Money seems to be a subject everyone wants to know about. So let me repeat, I am not rich, I’m just savvy with money. I’ve already written a post on budget but this looks into a weekend itinerary in more detail.
So, let’s break up the costs.
Flights – You can find return flights to Sofia for £39. However, if you join up to airline reward systems and keep an eye out for deals this price can get even cheaper!
Getting to the airport – This is a cost people often forget to factor in. I’m lucky in that the airport is around 30 mins away from my work so petrol costs are low. However, parking is around £20-£25, so this does take a huge chunk out of my budget. Living in London would be so much easier, but this is a cost I just can’t avoid if I want to travel. Luckily if I book things up early enough I can save a bit more money – every little helps!
Insurance – The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is great but I still get my own separate insurance too. I buy a yearly travel insurance policy for £18. That means that if I travel as frequently as I did in 2015 each trip is only costing me £1 in insurance.
I bought £100 and converted it into 246 Bulgarian Lev. This money paid for absolutely everything on my trip. Here is a further break down:
Taxi to/from airport – 20 lev from airport to hostel (it was actually 13 lev but I was feeling generous when I tipped). On the way back to the airport at the end of the trip I managed to share a trip with someone so only spent 10 lev.
Hostel – 40 lev for one of the most beautiful hostels I’ve stayed in. Hostel Mostel was clean, brilliantly located and the staff were really friendly. You get a comfy bunk to stay in with a privacy curtain and an en suite shower room. Also, you get free breakfast and dinner – it was really worth the money (not that it cost a lot!)
Tour to Rila – I was desperate to go to Rila so signed up to a tour via the hostel for 40 lev. This was the best money I spent all weekend, Rila is beautiful!
Food – So breakfast and dinner were free but I had to buy my own lunch. Over the 3 days I was there I spent 20 lev on lunch. Pretty good going considering one of the lunches was two-courses!
Other expenditures –
- 40 lev traded with another traveler for euros (I am way more likely to use euros again, so it was the perfect trade for me)
- 5 lev on a bottle of water and ice cream
- 5 lev on 3 beers
- 1 lev on a postcard
That meant that after all of that, I came home with 65 lev. There wasn’t anything I feel I missed out on in Sofia. I ate, I drank and I explored. I enjoyed Bulgaria so much that I went twice within 3 weeks – and who knows, I’ll probably end up visiting again in the near future.
In terms of cheapness, I’d put Bulgaria right near the top of the list. Bulgaria didn’t cost me much at all and I was pleasantly surprised to come home with leftover money.
Bulgaria, you rock!