How to build a budget for holidays in Greece

I have often been put in a position to not be able to answer the question: How much does a holiday in Greece cost? It seemed to me as general and with as many answers as the question: How much does a pair of shoes cost? Every time I answered how much I spent. However, we do not all have the same vision of the holiday and each must build their own holiday budget in Greece.

As a pair of shoes can cost from 100  to 3000 euros, depending on several factors, it can also vary the cost of a holiday from several hundred to several thousand euros.

Why do we have to take into account when we make a budget for holidays in Greece

I think, first of all, we should answer the question: why am I going to Greece? If the answer is because it’s fashionable, I hear it’s cheap and it was the friend/neighbor/High school colleague, probably the most household solution is to go to the source.  Ask the friend/neighbor/colleague to draw us and write us with the indent at the end where, how, with whom he was and how much it cost. Then we accurate reproduce his vacation. If we don’t get out, at least we have someone to blame. If another is the purpose for which we decided to spend a stay in Greece, then things change and we need to  work a little bit. It’s not hard, and if we keep in mind that the budget is not a pharmacy, we can set some minimum and maximum limits. There are two methods that I have successfully used:

  1. I set a fixed amount and sought to fit into it.
  2. I was looking for the holiday I wanted and I started collecting money.

But for that, I answered some questions

  1. Why do I go and what do I want to do?

  2. When do I go?

  3. Who am I going with?

  4. What am I going with?

  5. Where do I go?

  6. Where am I checking in?

  7. What and where do I eat?

Then I made a few lists of expenses that I grouped into

  • Expenses required

  • Useful expenses

  • Adjacent expenses and unforeseen expenses

Budget for holidays in Greece-expenses required

Transport in Greece

Air transport

If we choose an airplane charter, we also have an airport shuttle. If, however, we choose a line flight, then things get a little complicated for the Greek islands. Excepting the island of Crete, where in the 2018 season the Elinair company operates direct flights, the rest of the islands depart from Athens airport. As much as I tried the classic search engines from us, I didn’t find any stopover flights under 10 hours. Only at Olympic Air I found flights to islands with stopovers ranging between 50 minutes and 5 hours.

* Note If the stopover is very long and at night, add to the budget an intermediate accommodation on every sense of walking and airport transfer.

Bus transport 

It’s a cheap alternative, but on short distances. I chose many times this variant, in Thassos, Corfu and Agios Ioannis Pelion.

Car Transport

I don’t think there’s a place in Greece that you can’t get by car. When we make up the budget for car transport, we need to take into account, first of all, the cost of fuel and road taxes. The best route planner I have found in this regard is via Michelin. Unfortunately, it does not work in real time like Waze or other navigation applications. Just print the route and rely on your visual memory if you don’t have a good co-pilot. Maybe not on the road, but at the destination we have to consider parking fees, where they exist. For example, I would not personally go to Athens by car. Parking lots are very few, and where they are, they’re not cheap.

* Caution: Do not carry fuel in the canisters and even less in PET! Fines aren’t small.

If we want to drive to the Greek islands, then we need to allocate money for ferry-boat crossing. Here can be decisive factor where and with whom we go. The larger the distance, the higher the price/car and the person. If you go two couples, for example, you can share all expenses related to transportation. On long routes (North Sporades, Cyclade etc.) there is the possibility (and even is a must do) booking on line ferry-boat tickets. In addition to being able to obtain a price reduction, there is a guarantee that you will put the car on the boat.

Transport by Caravan

Comes with a little higher costs, but we have the advantage of the bearer accommodation. Camping costs should be considered: parking, water, electricity.

Accommodation in Greece

In the chapter of accommodation in Greece, factors intervene when, where, who I go with. In compiling the budget we must take into account the time we go. Summer holidays in Greece are divided into three season categories:

  1. Low-season from April to 31st May (except Easter holidays), 1-30 October
  2. Middle Season – 1 June – 15 July, 15 September-1 October 
  3. Peak season (high season)-15 July 15 September

The most appropriate is the middle season because it is not very hot, nor crowded, and the prices are a little lower than the high season. Just a few weeks ago I was looking for accommodation and saw that in June, a double room with breakfast cost 35 euros, and in August, the same room costs 75 euros. Just as important is where we choose to go. In an ultra tourist destination, such as Santorini or Mykonos, in the middle season we can pay on a double room the price of the same rooms in high season, but in a less tourist destination, for example, the Pelion Peninsula. If we count the number of stars and the facilities granted, the budget starts to look different. If we can share the costs of transport with friends, to the accommodation, things don’t always stay that way. If we want to stay together, we may need to get a small house to fit in. The downside is that, most of the time, such small houses have a single bathroom and possibly a toilet. At hotels, even if you can accommodate 4 adults or 3 adults and a child, there are not always separate bedrooms. And it’s all one bathroom. In Greece you can stay well in the tent. For this you have to consider the costs of camping and

* Attention: Do not camp on the beach or at the edge of the forest!

What and where do we eat in Greece?

If transport and accommodation things are relatively clear and predictable, at table chapter, if you ask 10 people you will get 11 answers. I remember, about 10 years ago and better, on a dedicated forum, it became ”flame” the topic of “How much a meal in Greece costs”. All those who have been to Greece at least once argued that a table for two people, with the main dish, garnish, salad and wine plus dessert on the house costs between 20 and 35 euros, depending on the chosen dishes (barbecue, cooked food, fish, seafood etc). A ”new comer” returned from vacation, made us liars all because he paid on a lunch almost 150 euros. Curiosity was maximal, and we really wanted to know what the lunch was about. I am specifying for those who have never been to Greece that the main dishes come with garnishes and salads and should not be ordered separately. The salads in the menu are as main dish and the fries are considered a snack. Returning to that lunch, it consisted of a barbecue with fries, one salad, one dessert, each, water, a fresh orange and… two bottles of wine. Well, yes, at taverns the price of a bottle of wine starts about 30 euros. The draught wine starts at 3-4 Euro/500 ml. Besides what and how much we eat, it also matters where. Not just in Greece, but all over the world, in very tourist areas food is more expensive than on the streets aside. I may not be the best example, but I allocate between 20 and 30 euros for a meal at the tavern. Sometimes we had a decent meal under 20 euros.

Budget for holidays in Greece-useful expenses

Here the opinions can be divided, some to consider them indispensable, others, unnecessary. I, for one, am considering every time I outline budget for the holidays.

Medical Travel Insurance

In the 15 years of travel to Greece, I actually needed medical travel insurance twice. I found that the procedure differs from doctor to doctor. The first time I showed up at the office, he consulted me, treated me, made a copy of the insurance, and that was it. The second time, it was a little more complicated. The Doctor Who consulted me and treated me told me he wasn’t working with insurance companies. I payed, kept all the documents and settleded on my return to the country.

Renting a car

It is useful when we do not came with car and when public transport does not cover all points of interest. Rental of a car is at least 24 hours and the price varies according to several factors. First it’s about the car class: small, Medium, high, luxury. Then the season we go and, again, where we’re going. All cars have third-part insurance. Most also have CDW insurance with franchise starting at 300 euros. Any supplementary endowment (child seat) or FDW Insurance is payable in addition.

Budget for holidays in Greece-adjacent expenses and unforeseen expenses

What would be a holiday in Greece or anywhere without an unforeseen dose? Without the surprise element? Most of the time, it puts salt and pepper into any experience, breaks the routine and leaves unerased memories.  That can be pleasant or unpleasant, but either way, they come with expenses. For example, there we can find some optional excursions that we didn’t know about, and it would be a shame to miss them. Maybe we want to drop the towel and sit comfortably on the lounger under an umbrella. In Greece there are very few hotels with private beach and sunbeds included in the price. The consumption on the beach, the small snacks between meals, whether we are talking about an ice cream or a pretzel, should also be taken into consideration. If we go with smaller children, we should also think about their little amusements (carousel, cars, etc.). Then the souvenirs come. For us, for relatives, friends, acquaintances. Although prices are not exaggerated, we always find that they gather. And, last but not least, even if we don’t like it, we have to consider fines or accidents.

How do you make a budget for your holiday in Greece?

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