Baring My Budget: Malta

February 28, 2008

in Airlines, Budget, Cheap Activities, Currency, Europe, Food, Lodging, Malta, Photos, Public Transport, Travel

A three-night trip to Malta, including round-trip airfare, cost me a whopping 50 euros. I’ll show you how after the jump.Mdina
Transportation Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

+ Round-trip tickets to/from Treviso (Venice) on RyanAir: 4 euros
+ Bus to Treviso Airport from Mestre: 5 euros
+ Buses to Sliema from Malta Airport: 0.94 euros
+ 2 all-day bus tickets: 6.98 euros
+ Bus to Gozo ferry from Sliema: 1.16 euros
+ Gozo Ferry, return: 4.65 euros
+ Buses to/from Ggantija: 1.88 euros
+ Bus via Valletta to Sliema: 1.05 euros

Subtotal: 25.66 euros

Food and Drink Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

+ Pizza and tip: 7 euros
+ Cake: 4.55 euros
+ Pastie: 0.93 euros
+ Groceries: 4.87 euros

Subtotal: 17.35 euros

Admissions Fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

+ Ggantija Temples: 1.75 euros
+ Hypogeum: 4.66 euros
+ Tarxien Temples: 1.16 euros

Subtotal: 7.57 euros

GRAND TOTAL: 50.58 euros

Freebies included:

+ Three nights with Hospitality Club in Sliema
+ My host treating me to gelato on a long walk together through Sliema and St. Julian’s
+ Dinner one night, prepared by another set of guests
+ Walking around the fortresses of Mdina (pictured above), Valletta, and Victoria (Rabat)

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Like London, this trip followed my typical no-budget rules: free accommodation, ride public transport (5.40 euros/day), eat groceries (2.50 euros/day), do lots of cheap or free activities. Restaurant meals were limited to cheap or street food. Even with admission fees, Malta is an inexpensive destination where a daily budget can average around 10 euros.

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Malta fact: Malta joined the Euro zone in January 2008, and all prices — following a national campaign on “truth in pricing” — were translated at the exact exchange rate. This means prices are quite unusual and you will need your small change; for example, bus fare was generally 47 cents. This situation will remain until June, when retailers will have freedom to adjust prices up or down to the nearest round number.

Next week, expect a follow-up posting on my best budget tips for the Maltese islands. Until then, you may want to review posts in a similar vein:
Baring My Budget: London
Baring My Budget: Stockholm
Baring My Budget: Hamburg
Baring My Budget: Venice
Budget Analysis: NY Times’ “Frugal Traveler”
Budget Analysis: NYT “Frugal Traveler,” Part Deux

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 poetloverrebelspy 03.06.08 at 12:25 pm

Find this post mentioned in The Roundup over at the Digerati Life.

2 Melanie 03.07.08 at 3:17 pm

Just a question–how come your flight cost 4 euros? Is that not including taxes?? Maybe just b/c I travel from London my return flights are never less than about £40 after taxes.

3 poetloverrebelspy 03.07.08 at 3:33 pm

Hi Melanie. Thanks for your question.

Someone is paying the taxes and fees, but it’s not me — it’s RyanAir. I booked the tickets when they were having a no taxes-no fees sale and I honestly paid 2 euros for each leg. These routes were available across their entire network, but were only advertised for about 2 days total.

I booked eight RyanAir flights Fall 2007 on a similar deal for 1 cent each — that was Brussels-Milan and back for two, Berlin-London-Berlin and Berlin-Stockholm-Berlin. EIGHT CENTS! I am not leaving anything out, I swear! You too can fly, even from London, for much less if you book when they pay the taxes and fees. Through yesterday, you could have scored London-Berlin for 10 euros flat (this sale repeats itself nearly every week).

Wondering when these sales occur? Go to their webpage and sign up for email alerts. You can find the direct link in this post.

I was definitely thinking of a future post on this topic: I’d call it, “How Much I Cost RyanAir Every Year” (The answer: at least 200 euros).

4 Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife 03.19.08 at 2:17 pm

This blog post has been included in the “Carnival of Money Stories #51″ at Life Lessons of a Military Wife. Hope you will drop by and read some of the many other wonderful entries received this week!

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