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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)
Norte/Liebana (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.
 
Last edited:

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#4
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.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Norte/Liebana (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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williamlittig

Active Member
Donating Member
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
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Donating Member
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)
 
Camino(s) past & future
considering (2018)
#9
I appreciate it, thanks all. And I likely would have assumed that anything placed on the table in addition to what I'd ordered at a restaurant would be included, so nice to have that heads up too!
Buen caminos all
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central, Santarem-Santiago - May&Oct 2017; Portugues Interior & Sanabres - June 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 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! :)
 

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