How to Plan Your Travel Budget for Europe in 2024

If you’re dreaming of a vacation in Europe this year, it’s important to plan your travel budget accordingly. One question that often comes up is how much cash you should bring to Europe. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to help you navigate Europe’s travel expenses and determine the ideal amount of cash you should carry.

But what if you prefer to travel cash-free? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also introduce you to the Wise card, your ultimate travel companion. With the Wise card, you can enjoy low-cost spending and ATM withdrawals in over 150 countries, including Europe.

Should You Bring Cash When Traveling to Europe?

While having some cash on hand can be useful, debit and credit cards are widely accepted in most European cities. Paying with cards is often more convenient and eliminates the potential security risks associated with carrying cash. However, it’s important to check your card provider’s fees for spending abroad. The good news is that many travel credit cards for Europe offer no foreign transaction fees and even provide rewards like points, air miles, or cashback. Some cards also offer convenient mobile apps that allow you to track your spending effortlessly.

Safe, Convenient, and Low-Cost Travel Spending in Europe with the Wise Card

Carrying cash can be a hassle, from the inconveniences of currency conversion to the safety risks involved. That’s where the Wise card comes in. It’s an excellent alternative for your travel spending needs in Europe. The Wise card is contactless and can be used in over 150 countries, including the UK and across the EU. For a one-time fee of just $9, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Automatic conversion of your dollars to euros at the mid-market exchange rate whenever you spend.
  • Foreign ATM withdrawals of up to $100 a month with no fees (note that ATM operators may charge their own fees).
  • A Wise Account that allows you to send money to and from Europe at low, transparent fees.
  • EUR bank details, enabling you to receive euro payments for free while in the US.

Wise is a trusted money service business that provides a multi-currency account, international money transfer services, and a debit card. It’s the perfect solution to make your travel spending in Europe safe, convenient, and cost-effective.

Travel Costs in Major European Cities for 2024

To determine how much travel money you’ll need for your European getaway, it’s essential to understand the average costs in different cities. Here’s a look at the prices for a hotel room, evening meal, travel, and a tourist attraction in five major European cities:

  • Paris, France:

    • Hotel room for 2 nights: $490
    • 3-course meal + wine for 2 (x 2 nights): $111 x 2
    • 48-hour travel card: $23
    • Top tourist heritage attraction: $15
    • Total: $750
  • Berlin, Germany:

    • Hotel room for 2 nights: $477
    • 3-course meal + wine for 2 (x 2 nights): $122 x 2
    • 48-hour travel card: $20
    • Top tourist heritage attraction: $0
    • Total: $741
  • Athens, Greece:

    • Hotel room for 2 nights: $164
    • 3-course meal + wine for 2 (x 2 nights): $52 x 2
    • 48-hour travel card: $15
    • Top tourist heritage attraction: $23
    • Total: $306
  • Rome, Italy:

    • Hotel room for 2 nights: $419
    • 3-course meal + wine for 2 (x 2 nights): $89 x 2
    • 48-hour travel card: $14
    • Top tourist heritage attraction: $27
    • Total: $638
  • Barcelona, Spain:

    • Hotel room for 2 nights: $436
    • 3-course meal + wine for 2 (x 2 nights): $83 x 2
    • 48-hour travel card: $19
    • Top tourist heritage attraction: $30
    • Total: $651

Please note that these prices are accurate as of July 25, 2023.

How Much Cash Should I Take for Europe?

Determining how much cash to bring to Europe depends on your destination and planned activities. As indicated by the travel costs table above, some European cities are more expensive than others. As a general rule, budgeting at least $100 per day for spending money is a good idea. This amount covers expenses such as food and drink, local transportation, and entry fees for attractions. Hotel costs, on the other hand, are usually paid in advance or settled by card upon check-out.

How Much Cash Do I Need to Bring for a 3-Week Trip in Europe?

If you’re embarking on a three-week vacation to Europe, your cash needs will vary depending on the country you’re visiting and your planned activities. By referring to the cost estimates in the table and using the $100-per-day guideline, you can calculate an estimate for your trip. Keep in mind that a three-week trip may require over $2,000 in spending money. However, the actual amount will depend on your destination and your preferences for dining, entertainment, and other expenses.

How Much Cash Can I Take on a Trip to Europe?

Aside from considering how much money you need, it’s crucial to be aware of the regulations regarding the amount of cash you can carry from the US to Europe. Here are the rules for each country:

  • Taking Cash Out of the United States: If you plan to carry more than $10,000 out of the country, you must declare it by filing a FinCEN Form 105 online with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

  • Bringing Cash into Europe: If you’re bringing more than €10,000 (or the equivalent in another currency) into the European Union, you must declare it to the customs authorities in the country you’re entering using the EU cash declaration form.

If you anticipate carrying a substantial amount of cash, it’s essential to consider security risks. Carrying a large sum of cash can be risky, and it may be more convenient to use a debit or credit card for your expenses or to utilize a money transfer service like Wise for specific transactions. Alternatively, if you plan to stay in Europe for an extended period, opening a European bank account could be a viable option.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, determining the amount of cash to bring to Europe depends on various factors such as your destination and planned activities. By considering the average costs in different European cities and budgeting at least $100 per day for spending money, you can plan your travel budget effectively. However, if you prefer to travel cash-free and avoid the hassle of carrying physical currency, the Wise card is an excellent solution. With its low-cost spending, ATM withdrawal options, and wide acceptance, the Wise card provides a safe, convenient, and cost-effective way to manage your expenses while traveling in Europe. Have a fantastic vacation!

Sourced used for this article:

  1. Post Office – City Costs Barometer: the best value city breaks
  2. U.S. Customs and Border Protection – How much currency/monetary instruments can I bring into the United States?
  3. Your Europe – Rules for taking cash in and out of the EU and traveling with cash in the EU

Sources checked on 25-Jul-2023.

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