years ago, and we got married and now I live in Italy), and have pretty well figured out the going back and forth ferom the US thing. Kayak.com will usually find you the best deals, and one of the cheapest airports in Europe to fly into is Geneva. From there you can catch a train (pretty long) or a cheap flight (50 euros or so on ryanair or easyjet) to closer to the start of the camino. Unfortunately, prices for flights are about double what they were a few years back, and you probably won't get much under $1500, and certainly not under $1000.

I have heard prices have gone up on the camino, but 4 years ago I spent an average of 13 to 15 euros a day. Public albergues usually cost less than private ones. Instead of buying meals, pack snacks in your bag, and use the albergue kitchens. If you split ingredients with people and eat things like cous cous, beans, pasta, and vegetables, you can easily spend 1 euro each on dinner. I always carried some bread, hard cheese, apples, and nuts to eat for breakfast and lunch. I would usually have a coffee in the morning and a beer or wine in the evening, but those are both usually in the euro range if you don't get them in bars. Eating out and choosing the expensive accomodation is what will double your daily costs. Near the end I ate out more, because the kitchens became really crowded. I think I spent about 500 euros for 5 weeks. With price hikes I have heard about, It would probably cost 10-20% more now. Also, keep in mind that you should NOT carry all that cash on you at once. There are ATMs regularly throughout the Camino, every 3 days at a minimum, and usually more often.
All this mention of flights at 1500 ish dollar range is interesting. I made mention of spending $1400 for transportation to do the Camino and was told/ asked by someone coming just as far that I must be flying first class. ....
 

bystander

Veteran Member
I have a projected, not set in stone, list for my first twenty days on the Camino all in private accommodation (single room) most of which throw in a breakfast of sorts and the cost per night averages €47; which approximates to UK£37 or US$63.

This does not include lunch or dinner and when I use those words I don't mean a meal without a drink!
 
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Scott Sweeney

Active Member
I was surprised at how little I did end up spending. What I would have normally spent at home, gas, food, wine and nights out...it was by far cheaper to live on the Camino de Santiago. Getting there now was enough to choke a horse however.
 

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