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Ural: Everything You Need to Know About Winter Trip Cost by Car

Ural: Everything You Need to Know About Winter Trip Cost by Car

We came back

Alive and well, with impressions-reach heads and data carriers full of photos and films from behind the picturesque Ural Mountains.

You’ll find the trip’s assumptions here.

The transactions that were to be settled have also arrived. So we can calculate how much our trip cost.

Did we fit into our forecasts, which we described in the article “Will a car trip to Russian Asia in winter be cheaper than holidays in Egypt?” You will find out during the reading.

💡 In a nutshell

  • 2 adults
  • 2 kids
  • 19 days
  • Lada Niva
  • 7400 km
SaabVoyage 2019 Winter Ural Expedition

🏚️ Accommodation

Planned: 2000 PLN, spent: 2161 PLN

Theoretically, we should fit in exactly because we knew the costs already at the stage of booking through The difference of 161 PLN is: 150 PLN, which should come back to us (we had to use substitute accommodation when there was no contact with the original place – how to proceed in such a situation you will read here), and 11 PLN are exchange rate differences. So we can conclude that the planning has worked out here.

⛽ Fuel and parking lots

Planned: 3000 PLN, spent: 2424 PLN

We assumed a maximum of 3 thousand PLN. The calculation was based on the estimated price of fuel in a given country on the route and the distance with different margins.

We drove about 7400 km, which means that 1 km of the journey cost us on average 0,33 PLN. We always have an average fuel consumption of about 11l/100km. The average cost per litre of fuel is 3,6 PLN. Nothing, just driving a car in Russia.
Let us remember, however, that driving within the EU means 2x higher fuel cost, which affects this average, because petrol 92 abroad EU is cruelly cheap, due to its own deposits.

🛒 Food – shops

Plannesd: 1500 PLN, spent: 1429 PLN

We did a lot of shopping before we left. A large part of it was Christmas Eve products. On the spot we mainly bought refills for breakfast and local snacks to eat during the day. During longer trips we ate sandwiches with pâté made by Agnieszka. As well as sandwiches with local cold cuts and spreadable cheese. A safe base is always oatmeal with milk and fruit, to be poured with boiling water. 🙂

A significant item in the cost of food purchases was profiteroles – a filled French choux pastry ball with cream filling.
In other words, we didn’t spend much on food in groceries, even though we visited them quite often. This is due to the fact that these products are relatively cheap there.

Typowe rosyjskie produkty :)

🍽️ Food – restaurants

Planned: 600 PLN, spent: 1722 PLN

It was supposed to be modest, we got carried away by the madness of pielmieni and Russian cuisine.

While controlling the expenses during the trip, we noticed that we have a large budget stock that we did not plan to consume. Hence, we took the liberty of a bit of madness. And since we are so far away, it would be a sin not to see if all this local is as good as you read about it. The restaurant (223 PLN) in Nizhny Novgorod was the most marked in our pockets because it was started by salo and caviar from sturgeon, and several other interesting Russian culinary constructions.
And then we discovered that Novgorod is such a wonderful place with puffs baked on a regular basis and then stuffed in front of the client’s eyes with cream or salty caramel taste.


🎟️ Sightseeing

Planned: 500 PLN, spent: 281 PLN

Based on our experience from last year, we visited the Hermitage and the Tsarskoye Selo, and established a budget of 500 PLN. This year, however, we spent less on entrance tickets.
It was a bit of a guess. And we missed it.

🎁 Souvenirs

Planned: 200 PLN, spent: 716 PLN


Sigh! We assumed a modest 200 PLN. But in fact, the number of visited cities and interesting objects translates directly into the amount of money spent. Learning for the future: the more places you want to see, the more money you can prepare for souvenirs (in our case: magnets).
Additionally, one souvenir was quite expensive. This does not change the fact that we exaggerated.


📄 Visa

Planned: 830 PLN, spent: 830 PLN

No surprises. Visa is 150 PLN/person, insurance is 230 PLN. End of story.

🧾 Others

In this section, we could list unplanned expenses such as repairing a car and parts to Niva that we did not consider as travel souvenirs. Well, there was a buffer. So here it is, okay. We didn’t lose liquidity. We bought some of Niva’s parts for the stock. A little for the joke. But the fact is, we didn’t plan this.

As for the preparation of the car itself – Lada Niva – there were practically no costs, apart from a simple car inspection. The car was serviced on an ongoing basis during the year.

💲💲💲 Conclusions

Not bad, but it could be better. Still, the cost analysis shows that we’re gourmets – collectors. Apart from history, what attracts us to tourism is primarily the cuisine. And there is nothing to hide. Travelling is a perfect moment to try local cuisine. Local specialities are also the history of places and people, which can be discovered and combined with events on a regional and national scale.

świnka skarbonka

At this trip, we were pretty much on the lookout for expenses. It’s actually quite simple, because using the built-in functionality of the Revolut card application, it’s simple.

As for the expenses themselves, you can see with the naked eye that a lot of small transactions put us most at risk of “floating” outside our budget. In practice, bearing in mind that we planned to go to the restaurant 2-3 times, which does not seem too difficult, we are able to keep the budget in check

Another approach is to operate on envelopes with a pool of funds such as fuel, accommodation, etc. According to us, it is seemingly convenient, but it generates quite a large markup for handling such a portfolio management.

At the end, it is worth answering the question for yourself, whether such a watchful eye will not kill our holiday fun? According to us, if we move within the limits of reason, then definitely not. Otherwise, it is worth thinking about an organized trip of a travel agency, which in one transaction contains the vast majority of expenses related to “travel”. We then have control over our pocket money, which is definitely nicer.

Cost statement [in PLN]

PlanBefore tripDuring tripTotalDifference
Fuel and parkings300024242424576
Food – shops1500700729142971
Visa830 830830
TOTAL8630 2152 7411 9563 -933

All in all, 10% discrepancy is not so terrible. We’re in line with the anticipated buffer.

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