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Tips for a tight budget?

Camino(s) past & future
considering (2018)
#1
Hello,
While recognizing my privilege in being able to travel to Portugal & Spain and spend two weeks on the camino, I do have quite a tight budget. I realize that albergues aren't very pricey, and I don't intend to abuse the generosity of donativos etc., but nonetheless. I'll be traveling with my son so obviously paying for two beds, two meals etc. Does anyone have tips for making euros stretch a bit farther? (are there options of small rooms with one double bed that cost less than 2 beds at an albergue for instance?).
Thank you/Gracias/Obrigado/Merci :)
Anne
 

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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#2
are there options of small rooms with one double bed that cost less than 2 beds at an albergue for instance?
No. The private room will always be more than two albergue beds; strangely, kids don't get a better rate, either. The fire stations have been a good source for a mattress on the floor, and have always been free. There are rumors that some bombeiros have become less welcoming as the number of pilgrims on the Camino Portugues has increased.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#3
The albergues are indeed cheaper.

However, if someday you feel like you would prefer a private room, a way to save some money is trying to book via booking.com closer after 3pm - some private rooms go much cheaper towards the end of the day.

Also, in Portugal, portions can be pretty large. Take a look on surrounding tables at restaurants/bars and see if maybe one normal portion could be enough for you + 1 kid, instead of getting 2 portions or 2 menus del peregrino. And buying things in markets to prepare at the albergue is quite cheap too.

EDIT: I just remembered something silly, but that can be useful.
I washed all my clothes by hand and let them dry hanging, so I saved money for not needing washers and driers (which is possible in a shorter route as the Portuguese). If the clothes were not completely dry in the morning, I would pin them to my backpack with safety pins and walk with them, drying in the sun.
 
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Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#5
In Portugal DON'T eat the stuff that they put on the table in addition to what you ordered - that's generally much more expensive than the set menu.
Omg, that's so true! All those olives, bread and little things... In the beginning I was a bit shy, but soon learned to say "não precisa, obrigada" (no need, thanks).
 

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Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
#6
The albergues are indeed cheaper.

However, if someday you feel like you would prefer a private room, a way to save some money is trying to book via booking.com closer after 3pm - some private rooms go much cheaper towards the end of the day.

Also, in Portugal, portions can be pretty large. Take a look on surrounding tables at restaurants/bars and see if maybe one normal portion could be enough for you + 1 kid, instead of getting 2 portions or 2 menus del peregrino. And buying things in markets to prepare at the albergue is quite cheap too.

EDIT: I just remembered something silly, but that can be useful.
I washed all my clothes by hand and let them dry hanging, so I saved money for not needing washers and driers (which is possible in a shorter route as the Portuguese). If the clothes were not completely dry in the morning, I would pin them to my backpack with safety pins and walk with them, drying in the sun.
Sharing food and suplimenting your diet from stores. Less bread, more protein, fruits and nuts too. Or put it on a card enjoy the adventure. It will be worth paying for
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#7
Remember that donativo does not mean free. While it's recommended that you leave an amount roughly equivalent to a municipal albergue, but if your budget is really tight, at least leave something. Also, for those albergues that offer a donativo meal, it's common for what you leave as a donation is used to pay for the food for the next evening's dinner. Buying food from the local mercado and fixing it yourself -- assuming a kitchen and implements are available -- is also a good way to save money.
 
Camino(s) past & future
considering (2018)
#8
No. The private room will always be more than two albergue beds; strangely, kids don't get a better rate, either. The fire stations have been a good source for a mattress on the floor, and have always been free. There are rumors that some bombeiros have become less welcoming as the number of pilgrims on the Camino Portugues has increased.
No. The private room will always be more than two albergue beds; strangely, kids don't get a better rate, either. The fire stations have been a good source for a mattress on the floor, and have always been free. There are rumors that some bombeiros have become less welcoming as the number of pilgrims on the Camino Portugues has increased.
Thanks Falcon, I hadn't realized that about fire stations (interesting even if no longer a frequent option)
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central, Santarem-Santiago - 2017; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia - 2018
#11
If you are walking in summer Portugues Central could be cheaper then the Coastal way as near the ocen finding budget accommodation could be a challenge. On the coast look for Orbitur campings, they have discounts for pilgrims and have great conditions but they are usually very popular in summer. Central way would be more budget as there are more accommodation options there, both municipal and private. Municipal albergues would be the best option, sharing a private room would be more costly. Look for menu del dia as well as pilgrims's menu, sometimes they have a better value. The portions in Porugal are so huge that it's totally fine to share one for two. Local farmers markets and supermarkets are great to get food, most of the municipal albergues in Portugal have good kitchens where you can cook, in Galicia it's more of a challenge as they are mostly bare. I've just returned from another Camino in Portugal, Interior, cooked for 2 weeks all the way to Santiago, was a very budget trip. Stayed a night at Bombeiros/Firemen as well, was fine although no place to cook there. If you walk in late summer/early autums the locals may offer you some fruit when you just walk past - that happened to us so many times! And sometimes foraging for fruit and nuts in the middle of nowhere was a way to save them from spoiling! A bowl of veg soup is just 1.5-2 euros in most cafes and sometimes that's all you need at the moment. On my 3rd Camino I decided to take a coil for heating up water - used it for making our own tea and coffee. Another observation is that you don't feel hungry much if it's hot, then you drink a lot of water instead. No need to get bottle water either. I also washed clothes myself, this is what most pilgrims do anyway, they dried overnight or I put them on top of my backpack to dry while I walked. My budget: Porto to Santiago, 9 days, 160-170 euros. Santarem to Porto 10 days, 210 euros (Lisbon to Porto is more expensive). Both times stayed in both municipal and private albergues, went out to restaurants for pilgrim's menu a lot. Hope that helps! Bom Caminho! :)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
I am walking part of the Camino from 2nd September to 18th, Leon to Santiago.
#13
If you are walking in summer Portugues Central could be cheaper then the Coastal way as near the ocen finding budget accommodation could be a challenge. On the coast look for Orbitur campings, they have discounts for pilgrims and have great conditions but they are usually very popular in summer. Central way would be more budget as there are more accommodation options there, both municipal and private. Municipal albergues would be the best option, sharing a private room would be more costly. Look for menu del dia as well as pilgrims's menu, sometimes they have a better value. The portions in Porugal are so huge that it's totally fine to share one for two. Local farmers markets and supermarkets are great to get food, most of the municipal albergues in Portugal have good kitchens where you can cook, in Galicia it's more of a challenge as they are mostly bare. I've just returned from another Camino in Portugal, Interior, cooked for 2 weeks all the way to Santiago, was a very budget trip. Stayed a night at Bombeiros/Firemen as well, was fine although no place to cook there. If you walk in late summer/early autums the locals may offer you some fruit when you just walk past - that happened to us so many times! And sometimes foraging for fruit and nuts in the middle of nowhere was a way to save them from spoiling! A bowl of veg soup is just 1.5-2 euros in most cafes and sometimes that's all you need at the moment. On my 3rd Camino I decided to take a coil for heating up water - used it for making our own tea and coffee. Another observation is that you don't feel hungry much if it's hot, then you drink a lot of water instead. No need to get bottle water either. I also washed clothes myself, this is what most pilgrims do anyway, they dried overnight or I put them on top of my backpack to dry while I walked. My budget: Porto to Santiago, 9 days, 160-170 euros. Santarem to Porto and then to Vila do Conde, 10 days, 210 euros (Lisbon to Porto is more expensive). Both times stayed in both municipal and private albergues, went out to restaurants for pilgrim's menu a lot. Hope that helps! Bom Caminho! :)
Hi Surya,
Thank you for all this information. I have an even bigger dilemma. I only have 300 UK pounds and I have a ticket for 4 weeks starting finishing in Lisbon. I was going to walk the coastal but as you said the central is cheaper. I can stay with someone in Porto and then walk back to Lisbon. It would cost if I changed my ticket now.
Angie
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#14
Hi Surya,
Thank you for all this information. I have an even bigger dilemma. I only have 300 UK pounds and I have a ticket for 4 weeks starting finishing in Lisbon. I was going to walk the coastal but as you said the central is cheaper. I can stay with someone in Porto and then walk back to Lisbon. It would cost if I changed my ticket now.
Angie
Angie you should reconsider your budget, that's not going to be enough to stretch to cover 4 weeks. We used to budget on 50 euro for two us per day, that's assuming alburges are between 8 to 16 euro each per night, main meal 10 euro each and some for beer and bandages. Costs on the Camino have risen so I'd probably allow a little more for my next Camino. Yes you can save on cooking, washing etc but things come up and you never know when you need to pay for hotel, replacement shoes or even just that pastry you really need to get you up the next hill. While the Camino often provides, and suffering is part of the journey, don't start with such a small budget or all you are going to do is worry over money, and never stay at refuge without paying, that's why they are called donativo.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central, Santarem-Santiago - 2017; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia - 2018
#15
I only have 300 UK pounds and I have a ticket for 4 weeks starting finishing in Lisbon. I was going to walk the coastal but as you said the central is cheaper. I can stay with someone in Porto and then walk back to Lisbon. It would cost if I changed my ticket now.
Angie
hm, that is tight indeed but could be manageable. Depends if you can handle traveling on a tight budget. I came from 22days walking Portugues Interior+Sanabres+Fisterra&Muxia in June, spent 340 euros there walking 525km. I cooked almost all the way. It includes 3 nights in the hotels/hostels on the way and 2 nights in hotels/hostels in Santiago and eating out some seafood a couple of times. Anyway I had some emergency money that I could use but didn't need to. If I get it right and you are planning to walk all the way from Lisbon to Porto and then to Santiago on 300 pounds, you need a strategy there and you need to stick to it no matter what. You may not like it. That would mean mainly cooking your own food (breakfast, dinner), having snacks with you, staying mainly in municipal albergues or Bombeiros, meaning maybe being in a hurry to get there on time, no souveneers, no seafood, most probably no drinks. But I see the biggest challenge here not in the amount of pocket money but in the number of days for the trip. 4 weeks is a lot of nights to spend on accommodation. If you have friends/family on the way, you said in Porto, it could help a bit. Look into volunteering somewhere on the way or in Santiago - for room and board - if you have time. Would I go if I had only 300pounds for 4 weeks? Yes, I would but I can't advice it to anyone else not knowing the person. Bom Caminho! :)
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#16
hm, that is tight indeed but could be manageable. Depends if you can handle traveling on a tight budget. I came from 22days walking Portugues Interior+Sanabres+Fisterra&Muxia in June, spent 340 euros there walking 525km. I cooked almost all the way. It includes 3 nights in the hotels/hostels on the way and 2 nights in hotels/hostels in Santiago and eating out some seafood a couple of times. Anyway I had some emergency money that I could use but didn't need to. If I get it right and you are planning to walk all the way from Lisbon to Porto and then to Santiago on 300 pounds, you need a strategy there and you need to stick to it no matter what. You may not like it. That would mean mainly cooking your own food (breakfast, dinner), having snacks with you, staying mainly in municipal albergues or Bombeiros, meaning maybe being in a hurry to get there on time, no souveneers, no seafood, most probably no drinks. But I see the biggest challenge here not in the amount of pocket money but in the number of days for the trip. 4 weeks is a lot of nights to spend on accommodation. If you have friends/family on the way, you said in Porto, it could help a bit. Look into volunteering somewhere on the way or in Santiago - for room and board - if you have time. Would I go if I had only 300pounds for 4 weeks? Yes, I would but I can't advice it to anyone else not knowing the person.
Very sound advice although I didn't walk Portugues and Caminos in Spain are a little bit more expensive. But if you'll be able to stay in municipals and eat from your backpack all the way it's doable I think. Just put down the note of how much you've spent in your notebook each day to know what's a wiggle space. You do need some of that. A treat here and there or at least in Santiago or Fisterra/Muxia.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am walking part of the Camino from 2nd September to 18th, Leon to Santiago.
#17
Angie you should reconsider your budget, that's not going to be enough to stretch to cover 4 weeks. We used to budget on 50 euro for two us per day, that's assuming alburges are between 8 to 16 euro each per night, main meal 10 euro each and some for beer and bandages. Costs on the Camino have risen so I'd probably allow a little more for my next Camino. Yes you can save on cooking, washing etc but things come up and you never know when you need to pay for hotel, replacement shoes or even just that pastry you really need to get you up the next hill. While the Camino often provides, and suffering is part of the journey, don't start with such a small budget or all you are going to do is worry over money, and never stay at refuge without paying, that's why they are called donativo.
Thanks Ivar, it's how it's gone this year. Ironically, I will have a lot of money coming to me in October. Angie
 

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