So here's what we are thinking as far as the different scenarios as we see them....
We've saved enough to go live in Germany for 3 months.
- Air fare from NZ to Germany and return
- Departure tax NZ
- Travel insurance
- Leased car
- Passports & photos
- Accommodation and meals at a youth hostel
- Schengen visas (if necessary)
- Departure tax DE
The plan would be to mix and mingle with the locals as much as possible and to immerse ourselves in the language, the culture and the everyday life.
Some pocket money, would allow us to do a couple of outings each week - one paid and one no- or low-cost.
If we are based largely in one region then it might be more economical to look at the GermanRail, EuroRail or domestic rail passes instead of hiring a car (and then not using it extensively).
Each extra $10-12,000 (approx) would allow us the luxury of extending our stay by one month and would include accommodation, meals and activities. We may be able to add a stop-over or two on the way up and back as well.
[Note that for the first 3 months each averages $20,000 instead due to the one-off costs of getting up there and back which is another reason to try and stay longer - to amortize the start-up amount.]
However if we had this funding and knew we were able to stay longer than our 3 months, we would look at other options like buying a second-hand vehicle or motorhome. Motorhomes are inexpensive compared to New Zealand and may minimise our combined accommodation/transport costs.
This is more of an overview than a scenario, but if we were to raise the full $100,000 then we envisage that we'd alternate 2 periods of 3 months in Germany with 2 periods of more intensive travel of say 2 weeks or so per country in between.
If we were able to lower our air / rail / ferry / barge / vehicle travel, accommodation, and activity costs, our funds would go further. If you are in the tourist industry, perhaps you could help us with getting better deals than the public can get ordinarily. We'd appreciate that.
If you want to find out a bit more about our family finances first, here is last year's budget. It's only fair!
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