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Prague is too expensive, flying to Hawaii instead

a statue of a man with a hat and a crown on top of a stone structure

A friend is putting off his solo trip to Europe because he says it will be too expensive to go to Prague for 9 days next month. He is flying to Hawaii instead.

I say, WTF?

Dollar for dollar, there is no way he is going to Hawaii for a week on a budget for less money than travel in Central Europe.

a statue of a man holding a gold umbrella

Cost for my October 2-week Prague trip

My two week trip to Prague, Warsaw, Nice, Athens, Sofia, Plovdiv and back to Prague cost $367 in airfare for San Jose, California to Prague flying British Airways. I paid $101 to fly Prague-Warsaw-Nice on LOT Polish. I paid $130 to fly Nice – Athens – Sofia – Athens – Prague on two Aegean Airlines tickets.

Airfare cost: $598

Hotels cost: $260 for 11 nights (about $700 if no hotel points)

24,000 Choice Privileges points for 3 nights in Prague ($176 to buy 24,000 points today).

2 nights Marriott Riviera Cap d’Ail France $115 in auction win.

1 night Best Western Nice 8,000 points ($80 to buy points, but I already had them).

2 nights Starwood Luxury Collection Sofia Balkan ($35 + 2,000 points/night).

1 night Days Inn Nice earned 8,500 Wyndham Rewards points for $80.

2 nights Ramada Trimontium Plovdiv, Bulgaria $110 + 3,000 points and earned 8,500 Wyndham Rewards points.

11 hotel nights cost about $630 for someone with a modest number of points, including cost to buy most hotel points. Or in places like Sofia, Bulgaria, there are plenty of other hotel options for $70 per night.

Since I balance earning and burning points on my trips, my actual out-of-pocket expense for 11 nights was about $270. My costs for hotel points and Marriott auction had been paid for months or years ago.

Daily expenses: $20 to $30 for food, drink and transportation

$160 to $270 for 9 day trip.

On average, daily expenses for a solo traveler need only be $20 to $30 for a place like Prague for two restaurant meals and four or five drinks. I spent about $300 for food, drink and transportation for 12 days in Europe with about $100 of that amount in gift purchases. Add a couple of museums or some other activities for $10 to $25. 

Prague for New Year’s

I put together a trip over the past few days to spend New Year’s in Prague.

This will be my fourth trip to Prague in 2017.

Romania Next Winter

For winter travel, I am currently looking at visiting Romania for the first time. Based on airfare availability today and Hilton Hotels in Romania, I think I can fly from San Francisco Bay area and spend ten days drinking and dining around Romania at Hilton Hotels for under $1,000.

My plan is to outline details of a Romania in winter 2018 trip showing the travel deals I currently see for an article later today.

Denver Today

That Romania article will need to wait for this evening. I am flying to Denver today.

My more immediate challenge is figuring out what to pack in my underseat carry on backpack without paying $76 additional for an overhead bin carry on bag or checked bag on my Frontier $96 round trip ticket.

The real challenge is Colorado temperatures are dropping down to the 20s over the next five days, and making packing even more challenging is I change hotels four consecutive nights.

Warm socks seem in order. Not like I will be hanging out in Hawaii.


Loyalty Traveler Oct 27, 2017 - Travel Planning Romania $1,200 to 1,500 for 15 days.


  • Patrick October 26, 2017

    Where all your cold weather clothing on to the plane. then you can peel it off once you are on.

  • Js October 26, 2017

    If you’re lucky IHG points break will put the IC Bucharest for 5k points. Seen it happen few times in the past.

  • The Beej October 26, 2017

    Rick – I’m a long time reader and I thoroughly enjoy your content. I’m spending 3 nights in Prague with my family in mid-December staying at the U Medvidku, mostly based on your pop-in tour/review. I’ll let you know my thoughts after the stay. Thanks for bringing a different perspective to the travel blogging world.

  • Ric Garrido October 26, 2017

    @Patrick – Hopefully no heat stroke with 90+ in San Jose.

    @Js – was not planning to go to Bucharest, but IHG PointBreaks might sway my choice if that happens.

    @The Beej – went to a great cat oriented pub around the corner from there last week. Actually been to few pubs right around there. Hope you enjoy the hotel. It looked great on my tour.

  • Bill October 26, 2017

    Traveled from SFO to DEN yesterday and was unhappy to carry my jacket the entire way. But with temps dropping 30+° from yesterday to today and highs in the 40s this weekend I’m glad I did.

  • Ray October 26, 2017

    Ric- I live in Denver and really like reading your site. pm me if you got time to meet up… would love to buy you a beer or 3.

  • Ric Garrido October 26, 2017

    @Bill – San Jose was low 80s at 11am. Denver 28 to 32 F with a bit of wind chill and snowing as I drove around from 4-6pm.

    Funny thing is I searched for long underwear at home and did not find any. I used to have two so I tossed one thermal underwear in Sofia ten days ago after 10 days of temperatures in 70s. I needed space in my bag for t-shirts I bought.

    Might be shopping tomorrow.

    @Ray – Thanks for the offer. I am in Colorado Springs and don’t plan to be in Denver, except to drive back to airport. If I do go to Denver, I have to visit my sister-in-law and niece. They do not even know I am in Colorado yet.

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