For the month of September we finished our stay in Krakow, Poland, stayed one week in Lviv, Ukraine and the rest of the month we were located in Brasov, Romania. After Poland our original plan was to fly to Turkey. But then Jason suggested that we travel overland through Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. My initial reaction was, “Absolutely not!” Now I am not sure why I was so against it. I mean who goes to Ukraine? But after much discussion it seemed like the most logical and cheapest way to get to Turkey. I must say that I am really glad that Jason talked me into it. We had a marvelous month exploring several countries that are a little less touristy, but equally as beautiful and met several very nice people along the way.
So how did we do for the month of September? I am excited to say we came under budget. Our total costs for the month were $2691.45 USD, or $89.72 per day, or $29.91 per person per day! Not too shabby if I may say so myself.
During our stay in Ukraine, 1 USD equaled approximately 8.13 UAH. While in Romania, initially 1 USD equaled 3.40 Lei. However, with the government shutdown looming the USD tumbled and by the end it equaled 3.25 Lei. I could probably say a lot here about my thoughts on the US government, but I won’t.
Our largest expenditure for the month was lodging for a total of $911.82. Our accommodations for one week in Lviv cost $179 and for a month in Brasov cost $693. We had one night in a hotel while in transition between Lviv and Brasov spending the night in Suceava for a total cost of $39.82.
Our next biggest expenditure was for food for a total cost of $743.41. We spent $527.75 on groceries and $205.05 on dining out. We also had $10.61 under miscellaneous category for a birthday cake for Sydney. Happy Birthday my lovely daughter! I am so glad you are with us on this round the world adventure.
Our next biggest expenditure was for transportation for a total cost of $615.81. We took the bus from Krakow, Poland to Lviv, Ukraine costing $104.10. We took a train from Lviv to Suceava, Romania, which cost $133.47 and a bus from Suceava to Brasov, Romania, which cost $38.34. While in Brasov, we rented a car for 8 days in order to explore more of Transylvania region of Romania. The total cost for the car and fuel was $292. We also had miscellaneous expenditure for parking while at Bran Castle for a total of $3.02. The total expenditure for local transportation was $44.22. We found that the taxis in Brasov were relatively cheap costing about $2 to get across town. In Lviv the tram was incredibly cheap costing us less than a dollar for all of us to ride it.
Our next biggest expenditure was for miscellaneous items for a total of $210.44. Miscellaneous expenditures included clothes for Sydney and a new pair of jeans for Jason and I, a birthday gift for Sydney, cough medication, a road map of Romania and the cost for pay toilets. In Europe, there’s always a fee to pee!
Our total expenditures for entrance fees were $131.58. While in Lviv, we went to several museums including the Folk Architecture Museum, the Brewery Museum, Ethnology, and Arsenal Museum. Although the museums in Lviv were in general small, they were incredibly cheap to get into. Most of the museums cost less than $5 for all of us to get in. If you ever stay in Lviv, I highly recommend seeing the Folk Architecture Museum, which contains traditional buildings from around Ukraine including wooden churches that are several hundred years old.
While in Brasov, we rented a car for a week and enjoyed exploring the many castle, forts, and fortified churches of the Transylvania region. We really enjoyed exploring Transylvania, as it is truly very beautiful. But I think we would all agree that we have reached official burnout stage for castles, forts and fortified churches. That being said, our favorites were Peles Castle and the Fortified Church of Viscri.
Our total expenditures for entertainment were $50.16. Entertainment included watching Swan Lake in the Lviv Opera house, the walking tour of Brasov, bowling in Brasov, and a bouncy house. I highly recommend that if you are in Lviv catch a performance in the Lviv Opera House. The performance was absolutely amazing and it was a bargain costing about $12 per person.
Our total expenditures for communication were $27.99. Under communication included a new Romanian SIM card for our mobile phone, stamps, and postcards.
Although Romania and Ukraine were not on our original itinerary, I am so glad that we decided to visit. We found both Romania and Ukraine to be very cheap. I am positive that Romania and Ukraine can easily be seen even cheaper than what we did without sacrificing comfort or missing out on doing some fun stuff.
Bethaney - Flashpacker Family says
Great round up post! I love reading these kinds of detailed budgets. 🙂
Thanks! I think it is always helpful to see what others are spending as it gives a rough idea about how much things will cost.
Heidi @WagonersAbroad says
You are making me want to go there! Now I am thinking we should do a little Eastern Europe before heading over to SEA…. Oh, so much to see.
Yes! So much to see so little time 🙂 Before this I had absolutely no desire to see Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria, but am so glad we did. There are so many interesting sites and places to see and it is beautiful. When do you guys head to SEA?
Heidi Wagoner says
Yes, we didn’t really think of those places either. I must say after reading about them from you and a few others, it looks more appealing. As of this moment we are thinking of heading to SEA over the summer. Likely in July, but who knows. We still have about 7 month to change our plans a hundred times.
LOL! Isn’t that the fun part of travel. The world is your oyster.
What a great budget break down. You got some awesome deals and that cake looks delicious. Seems like you did some cool stuff too e.g., the car hire, rather than keeping to an excessively low budget.
Thanks Kathryn! Romania and Ukraine were amazing! For us, part of travel is seeing the sites and so if we can afford to see it we will definitely try.
Dave D says
I just spent nearly this much on 4 plane tickets. To California. I must learn from your wisdom. Sounds like you are having a great time!
Dave I hope all is well with you and your family! LOL! I don’t have that much wisdom. Hope you have a fabulous time in California. Where are you headed?