It’s time to take a look at the financial side of our trip to Prague. How much did we spend on our 16 days there?
As you know, we didn’t just visit Prague to have a good time walking around Old Town. It wasn’t a “fun” trip in the normal sense of the word. We went to Europe for affordable IVF treatments. But, of course, it doesn’t make much sense to save money on the IVF treatment itself, if we spend a fortune staying there for a few weeks.
But, I’m happy to say, it was pretty cheap overall!
Just like trying to find the super-hot Turbo Man toy on Christmas Eve, it really sucks buying a plane ticket at the last minute. Rates are usually jacked up to ridiculous levels. It’s especially hard if you’re a bit picky about not wanting a 10-hour layover. We spent a total of $430 on plane tickets for both of us, round-trip. That sounds crazy cheap, and it is, but it also cost us a ton of miles we had laying around from credit card sign-up bonuses.
On top of the $430, out of which $300 went to “late booking fees” (what a scam), we used a total of 40,500 American Airlines miles and 60,000 United miles (transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards).
In total, we took 8 rides with Uber or Liftago. Liftago is a Czech Uber alternative, which is slightly more expensive (but there are referral codes for a discount) but you get real a taxi. The 8 rides include 2 rides to/from the airport (30 minutes or so), a few rides to/from the clinic, and a few rides between our accommodation. I think $55 is a pretty good return on investment here!
We made use of the metro, tram and bus system too. Each ticket is 24CZK (about a dollar). I’m estimating we spent $40, but it’s hard to know exactly because we had to use cash to buy most of these tickets.
We stayed in a hotel twice (the first 2 nights), simply because we had a few expiring “Free Night Certificates” (again, from credit card bonuses!), so that cost us $0. That’s $0 to stay at the InterContinental and Hilton’s Executive suite. Whoa. Not bad!
After that, we booked 2 separate Airbnb’s. Since we didn’t know whether the IVF cycle would be canceled midway through, we didn’t want to book 2 full weeks in advance, so we split it up. Total cost: $678.
It was really easy finding nice apartments for rent on Airbnb too. Around the $350/week mark we could choose from really nice private apartments. Most seemed straight out of an Ikea catalog. Try finding a 2-bedroom hotel suite with free wifi, full kitchen and laundry machine for $50 a day. There’s just no way.
All in, we only spent about $100 bucks on groceries. Groceries are damn cheap in Prague! And this includes buying fresh croissants, pastries, and other goodies almost daily.
We ordered take-out a few times (Chinese, Vietnamese, Doner Kebab) and ate at restaurants a few times (Czech food). Total spend, about $120 (again, some of these were cash payments). Most days, we stayed in and cooked our own food.
All in, we spent $1,423 for >2 weeks in Prague including flights, food, and lodging (but excluding all medical cost). I’d say that’s not too shabby! If we were home during this period, we’d probably spend a few hundred on groceries, utilities, gas etc. as well, so we have to factor that in too!
All in all, we had a great trip and it didn’t leave us with a hole in our wallet!