What does a road trip through france cost

What does a road trip through france cost

France was never high on our travel bucket list. Not that France doesn’t have a lot to offer, but mainly because it’s not exactly a budget destination. Groceries, dining out, and fuel—it all costs quite a bit.

However, with our daily budget of 60 euros, it was doable if you’re a bit frugal. So, in 2020, we decided to drive to the southwest coast of France to spend a few days surfing. Well, Leroy did the surfing; I clumsily splashed around like a limited seal on a board in the water.

It turned into a 2-week mini road trip through France. We would have loved to stay longer, but as the travel advisories were being updated daily, we opted to move a bit quicker towards Italy. Curious about the cost of our road trip through France? We’ve itemized all the expenses for you.

frankrijk roadtrip

Saving on Expenses in France

France, unfortunately, isn’t cheap. Fuel is a tad more expensive than in the Netherlands, grocery costs are quite high, and dining within the daily budget was nearly impossible. This means you need to watch your budget on the road, but believe me, that’s not a bad thing.

If a destination is pricier, we cut back on groceries and cook creatively. We also skip expensive tourist attractions (especially those not dog-friendly) and take as many scenic routes as possible. Since dining out in France was exorbitant, we decided to have a drink during the day and bring some snacks to the beach for a picnic. Trust me, with the beaches in Southwest France, it’s absolutely delightful.

Budget Tips for Your Road Trip:

  • Drive slowly and cover short distances
  • Try to avoid toll roads as much as possible
  • Never fill up gas along the highway
  • Dine out less often and picnic more on the beach (or elsewhere)
  • Turn cooking at the camper into an event, making it feel like dining out
  • Plan your meals and do bulk shopping. Each week, I gather at least 4 recipes (at least half are new dishes) that I plan to cook. This way, you can match ingredients, visit the supermarket only once a week, and spend less on groceries.
  • Check your bank’s transaction fees beforehand. We both have a Knab account since this bank doesn’t charge extra for transactions in Europe.

Costs of Groceries during the Road Trip

As mentioned earlier in the article, grocery shopping in France isn’t exactly a delight. Prices are somewhat comparable to those in the Netherlands, but vegetables and meat are a bit pricier. Fortunately, we don’t eat meat, so we didn’t have to deal with those extra costs. Also, we dined out less frequently in France and opted for slightly more luxurious meals at the camper.

In total, we spent €287.22 on groceries. On average, that’s €20.52 per day.

Costs of Fuel & Tolls during Our Road Trip

A significant portion of our budget went into fuel costs, totaling €206.74 euros, roughly €14.77 per day.

Additionally, we paid €115.60 for tolls. Typically, we avoid toll roads, but due to our urgency to reach Italy quickly, fearing border closures, we chose the fastest route this time.

The majority of these expenses were for the crossing from France to Italy, where we had to pass through a tunnel, costing us €65.

Overall, fuel and tolls during this Europe road trip cost us €322.34. That averages out to €23 per day, which is about a third of our total budget.

Costs of Dining Out in France

It was quite a shock when we saw the beer prices in France at the first terrace in Mimizan. They were asking €7.50 for a small Tripel Karmeliet. HOLY MOLY! We decided to skip the craft beers.

Enjoying an extensive dinner out wasn’t really on the cards in France. Of course, we grabbed a burger a few times and had a drink, but we saved elaborate dining for Italy. Normally, I would be disappointed, but this time we decided to barbecue almost every day at the camper and have a drink on the beach at sunset. Not bad at all.

In total, we spent €168.40 on dining out. On average, that’s €12.03 per day during this road trip.

Costs of Camping & Camper Spots

Camping in France doesn’t have to be expensive, fortunately. In the low season, you often pay between 15-20 euros per night for a spot. If you search well, you can find even lower rates. On average, we paid €14.74 for our overnight stays. These were usually small and simple camper spots or we received discounts thanks to our ACSI card. You pay a one-time fee of 20 euros and can camp in Europe during the low season with extra discounts.

In total, we spent €206.36 on campings and camper spots during our 2-week road trip through France. That’s an average of €14.74 per day.


Other Expenses

We also had other expenses. These include costs for Buddha, attractions, laundry, parking fees, etc. In total, we spent about €12.65 on miscellaneous expenses. That’s an average of approximately €0.90 per day.

2 Weeks Road Tripping Through France: What Did It Cost?

In total, we embarked on a road trip of 14 days.

Due to Corona, we had to make significant adjustments to our route. France suddenly turned orange, so we decided to skip certain places and drive straight to Italy. As a large part had already turned orange, we had to take considerable detours. This resulted in higher costs than expected, and we had to use toll roads more frequently.

In total, the journey through France cost us €996.97. That’s just over €71 per day.

Summary of Costs for the 2-Month Road Trip

  • The road trip through France cost a total of 997 euros
  • We spent an average of 71 euros per day
  • An average of 2,159 euros per month for a road trip through France
Gasoline 206.74 14.77
Groceries 287.22 20.52
Camping 206.36 14.74
Other 12.65 0.90
Toll Roads 115.60 8.26
Dining Out 168.40 12.03
996.97 71.21

Did We Stick to the Budget?

This time, we just missed our daily budget. However, with €71.21 in France, we didn’t do too bad. Could the trip have been cheaper? Definitely! Did we feel like doing that? NOPE! You still have to enjoy yourself, after all.

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