Friday, 17 June 2011

The big trip 2010-2011 - some facts and figures

We know that some people - us included* - like lists and numbers, so here are some for our big journey from 9th May 2010 to 20th April 2011.
*Actually, make that just Rob, but I'm impressed with all this! - Lesley

The far corners

Our furthest North          N 70° 13’ 39”, at Nyvoll (Norway) on 10/8/2010
Our furthest South          N 36° 24’ 07”, at Cape Ténaro (Greece) on 10/1/2011
Our furthest East            E 29° 59’ 13”, at the Finnish-Russian border (Finnish side),
                                    on the Kajaani-Kostomuksha road on 19/8/2010
Our furthest West           E 01° 36’ 32”  near Berck (France) on 20/4/2011

Counting the days (and stays)

Number of nights away (Calais to Calais)     346
Number of nights sleeping in van                332
Number of places we stayed                      229
Number of places we stayed in van             227

Number of places we stayed
-      1 night                  171
-      3 or more nights       24       
-      5 or more nights        5         

Longest stay in one place                    17 days at Yíthio (Gytheio/Gytheion) in
                                                           Greece, over Christmas and New Year

Average length of stay                        1.5 days

Number of nights wild camping*                144, or 42%
Countries with most % wild camping*        (1)   Switzerland – 71% or 5 days out of 7
                                                          (2)   Norway       - 64%, or 25 days out of 39
                                                          (3)   Greece        - 59%, or 37 days out of 63
*Wild camping defined as : in a place not designated for overnighting, and without obtaining specific permission.

Number of nights on proper campsites         99

Number of free overnight stops*               188, or 54%
*Not always the same as wild camping – some designated sites are free, in other places we paid to park on an ordinary street or carpark and slept ‘unofficially’ inside.

Counting the countries

Number of countries we visited           21      (multiple visits to a country not counted)

Countries we stayed longest              Greece         63 nights
                                                    Italy            60 nights
                                                    Norway        39 nights

Countries we stayed least time           San Marino    1 night
                                                    Netherlands   3 nights
                                                    Luxemburg     4 nights

Distances and diesel

Distance Calais to Calais                    16329 miles or 26279 kilometres

Furthest driven in a day                     251 miles or 404 km, 29/5/10, from Barr in
                                                          Alsace to Vincelottes near Auxerre, France  

Number of days over 100 miles           44
Number of days under 30 miles           35    (not counting days when we didn’t drive)
Average distance per day                  66    (not counting days when we didn’t drive)
Number of days we didn’t drive at all   99

Amount of diesel used, Calais to Calais   approximately 2560 litres or 563 gallons
Average miles per gallon of diesel          29 ; up to 30 on long, fast(ish) drive ; rather less on the windy little hill roads that we so like

Money and costs

Money spent while away
total*                                      £15750, or about £45.52 per day
excluding exceptional items**      £14000 (approx) or about £40.46 per day

*total : this includes major repairs (van, bike) and replacements (camera), and renewal of insurance and road tax.

**excluding exceptional items, ie. mainly those listed above. This gives a better idea of day-to-day living costs.

Our cheapest countries – we often spent under £220 per week
from Estonia down to Bulgaria     – low prices generally
Southern Greece                      – lowish prices, but mainly as we stayed put
and didn’t use much diesel

Our most expensive countries – sometimes £330 a week or more
Norway, Sweden and Switzerland – so no surprises there.

Cost of overnight stops :

Average of all paid-for nights    £10.65
Most expensive night              £36.67, renting a holiday cabin in Finland when we had family out to visit us
Most expensive night camping   £27.69, on a campsite at Vitznau in Switzerland

Most expensive countries for (paid) accommodation :
                                                          Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway

Cheapest countries for (paid) accommodation :
                                                          Romania, Germany, Bulgaria, Denmark       


  1. Oooo, I love figures! Will be publishing something very similar when we're finished also :)

  2. Hi Charlie Dog Blog,

    We have been planning our own year long trip around Europe in a van similar to yours and have been following your blog along with others. Very exciting! We are struggling to get van & personal insurance to cover us for the whole year and wondered if you have any recommendations?

    Gez & Sarah

  3. We had awful problems getting insurance initially, partly because our cars were both company cars (Rob worked for Peugeot), which we then bought. Under their scheme you have the car for a year and when you give it back every nick and ding has to be claimed for under the company insurance scheme. Several years of this had given us the claims history from hell! Mostly no-one would touch us for the van. In the end Rob managed to get past the initial lowly telephone sales staff at Campton and we got a reasonable deal with them. We've just renewed with them and it cost £625 which includes Europe wide breakdown & recovery. Their number is 01883 742460.