Lets talk about money. Before my WWOOFing adventure I thought hard about how much money I should bring with me. I would be going for approximately 23 days. The bulk of my expenditure was going to go on travel (i.e. buses, train fare etc.) and the rest of it would go on small purchases that I could probably do without (beer and chocolate). I decided on the magical number of €100 (which was about £90 on the day I exchanged the money). I also had an ’emergency fund’ of €50 just in case everything went to pot and I needed to escape. Here was the rough breakdown on what I spent:
€2 bus fare to Faro train station
€3 lunch waiting for the train at Faro station
€3 bar of chocolate and Dutch waffles (stroopwafel) (I couldn’t resist)
€13 lunch in Azenha do Mar
€40 train ticket from Funcheira to Coimbra station (south of Portugal to the central)
€5 bus fare to village near Serra do Açor
€4 in café stops
€8 for a pair of wellies
€4 in postcards and stamps
€5 on alcoholic beverages (oops)
I have exactly €10 left, which will go towards Christmas presents.
There’s more to it, though! I spent £35 on the flight over and £30 on travel insurance. I was considering not getting travel insurance but then I googled it and everywhere basically said that if you die, break a leg, lose your laptop etc. then you’re in big trouble (or your family are!) without insurance. I used WorldNomads.com, which had great reviews all round. Better safe than sorry, eh?
Then there was the train fare to Gatwick airport, which was £13. I also had a very early flight to Faro so I even booked a cheap hotel so I could get the train up the night before, which cost me £32. All in all, my trip cost me roughly £200.
In the UK I can easily spend over £300 a month on normal day-to-day living and yet with £200 I’ve managed to travel around a foreign country, meet people that I never would have ever encountered, eaten food that I’ve never eaten, spoke a different language and felt truly independent and inspired. I took a bus just outside Penacova and that was exactly what was on my mind. I was independent, surrounded by a bunch of strangers and being drive by a crazy Portuguese man on his mobile phone, but I was honestly happy and free.
What would I do differently if I went WWOOFing again?
Not a lot! I indulged in a lot of home comforts: beer, wine, coffee, tea, pizza, eating out and chocolate, which really ate (pun intended) into my budget. I could’ve been more frugal with my money and saved something like €30, but I think that would’ve taken the fun out of it.
The €40 train fare up to Central Portugal put a huge dent in my budget that I wasn’t expecting. I could’ve saved money by staying with WWOOF hosts in the same or neighbouring regions or stuck to slow transportation, such as buses, which are cheap in Portugal. If I go on another WWOOFing adventure, maybe even to a different country, I would look in advance as to what train/bus fares would be.
Would I do it again?
Absolutely! I might even write a post about why :)