Women Studies 320

Financial Analysis

A lifelong dream:

Among many of my dreams, I have always wanted to backpack my way across Europe. It seems like a distant vision I have of being able to drop my responsibilities to just run away to a care free state of mind. There are so many places in the world that I want to see and quite a few of them happen to be in Europe. My ultimate goal is to taste, hear and feel as many aspects of other cultures that I possibly can, but I have narrowed my list down to five of my top choices.

I would first travel to Madrid, Spain, and then I would spend the next week traveling through Spain via euro-rail (which I will continue to use throughout my entire backpacking excursion, except when flying is absolutely necessary) to explore the sights by heading east towards Teruel, Valencia and Barcelona, maybe even boat to the Balearic Islands just off the coast. I love the Spanish culture, especially the food! After Barcelona I would begin another week-long trek to France, ambitiously traveling through Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Bourges, Chateau de Chambord, Paris, and finally to Rennes where I will catch a flight to Cork, Ireland.

My exciting Ireland adventure will begin in Cork, followed by Waterford, Limerick, Clonmacnois and finally, Dublin. I read a fascinating book, called “Herself” about a girl who travels to Ireland and falls in love with an Irish fellow who ends up following her back to the states. Being a romantic at heart, I loved this book and used to talk about going to Ireland to find my Irish fellow. Even though I already have my fellow (who, coincidentally, is Irish),  I will still venture to Ireland to spend my time soaking in every ounce of Irish festivities and fun before catching another flight, but this time I will be stopping in Amsterdam, Netherlands where I will spend about three days before entering Germany.

At this point, I am about halfway through my trip, but there are still so many places to explore! Hamburg, Bremen, Munster, Dusselforf, Rhine Valley, Frankfurt and Lake Constance all look like amazing places to discover. Ending my week-long Germany trip at Lake Constance will put me in the perfect position to sightsee through Switzerland as I make my way to Italy, my final country.

During my fifth and final week in Europe, I will venture from Milan and work my way down the eastern coast, down to Sicily and make my way to Rome. My final flight will take me home from Rome.

Who else is doing it?

Many other people have set out to explore Europe with a backpack, a map, a rail pass and some euros in their pocket. In Backpacking Europe, “Tom” writes about his experience backpacking through Europe. Like me, he and his girlfriend stayed in hostels for the majority of the time. They bought groceries and cooked in their hostels as much as possible, which is also something I would try to do. They went out to eat a few times as well. They traveled for about 2.5 months and spent an average of about $200/day. The Average Cost of Backpacking Europe: An In-depth Look at my 2 Month Trip.

Another traveler shared her experience on her blog, Happy Herbivore Blog. Lindsay Nixon wrote a journal about backpacking on a budget. She even said it ended up costing her less to live abroad than it would have to live in her New York apartment. She boasted that she was able to survive on just $30 per day, but this didn’t include airfare or rail passes, which were huge expenses in my trip. Backpack Across Europe on $1,000.

Barriers to my dream:

Money, money, money. If money weren’t an object, I could finance this trip without breaking a sweat. Unfortunately, I have a job here in Corvallis that doesn’t pay very well. In my current situation, it would take me almost three years to save enough money for this trip. I also have a dog that would need to be cared for. If my boyfriend came along with me, then we would have to either readjust our budget and it would be a struggle to find pet friendly places while abroad and far too expensive to board them for that long.


Since I won’t be in my current situation forever, I will most likely have to postpone my dream until it is more feasible. I will most likely save this opportunity for after I finish nursing school and have a decent paying job which will make it much easier to save for such a trip. However, I am going to keep saving, because maybe, just maybe I will get a chance sooner than expected.

My current finances/budget:

This is my current budget, which includes my tuition expenses for the 2012-2013 school year. My budget will change drastically once I am no longer in school and I will hopefully be able to contribute more money to my savings account, which I can use for things like a backpacking trip through Europe!

* Indicates that extra expenses accumulated have been paid using my credit card.

**Including pet food























Health Insurance




Car Insurance
















Credit Card Payment
















School supplies*



Total Expenses




Financial Aid




Net Income



Total Income



Disposable Income




My trip expenses:

In order to make my dream a reality, I will need to come up with roughly $7,000. This will include the cost of airfare to Spain, from France to Ireland, Ireland to The Netherlands, and from Italy back to the U.S. It will include a two month Eurorail pass which will allow me to travel through all of Europe any time, as many times as I need for eight continuous weeks. The budget includes enough money for food, primarily food purchased locally, rather than eating at restaurants. It will also include the cost of my passport, entertainment, nightly hostels, drinks and a “miscellaneous” category, which includes money for an emergency fund.

*** The “A touch of class” column contains additional expenses for a higher budget trip. I included an estimate of what it would cost to stay in a hotel for one night in each country I visit, on my cheaper trip, I would stay entirely in hostels and purchase food at local markets to prepare in the hostels. I would only eat out occasionally. “A touch of class” would allow me a larger food budget to go to nice restaurants, one per country. It also allows me extra funding for entertainment, such as going to museums, or boat rides. This more expensive trip would cost approximately $9,200.





Total trip (5 weeks)

“A touch of class”***









Rail pass






























Miscellaneous (Including emergency fund)













$ 201.50










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