One of the most difficult things about RV-travels, is to make a serious calculation of what a trip actually costs. Anyone who has been camper for a while knows about as much as that it is expensive, and always a little more expensive than you think 😉 Jokes aside, there are many parameters to be taken into account, and this will of course be especially important when planning longer trips. That’s why we were going to help you get your own budget for RV trips in Europe.
In an attempt to get to this problem, or at least get an overview of where the costs come from, I am trying to put together a travel budget tool for travel in Europe. The first draft is ready, and it would be great if more people could use it, so we do not have to invent the wheel twice. Excel is also a bit of a hobby for me, while I know that many others shun it like the plague. The idea is therefore that it should be a tool where the recipient can only fill in their own conditions, and not have to do a lot of calculations on their own. By filling in the template, you should easily get a budget for RV trips.
The tool itself you can download on the link below, and it is free to use for private use. Of course, as much input is desired from those of you who test it as possible, and I think that together we can build something that will be really good. Feel free to add a comment about what you think is missing or need to change, and I’ll look at it to the next update. You need Excel to be able to open the tool correctly, it is not tested with Open Office.
Changes in version 1.1
Corrected calculation error in the tab “Housing costs”
Added calculation for LPG costs under “Housing costs”
Corrected formatting after input from a user, to get a more consistent formatting.
Below is a short instruction on how the file works so far.
When you open the file, you automatically enter the first tab called “Basic Info.” Start by filling in the data contained in the light fields (the whole tool then follows this model, you should only change the data that is in the lighter fields). Enter some basic information, which will then form the basis for the calculations in the file. In the “Akuellt Europris” field, enter the daily price of one euro in Swedish kronor. Information about this can be found at all the big banks, or on specific websites for the purpose for example here.
For our foreign friends it is perfectly possible to use a base currency other than SEK. You only need to enter the exchange rate for euros for your currency instead. In the tabs you need, simply enter the cost in your local currency instead of SEK.
Details of your insurance can be found most easily on your insurance company’s website. Information about the annual tax on your vehicle can be found at the Swedish Transport Agency here.
If you do not want to count on tax and insurance as an additional cost for the trip, you can set the tax and insurance cost to 0kr. Then this will not be included.
Enter the fuel consumption of your RV (in litres per Swedish mil, not the same as an english “Mile”), as well as an approximate fuel price in Europe in euros. Since this is updated on a daily basis, you may try to find some sort of average. A good source of an approximate price of both petrol and diesel can be found here.
Now you have entered all the basic information you need for your budget for RV travel to work properly.
When you click through to the next tab, it’s time to start adding the routes you plan to travel during your trip (in miles). You also add fees for tolls, bridges, ferries and so on. This tab specifies all costs in SEK. To calculate the length of the routes, I use Google Maps, which you can find here. Google also gives an indication of whether the itinerary includes toll roads, ferries etc, although this feature is not 100% accurate. The prices for the latter often need to take google to help you find and calculate for your vehicle. You will also get indications of whether you are crossing national borders. The mileage itself, of course, has a rather large impact on a budget for RV trips.
Examples of where to find the data in Google Maps (the data we’re looking for is circled in red):
According to what we have been able to read ourselves to, this is something that varies extremely much from place to place and from country to country in Europe. In general, however, prices for RV-sites should be lower than in Sweden. Here, too, it is important to find an approximate average. Then you will make an estimate of how many nights you plan to stay in each form of accommodation. After all, your budget for RV travel is a budget, not a fact sheet for the exact costs you will have on your trip. The tab will also warn if you indicate too few overnight stays in relation to how many days you have at the beginning that you should be out on the road. However, this is just a warning, and the rest of the excel file will work great even if you choose not to enter the “correct” number of overnight stays. The image below shows what the warning looks like:
From version 1.1 there is under the housing costs tab also with a calculation for LPG costs. Provides a space for you to specify how many units you calculate that you consume (for example, 1.5 bottles) and how much a unit costs. The gas cost is then added up with other housing costs in “Total cost”.
Here you simply enter an average of how much spending money (in euros) you expect to spent per day.
Start by specifying an approximate average of what each meal costs when you are away (in EUR). The sheet will then count on you to eat all meals once a day. Therefore, you do not need to change the number of meals for “Breakfast” and “Supper”. However, you need to make a breakdown between how many lunches and dinners you plan to eat at home in the RV versus out at the restaurant. You will also receive a warning here if you count the wrong number. But if for some reason you want to do it, all the calculations work anyway.
In the activities tab, enter the additional costs you plan for. Examples of this can be visits to a fairground, a daily activity you expect to be a little more expensive. Or perhaps a more expensive purchase of equipment you plan to make before, during or after the trip.
Here you will then get the final result of your travel budget. You can also add an estimated exchange fee to switch from SEK to EUR. Your travel budget is now ready! 🙂
My hope is that you will benefit from this little tool to get yourself an approximate of what your next trip costs. The idea is also that the said is updated continuously to be able to give as accurate a picture of the final cost as possible. Feel free to test it, and bomb the comment field below with ideas and feedback so the tool can be even better. I will also test the tool on our travels going forward, and reconcile against actual costs. Here, of course, each family needs to adjust to actual results in order to get as correct numbers as possible. Everyone has different habits when we’re away.