Expenses & Travel Tips: Greece

Ahh Greece…   I loved our three weeks spent in Greece, minus the part where I got pick pocketed on the subway in Athens.  Despite losing the equivalent of roughly $100 CAD within the first hour of arriving in the country, we loved every minute here.   Unfortunately, we are again slightly over the anticipated daily budget.

Here is the cost breakdown of our 3 weeks spent in Athens, Crete and Santorini.

Greece 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food – $18.97

Home made mousaka

Home made mousaka

I thought we did a good job with cooking in Greece.  We opted for AirBnB in both Crete and Santorini and made good use of our kitchens.   I think especially in Santorini because everything is expensive there.  Overall, I think food cost is reasonable.   We could’ve cut some cost by going vegetarian but we were willing to spend a few extra bucks for meat.   On average, cooking cost about half as much as going out to eat.

Accommodation – $35.84

Aside from our suite in Santorini which was $130/night,

Suite in Crete

Suite in Crete

accommodation during the rest of the trip was pretty reasonable.   We really enjoyed our suite in Crete which cost $60/night via AirBnB.   We enjoyed it so much we decided to extend our stay by 4 nights.  Because we did this privately with the owner we saved roughly $10CAD a night from AirBnB service fees!!!

Other than the kitchen and the couch, AirBnB also meant free laundry, which came in handy for a beach vacation.

Going back to Santorini, we had trouble finding cheaper options because we booked so last minute and right in the middle of high season.  Even then, we looked at booking a hostel in Oia and prices were not any cheaper than our AirBnB suite.  The only way I can think of to save money is book well in advance and consider visiting during off season.

Activities – $6.11

IMG_6698We spent very little on activities in Greece as we were mostly just beach bums.   The three big items here were visits to the Acropolis in Athens, tour to Gramvoussa Island in Crete and a tour to volcano islands in Santorini.   Otherwise it was small things like sunbed and umbrella rentals at the beach.   I think the beach really helped prevent us from blowing the budget through the roof!

Travel – $10.42

Travel was surprisingly expensive in Greece.   We mostly just island hopped which meant taking the ferry.   It cost us $437.66 CAD to ferry from Athens to Crete, Crete to Santorini and Santorini back to Athens.    Not much we could’ve done to avoid this…

Other Travel – $13.83

This bucket includes taking the metro around Athens as well as renting a car and scooter in Crete.  We had a car in Crete for 4 days at $50CAD/day plus extra cost for gas.   I have to admit it was more expensive tDSC_0951han i’d like but because Crete is such a massive island, having a car really added to our overall experience.  Again, we visited during super high season so all prices are inflated including rentals.   We also had a scooter for one day and fell off and scratched the bike.  That costed us 20 Euros in damages.

So… tips for saving money?   Try not to damage your rental vehicle :)

Note:  We opted for the car for a longer duration vs the scooter because we didn’t want to ride a scooter for 4 hours each way to each some of the sites.    Like I said, Crete is massive!

Other $2.42

This is from losing 70 Euros to the pickpocket in Athens.    A good way to shave some money off our daily spend would have been to keep a better eye on my wallet!  *sigh*

General Tips

AirBnB

We really like using this service but I have to admit the service and cleaning fees are a pain in the ass.  We’ve done this a few times now where we booked our original stay, usually 3-4 days, on the site but if we ever wanted to extend our stay we’d do it directly with the owners.    From our experience we were able to save around $5 to $10 off the nightly rate.  This makes a big difference if you were staying long enough.    The only downside is if someone else booked your dates online.

Backup Credit Cards & Debit Cards

With the pickpocket incidence, we were really lucky to have a good back up system for accessing our travel funds.   We mainly used my TD account because it offers free international withdrawals.   Before leaving for our trip, I made Paul a secondary account holder so he also had a debit card for our account.  On the credit card front, Paul made me secondary card holder for his Chase Amazon Visa which offers zero foreign exchange fees.   This way, in case either one of us fall victim to theft, we still have access to funds.   Paul also had his regular checking account which was back up to our back up plan.

The thief did try to guess my password at an ATM so I highly advise everyone to use a secure code.

 

And that is all for Greece!   You can check out more photos here.

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