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24 Months Costs of Travelling Full-Time In A Motorhome Around Europe

24 Months Costs of Travelling Full-Time In A Motorhome Around Europe

Introduction

I’ve been asked what does it cost to live a lifestyle of travelling full-time through Europe in a Motorhome.  So, what better way to answer this than to show you all our costs.

It’s often not as expensive as people expect and you will see by our figures that the further we travel the cheaper it has become.

There are two reasons for this.

1.  During the last six months, we spent nine weeks in Morocco where the cost of living was low.

2.  Everything we need to set up our motorhome has now been purchased.

We have travelled 39,226 km to and around 41 countries, 26 of them unique, in two years.

All Our Costs Revealed

All figures are in Euros

Here is what the weekly average costs across 24 months looks like in a chart format.  Starting from the largest expense being groceries (in blue), follow the graph clockwise, ie diesel is next in red, eating out next in green, etc.

The following costs are excluded from the above figures:
* Insurances (for our Motorhome, Healthcare, Travel and Personal Insurances, eg Life, Trauma, etc)
* Setting up costs, eg cups, plates, linen, blankets, etc basically everything that we needed to live in a motorhome.
* Extra-ordinary Maintenance on the motorhome. Our first and second year habitation inspection costs are included.

We haven’t incurred MOT expenses as yet as we purchased Betsy new and only need a MOT after she turns four in 2021, and then only need a MOT every second year (she is French registered).

Betsy Juice (Diesel for our motorhome)

Our running costs continue to be fairly consistent with our fuel economy based on the odometer, and actual diesel purchased, working out at around 10.45 l/100km or 27 mpg.  The Renault on-board computer reported us running around 9.6 l/100km (close to 30 mpg) so I don’t know which one to believe.  The low diesel costs in Morocco helped to keep our fuel bill down to a respectable level although travelling through Portugal, France and Italy bumped it up again.

Total Cost for Diesel € 5,096
Average Cost per Litre €1.24
Average cost per km € 0.1265
Average Miles Per Gallon27.01
Total Kilometres traveled 39,226
Average Litres/100kms
10.45
Total Litres consumed
4,101

If you happen to notice the difference in diesel costs recorded here against our cost above, then well done.  The difference relates to driving two different vehicles, ie while in Tuscany when we had a second motorhome.  Therefore we didn’t include these costs for Betsy, but they must be recorded as an expense.

Accommodation

Below is a look at the split in accommodation costs.  In 24 months (730 nights away) we have stayed in 369 different places.  That’s like saying we had 369 homes during this time! 

Of these 74% were wild camping (free of cost), 12% were spent in camping grounds, 11% in camper parking and 3% in AirBnB accommodation.

The nine weeks of staying in Morocco has pushed up the camping ground usage (and reduced our wild camping figures).  Thankfully the cost of staying in camping grounds in Morocco is very reasonable.   

Moroccan Goats Interested In Betsy

18 Months Costs

18 Months Costs

The reason we disclose our expenses isn’t to show how cheap or expensive it is to live on the road, but to give others an idea of what it might cost them to live this lifestyle. We believe, after talking with others, that our costs fall within an ‘average’ range. We spend according to our value system. We certainly don’t live to ‘exist’ and we do enjoy visiting the local attractions, to see and do things designed for tourists, which is what we are.

For those of you who have stumbled across this page without clicking through the link on our 18 month blog, you could be wondering why the cost of diesel has increased in the third six month period. Reason; we travelled through Scandinavia from July to November 2018 including the notoriously expensive country of Norway. It was a surprise to us that the average weekly costs didn’t go up more, however we managed to avoid many of the expensive activities, eg eating out.

The following costs are excluded from the above figures:
* Insurances (for our Motorhome, Healthcare, Travel and Personal Insurances, eg Life, Trauma, etc)
* Setting up costs, eg cups, plates, linen, blankets, etc basically everything that we needed to live in a motorhome. Although there are some ongoing setup costs that come under the category ‘household’, for example our vacuum cleaner and additional sets of sheets (winter).
* Extra-ordinary Maintenance on the motorhome, eg air shocks that we had fitted in Greece. Our first year service cost is included.

We haven’t incurred MOT expenses as yet as we purchased Betsy new and only need a MOT after she turns four in 2021, and then only need a MOT every second year (she is French registered).

Betsy’s Winning Photo in The Inspiring Camper’s Calendar for 2019

The Cost of Living for Six Months in a Motorhome

We have just reconciled our accounts for the last six months of traveling through Europe in our Motorhome and we are happy to share these with you. Alan and I are a married couple, traveling from New Zealand with no children or pets. We arrived in Rome on 17th June 2017 and our reconciliation goes until 16th December 2017, ie six months. We collected our brand new Motorhome on 29th June from Genola, Italy.

Our request, in return, is if you know your costs, and you are happy to share these with us (we understand everyone isn’t) then we’d love to see how we compare in an effort to improve our spending habits or convince each other to spend more (hardly)!

We can guarantee that these figures have been checked thoroughly, not only to each receipt (we keep every receipt ever given), and record our expenses as they happen daily on an app, but we have also reconciled our expenses in our Excel Spreadsheet to each of our bank accounts that we are using while traveling.

On our spreadsheet we record the date, the store name (where possible given the language barriers), the location of the transaction, the category (eg groceries, diesel, telephone/internet, etc) and the amount spent.

When sharing this information it is also important to know where we have been traveling to, as countries differ in costs. In the last six months we have spent money in the following countries; Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, and Turkey.

We often see others sharing their costs, usually to show how ‘little’ they spend. Quite often I can easily see things that have been missed that I know people spend (I’ve been advising people on their budget for years and know this to be true).

I believe these figures may surprise you, they surprised us, but I can guarantee these are possibly the most accurate figures you will ever find on the true cost of living in a motorhome.

Here’s our Expenses in Euros. These figures exclude Motorhome purchase, setup costs (it was a brand new motorhome so needed kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom supplies), and insurances.

6 months Per week Monthly
Groceries (includes beer and wine) 2,803.45 107.83 467.24
Haircuts, pharmacy, medical, books, clothing, shoes, tools, bike insurance, fishing gear, souvenirs, website costs, laundry, misc 1,666.98 64.11 277.83
Cash unaccounted for* 1,636.68 62.95 272.78
Eating out 1,195.11 45.97 199.18
Diesel 1,122.37 43.17 187.06
Household 412.07 15.85 68.68
Attractions 720.80 27.72 120.13
Camper Parking 536.16 20.62 89.36
Telephones/internet 459.23 17.66 76.54
Camping Grounds 433.68 16.68 72.28
Repairs 431.13 16.58 71.86
Tolls 239.42 9.21 39.90
Transport 190.45 7.32 31.74
Gas 120.86 4.65 20.14
Accommodation 100.00 3.85 16.67
Net Total € 12,068.38 € 464.17 € 2,011.40

 

*                While living in Australia (for the past eight years) we were advising people of their budget and spending habits. We know for a fact that it is easy to not account for some small items, eg tips, donations, churches, a cake or coffee. We were surprised to see that we had such a large unaccounted for amount, ie €1,636.68. At home we would usually limit our cash to $25 per week, but this isn’t always possible while traveling.  We stayed in Turkey for five weeks and our spending was mainly cash, which makes up a large portion of this sum.

Therefore, we have decided to make a more concerted effort to record even the smallest amounts of money that we spend and will report back after the next six months, so stay tuned.

If you have any questions about our costs, please feel free to ask. We are happy to open our accounts up to further clarification and understanding.