Last year we traveled six months through Spain and Portugal in a camper trailer with our baby. This is not solely for the rich and famous (although I doubt rich and famous people would travel willingly in a trailer). We are a regular family and we could afford traveling for six months without worries. We didn’t win the lottery, we just had some savings and we were setting up our business so we could travel as digital nomads. Curious about our expenses? Here are our average monthly costs (calculated over a period of six months) for traveling Europe with RV and baby.
Big discount on campings with ACSI CampingCard
When you travel from campsite to campsite during the low season, you should definitely buy an ACSI CampingCard. It costs you approximately €15 (for a year, books are included) and you can stay at thousands of campsites in Europe for a very low rate. There are campsites for €11, €13, €15, €17 and €19 per night. On the website and app, you can easily search for campsites near your destination. Take an extra good look at the reviews. These will tell you if the campsite is OK or not worth visiting.
Kids are not always included, though.
When you see this symbol, max 3 kids up to the age of 5 are included in the fee. If not included, you probably pay a couple of euros per night per child extra.
Discount for long stay
Some campsites give discounts for a long term stay. Check their websites for their fee. If you stay a longer period, the long stay fee can be cheaper than the ACSI fee. We were once at a beautiful campsite at the Costa del Sol in Spain. The ACSI fee was €15 per night, but we stayed there for two months and because of their long stay discount, we only paid €11 per night.
Curious which campsite this is? I have another website about family camping where you can read all my reviews. See my review about Camping Mar Azul near Balerma for more details about this very nice campsite.
On a campsite in the north of Spain near Haro.
Monthly costs of traveling Europe in an RV with baby
We used the ACSI CampingCard or the long term fee if this was cheaper. On average, staying on campsites cost us €450 per month.
Our groceries on the road are similar as when we stay in a house in the Netherlands. We even did most of it at the same supermarket (Lidl)! I must add that we almost never went out to dinner and that we had lots of expenses for diapers.
Travel expenses (gasoline and toll) €150
Your travel expenses depend on how much you travel. We traveled very slow, so we had relatively little travel expenses. We do drive a diesel, which is cheaper than gasoline, but we pay extra for road taxes. Also, towing a trailer behind your car will increase your gasoline cost.
And don’t forget toll for certain highways. Especially the famous Route du Soleil in France (all the way from Luxembourg via Dijon to Montpellier) is expensive. We paid (in low season) more than €100.
You can avoid the toll expenses by driving on smaller roads. For us this wasn’t option. We have a huge camper trailer and driving for hours over smaller roads was exhausting. We also got stuck in a small town, which was not something we wanted to repeat.
Oh and do mind the maximum speed. We got a fine of €50 which is absolutely a waste of money.
In total, we paid €310 per month on insurances:
||health care insurance
Mobile phone €0
Yes, you read that correctly, a big zero! We both already had a smartphone and a sim only plan so we ended our subscriptions and bought two prepaid cards. We never used these cards, though, because we always had wifi on the campsite and we never used it for that old fashioned thing called calling.
Costs of our ‘home’ €320
We didn’t own a house anymore when we left, so we didn’t had any expenses for rent or mortgage, electricity and such. We did pay the following, though:
||pay off student loans
We bought a travel trailer second hand and it was a huge chump out of our savings: €9000. It was, however, a once only expense.
Maintenance and repair for car and RV
We already owned a car that could tow our RV, but we still had some maintenance for both. For example, after three months traveling with our trailer, we realized we didn’t have a spare tire. We bought one online for €126 and let it deliver on the campsite. These are the kind of expenses you need to be prepared for.
Excursions, devices, and clothes
This is very personal. We hiked and cycled a lot, never went out for dinner, and we only paid entrance a couple of times. When you like to go to theme parks, swimming pools, and musea, you need to take these costs into account.
As a digital nomad, you will have a lot of devices with you. Unfortunately, these sometimes need replacement or repairs. My husband laptop screen was shattered, for example.
Also very personal is the cost for clothes. We are no fanatic shoppers and we like to have a minimum of stuff. We only spend money on the essential items. My husbands walking shoes were almost in shreds, so he needed a new pair. And our baby started walking halfway our trip, so he needed shoes as well.
Summary of our monthly costs
||Cost of our ‘home’
||Maintenance car/RV, excursions, and other extras
||Total monthly expenses
In the end, we had around €2200 monthly expenses while we were on the road. With more slow travel, you can decrease this amount even more.
So, do you think traveling with an RV and baby through Europe is expensive? Would you like to go on such an adventure with your family?
If you have any questions, leave a comment down here or send me an email digitalnomadwithkids [at] gmail [.] com.
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