Here’s a breakdown of my expenses for el Camino.
A few notes:
- I had most of this gear before the trail.
- I only pay retail about half of the time; the rest I find on sale, at REI yard sales, thrift stores, other outfitters, Amazon, etc.
- There are obviously ways to hike el Camino for less, and for more. Cook your own food or eat out. Indulge in alcohol or not. Stay in an albergue or a hotel. Hike your own hike.
* Items added together are between $35-$45
**I assume you already have these
TOTAL GEAR (without optional items): $1,424
I shopped around for my airfare. Originally, a one-way ticket to Biarritz was going to be almost $3,000 on first quote. I studied the route, other towns, and booked independent legs of my journey through the lowest-cost carriers I could find. I did the same thing for my return ticket. It took more time to travel, but the savings were definitely worth it. My flights to and from totaled just more than $1,000, which is about 1/6th of the original quotes I found.
My travel: flight from Nashville to Boston to Iceland to Paris to Biarritz, then a bus to Bayonne and another bus to St. Jean Pied de Port to start; a bus from Santiago de Compostela to Porto, flight from Porto to Newark to Nashville.
The bus tickets totaled around $60.
TOTAL TRAVEL: $1,060
Daily expenses can vary greatly! Albergues (hostels) are clean and inexpensive; hotel and motel rooms are also available along the way. There are restaurants and cafes, museums, shops, grocery stores, and LOTS of bars. I ate mostly at restaurants, but sometimes I did buy food at the grocery store for supper.
I’ll break down a typical day for me. Again, it can be a cheaper, or more expensive.
|Breakfast: cafe con leche, tortilla||$4.50|
|Lunch: bocadillo (sandwich), juice, beer||$6.00|
|Snack: ice cream, or fruit, or chips||$1.50|
|Supper: Pilgrim Menu (appetizer, main course, bread, dessert, wine)||$10.00|
|Albergue||$6-10 (municipal is usually cheapest)|
AVERAGE DAILY COST: $36-$50
Of course, there are lots of little expenses and treats, too: machine-washed laundry, wine and beer, museums, snacks, more shampoo, etc.
It also depends on how many days you take to hike. I hiked it in 25 days, but I took some half days into the big cities (Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, etc.) and on some days did big miles (53 km in one day from Astorga to Leon).
AVERAGE DAILY COST x 25: $900-$1,250
GRAND TOTAL: $3,384-3,734 for gear, travel, and daily expenses