Cost of European Trip - 1910
The cost of a European trip depends entirely on the time consumed. the route, and the type of accommodations required by the traveler. In planning a European trip the expense can be arrived at very closely by adding together the cost of ocean passage, both eastward and westward, not forgetting to allow for fees on the ocean, usually amounting to about $7.00 each way, and for other expenses which may be incurred at sea.
Add to this the cost of the railroad and steamship fares abroad. These can be readily obtained from any reliable tourist agency, which will furnish the tickets without any increase in cost for a lump sum.
This saves buying tickets, changing money, etc. After the cost of the ocean and land transportation is obtained, allow about $3.00 a day for hotel expenses, transfer of baggage. etc.
If the visitor goes to the very best hotels, this amount can of course be increased to almost any figure. but it is possible, even in London and Paris, to live comfortably for $3.00 a day, although it would perhaps he wiser to allow $4.00 a day in London and Paris, also possibly Berlin and Vienna.
If the very smartest hotels are to be patronized, about $5.00 a day should he allowed in these cities. Hotel coupons issued by a big tourist agency often save much trouble; they come in various forms.
Thus, one series provides for a bed-room, lights and attendance, plain breakfast and dinner at the table-d'hote at a uniform rate of eight shillings, ten francs, or $2.00 a day.
The second series, called "B," provides for bed-room, lights and attendance, meat breakfast and dinner at the table-d'hote. The third series, called "C," provides for full board, bedroom, lights and attendance, plain breakfast, luncheon at the table-d'hote, where customary, if not liberal luncheon and dinner at the table-d'hote, at a rate of ten shillings six pence, or thirteen francs a day, which with the fees would bring the expense up to about $3.00 a day, which may be reckoned as a fair average for the hotels in Europe. Of course, during the height of the season, or in great travel centers. as in Munich in the year of the Passion Play, rates are apt to be higher.
On the other hand, the accommodations can often be obtained at a much lower rate, especially where a stay of several days is to be made. Rates en pension can usually be secured. It should not be supposed that it is necessary in all cases to spend as much as $3.00 a day for actual living expenses.
Many persons make considerable stays in Europe and never pay over $2.00 a day at the outside, even in the four cities named. but the average visitor, especially if he is not particularly familiar with foreign languages, and if his time is limited to six or eight weeks, hardly feels like shopping around for a very moderate priced hotel, or cares to do the necessary bargaining to secure slightly decreased rates.
The rates in hotels in England are very high for the accommodations which are furnished. The same concern of tourist agents also issues a series of coupons for hotels of the second class.. These are issued at seven shillings six pence, or nine francs twenty-five centimes, a day. This is equivalent in American money to $1.85.
While the writer has had no personal experience with any but the high class of hotel coupons, an examination of the lists of hotels where they are available seems to indicate that while they are not perhaps of the first class, they are well spoken of by Baedeker, and the editor would be greatly pleased to know the experience of any one who has used these hotels.
We have shown how to compute the transportation and living expenses, and the amount stated should be sufficient to include the transferring of baggage and the necessary fees at hotels. The amount given, however, does not include wines or other beverages, cigars, ices, etc.
The expense of sight-seeing varies greatly in different places; thus in Switzerland where guides are often needed for excursions, the expense is greatly increased.
Sometimes the expense of sight-seeing may not be over 50 cents, other days it may be $2.00. A great deal depends on the number of cabs which are used and the number in the party.
The fees for showing a party of three or four over a castle or through a gallery are very often little greater than the fee for one person. It is possible with reasonable care to make a European trip for $400.00, and for $500.00 the trip could be made with great comfort.
The cost of living in Europe has increased, as in this country. It was possible twenty years ago to make a trip, including England, Belgium, Holland. Berlin, Dresden, Nuremberg, Munich. the Passion Play, Switzerland, Italy, as far as Naples, and the Riviera, as far as Nice, for between $600.00 and $700.00. It is doubtful if the same trip to-day could be made for less than $900.00 to $1,000.00.
Those who are obliged to limit their expenditure can do so by joining a specially conducted party, although it is probable that the traveler will be much better satisfied to travel by himself, or with a small party of friends.
A large tourist agency has, however, gotten up a system entitled, "Inclusive Independent" system of traveling without trouble. This will commend itself to American travelers who do not wish to be seen in the company of a large party with blatant conductors, and who nevertheless desire to be relieved of the worries and details connected with independent traveling tours, and which go far to mar the full enjoyment of the tour abroad.
By "Inclusive Independent" travel is meant that not only is the traveling expenditure necessary to a tour, included in the quoted fare, but that the details for the entire journey are so thoroughly worked out and arranged beforehand that no more trouble is experienced by the traveler than Is Incurred by giving orders to his servants at home.
As an example, let us suppose that a man is taking his wife and family for a trip abroad, an outline of the itinerary is submitted to a tourist agency who will arrange every detail of the journey so that at each halting place the travelers will be met by the omnibus from the hotel where rooms have been engaged and where they will be welcomed as expected guests.
If the wish has been expressed to include a drive to some place of interest. or for a guide for sight-seeing, he will simply call for the carriage or the guide, as the case may be. On the expiration of the stay the travelers will be conveyed to the train or steamer, as the case may be; they will be met at the next halting place as before, and so on to the end of the tour.
It may be said to resemble a succession of visits to the houses of friends. This method can be applied to tours where one wishes to travel reasonably as well as to where the acme of luxurious travel is desired. Second class tickets may be secured if desired, and still the traveler will have traveled without trouble.
As an in-stance of the case, let us take a three weeks tour from London by the following route: Harwich, Antwerp, Brussels, Luxemburg, Strassburg, Baden-Baden, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, the Rhine, Cologne, Amsterdam and The Hague.
For second class accommodations with rooms on the second floor, and for sight-seeing, the expense is 2.3 guineas, or $173.30. Or at an inclusive price of $5.58 a day, which, considering the cost in this country, seems like an extremely low figure. The combinations which can be made are almost endless and the trips can be prolonged at will.
No person need be deterred from a European trip if a reasonable amount of money is forthcoming. It is only necessary to write to one of the great tourist agencies and give an outline of what is required and in a general way the amount of money available.
The matter will be taken up by expert estimators and their reply will he forth-coming in a few days. With the in-formation and advice given in this book, and with the cost of the tours as outlined, there should be little difficulty in working out approximately the cost of a trip.