I am backpacking around California, Nevada and Florida in the summer and am wandering how much spending money will i need for 1 month? I have paid for all my flights and booked most hostels and some attraction passes. My biggest concern is money for public transport, cost of cheap decent food (not maccas or kfc style) and a night out drinking every few days.
Sounds like a fun adventure…good luck!
There are lots of ways to answer your question. It all depends on whether or not you are trying to be very conservative (which is how I travel) or if money is not a concern for you. I assume it is a concern otherwise you wouldn’t be asking.
Before I give you the long answer, the short answer is that you need only look online to find many great city guides that will give you all the info you need. But if you like to keep the costs down, here are some thoughts for you.
Sounds like major transportation and lodging are mostly taken care of and those are the biggest expenses.
Public tranportation is pretty cheap in most places and many cities offer passes that are good all day or even for several days or a week so be sure to ask around about that. I’ve seen 3 day bus passes for anywhere from 5 to 15 dollars depending on the city. A single ride on a bus may be around $1 or $1.50.
Food can be cheap or expensive depending on how you like to eat. You could find a couple nice pieces of fruit at a produce market and have a nice lunch for a dollor or so. If you avoid corporate chain restaurants you can still find a good dinner for around 7 or 8 dollars. (For example, spaghetti or chicken.) Don’t forget to check the deli section of grocery stores. A local store here (Kroger) offers a whole baked chicken for $5.00. So with a chunk of deli bread you could probably make at least two meals out of that.) And there are lots of places where you can get a good deli sandwich for $5 or less. Lots of local bars and "diners" offer "basket" style dinners (a hamburger or chicken or fish dinner etc) which usually means it includes some kind of potatoes or french fries and salad or coleslaw. These are often 6 or 7 dollars. Are you familiar with Subway sandwich shops? They are all over the place and you can get a variety of decent 12" sandwiches for $5.00 or so and they have a lot of fresh vegetables and condiments and cheeses and several kinds of breads.
I like to make my own meals on the road sometimes and just stop at any grocery store and for just a few dollars you can throw together enough items to make a great meal.
If you like good restaurant meals, expect a lot of variation of price. Many places have great meals in the 10 to 20 dollar range. But look at the menu first because some places would like you to believe their meals are worth 30-50 dollars or more.
As for drinking…if you go to high end places you might pay 10-15 dollars for a drink but ask around and you will find many places that serve beer for maybe $2 or $2.50 and mixed drinks for maybe $3.50-5.00 depending on what you like.
Mostly, with food and drink, it will depend on your preferences. If you like nice, homey, "down to earth" places with real people (like working class) you will find lots of inexpensive places. If you want to be with the "movers and shakers" high-society, upper class, rich folks with lots of money, you will find many places that cater to that crowd too.
I can travel in almost any city, ride as much public transportation as necessary, and have enough to eat for $25 a day. I can MAKE DO with $10 or $15. But I am very frugal. $50-$60 a day and you can live very well (especially if you conserve some days and splurge on other days.)
Sorry for such a long answer but I hope it helps give you an idea.