Budgeting for the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago has become one of the most attractive destinations for travellers from all over the world. You have also decided that you will throw yourself into the adventure and, like any traveller, you want to know what budget is needed to do the Camino de Santiago.
That’s why we’ve developed this article to help you figure out how much money you’re going to spend on the Camino de Santiago. Knowing what expenses the adventure implies and how much things cost on the Camino de Santiago, greatly helps to organize the budget for the Camino.
We all know that during the trip, unforeseen things can happen that spoil your plans, but we understand that you need to have an approximate idea of how much a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela will cost. Here, we provide you with all the necessary information to calculate how much money you need to do the Camino.
How to calculate your budget for the Camino de Santiago
Before we go into detail about what expenses you will have on the Camino de Santiago, you need to answer some questions about your trip. Depending on your response, your budget on the Camino de Santiago will vary considerably.
Do you have everything that you need to do the Camino?
This question will influence whether you have to spend money on the material to do the Camino de Santiago. Some of the things do not cost a lot of money, but others depending on the characteristics and quality you choose, can be a bigger expense.
If you still don’t know what you need to do the Camino de Santiago you can check our articles: “Tips for preparing your material on the Camino de Santiago” and “ What things to take on the pilgrimage to Compostela?
Which one of the routes will you choose?
The pilgrim route you choose will also affect your budget. Some roads to Santiago are cheaper than others. For example, on the Camino Frances you will find more services during your tour and therefore you will find a wider offer of accommodation in which you can find what you are looking for, quality or price.
However, as it is the most touristy way of Santiago the price of the food is appreciably higher than on the Camino Portugues, for example. This is also related to the fact that prices in Portugal are lower than in Spain.
If you still don’t know which route to make, remember that you have to choose the itinerary that best suits what you are looking for. Each one of the routes of the road has a special peculiarity that makes it magical.
We can help you with your choice. To make a decision, check out the following publications from our blog on the Camino de Santiago:
- You can check the characteristics of each itinerary to Compostela: “Which is the best Camino de Santiago?”
- To know more about the origin of each Camino: “The origin of the Camino de Santiago and its pilgrim routes”.
From where do you start the Camino?
One of the expenses that you have to keep in mind when organizing your budget for the Camino de Santiago is the journey to your starting point. You will also have to anticipate the cost of returning home from Santiago de Compostela.
Also, depending on the place you choose to start your pilgrimage, you will have more or fewer days of travel, if you want to reach the tomb of the Apostle. Obviously, the time you spend on the tour will affect the budget you’ll need to do the Camino de Santiago.
Keep in mind that, more time, more spending. So depending on the total days you want to walk, your budget will vary.
If you do not know how many days you will need or where to start the route for your money to get to Compostela, we can also help you. In this article, we talk about what may be the time needed to do your pilgrimage Depending on the pilgrim itinerary you choose and your starting point.
How will you do the Camino de Santiago?
Doing the Camino de Santiago walking or on wheels are two different experiences. If you decide to do the bike path, in addition to the expenses you will have to do regardless of how you make your pilgrimage, you will have others.
Transporting your bike to the point where you start your pilgrimage, renting a bike, if you don’t have one, possible repairs, etc. are some of the extra expenses you can have. You will have to include these items in your budget, if you want to know exactly how much the Camino de Santiago will cost.
What sort of experience do you want to have?
Within this block many elements that will affect how to organize your budget on the Camino de Santiago. To start with, you can say that the more comfortable that you want it to be, the greater the expense.
Independently of why you are doing the pilgrim route, you can arrange a low-cost experience on the way to Santiago or luxury experience. Both options are valid, but they will have completely different budgets. Next, we plan some questions about it, to help you define it.
Where will you sleep on the Camino de Santiago?
Cottages or the hotels on the Camino de Santiago do not have the same prices as the hostels. Hostels are cheaper, but less comfortable. Depending on the type of accommodation you use during your pilgrimage, your daily budget on the pilgrim route will be one or the other.
Will you visit restaurants on your pilgrimage?
Do you plan to cook in your accommodation and go through the day with just a snack? Will you eat in a restaurant? What kind of restaurant? All of this will influence how much money you need to take on the Camino de Santiago. Supermarkets are always full of pilgrims and restaurants also, both options are valid.
We do recommend that if you can afford it, take advantage of the experience to enjoy the traditional cuisine on the Camino de Santiago. Perhaps not every day, or at all meals, but do not go without tasting some dishes such as the classic “Mariscada” in Santiago de Compostela.
In this guide to the Capital of Compostela we talk to you about it and what to do to make it cheaper.
Will you take advantage of services?
On the Camino de Santiago, you will find various services destined to make your pilgrimage easier. One of them is baggage transport. In one of the articles of our blog of the Camino de Santiago, we explain some reasons to hire the baggage transfer service between stages.
Assistance cars are another of the services that pilgrims often use. If you want to know more about how you can facilitate your experience on the road, you can check our article: “Make your Camino easier”.
Will you organise it with a specialist agency?
Planning the Camino requires a certain amount of time. Many people prefer to leave the logistical details, such as booking accommodation, transporting material, etc. in the hands of a specialized travel agency on the Camino de Santiago, like us.
This fact will also have an impact on your budget for the Camino de Santiago. In that case, the expense on the route is slightly greater, but it saves a lot of time, is much more comfortable and accounts for a more accurate budget.
The money you will need before you start your pilgrimage
As you can see from the questions that we have asked you before, not all the expenses associated with the Camino de Santiago are directly related to the experience. Some of them are related to previous aspects. Now we will talk about them.
Budget for your material on the Camino de Santiago
If you do not have the necessary material for doing the Camino de Santiago, you will have to buy it, as we commented previously. Below we provide some prices:
- Backpack for the road: between 30 and 50 euros, in cheaper sports shops.
- Boots: This depends on how much you want to risk, you can spend from €30 to €150 or more, if you are looking for specialized brands in trekking.
- Technical clothing: Largely depends on what you need specifically, but can involve a cost of up to 20 or 30 euros, if you only need some T-shirt and socks, and at 200 euros or more, if you need to buy a coat and more equipment.
In the articles we recommended to organize your backpack for the road, you will see that there is another type of material that could be useful during your trip. Like the previous point, the expense here will depend on what material you need. Some indicative prices are:
- Sleeping bag: A light one can cost between 20 and 50 euros. If you make the pilgrimage in winter or plan to camp, you will need a warmer one, in that case, we are talking about expenditure of €120 upwards.
- Trekking sticks: Approximately €20, cheap and light. From there, you can always spend a lot more if you want. But the truth is that it is not necessary.
- Water bag: Less than €10. Its price varies depending on its capacity and characteristics. Cheap and light.
- Headlamp: The prices are very variable. You can get one of the easiest for 5 or 6 euros.
The above prices are indicative and vary greatly depending on the store where you acquire the material for your trip to Santiago. In Spain, the Decathlon store offers good value for money, but obviously, it is not the same as having North Face equipment or other specialist outdoor brands.
Return journey costs for Santiago de Compostela
The Camino de Santiago is free, that is to say, that it is not necessary to pay any entrance to join the pilgrim route. However, it does require an expense to go and get back from the Camino.
Regarding the money you will need to travel to the beginning of the road and to return home, it is very difficult to give you a price range. To a large extent it depends on:
- From where you travel: it is not the same to have to take a plane for 12 hours from Japan to go or to do the Camino de Santiago from Madrid.
- What type of transport you use: Although you can easily find much cheaper plane deals than bus or train prices, if you travel from Madrid to León by bus, it is probably cheaper than taking a plane.
- The starting point: Some routes start from cities which are easy to reach, both by plane or by train or bus. Others, on the other hand, start in small localities that you will have to access, using local transport from some other main core. That will increase the cost of transport.
Budget to go to Camino de Santiago on bike
If you ride a bike, with the spending the trip back and forth to the Camino de Santiago you will have to add the cost of the bike. This will vary depending on whether you use a plane, bus, train or private transport.
If you decide to rent a bike to do the Camino, you can get one for about 300€ a week. The advantage of renting them is that they include insurance, so you will not have expenses in repairs.
So far we have explained what you should take into account to organize your budget for the Camino de Santiago and how much it is, roughly, the material needed for your pilgrimage. Now you just need to put prices on the expenses you will have during the tour.
In our publication: “How much will I spend on the Camino de Santiago?”, We detail the prices of the hostels and hotels on the Camino de Santiago, the cost of the food and some of the services that you can hire on the pilgrim route. We continue to talk about the money that it costs doing the Camino de Santiago in that article. See you there!
If you prefer, and you are clear that you want to travel to Santiago with a specialized agency on the Camino de Santiago, you can call us or write to us. We will provide you directly your budget for the Camino de Santiago.