What should you plan for the cost estimate? => Our experience from the year 2020 is approx. 130-160€ per day for 2 persons, if you want to stay in a room (i.e. not in dormitory accommodation) and if you have a membership of one of the alpine clubs (AV).
The total costs for the tour for 2 persons with 27 overnight stays and all costs (in Venice, however, only 2 overnight stays with breakfast) amounted to a total of approx. 3970€ and thus on average just under 147€/day, corresponding to approx. 74€/day per person.
What do you get in return? Apart from the accommodation costs (in the room), which are comparatively low and therefore well „manageable“ for AV members, we „afforded“ half-board in the huts wherever possible, as you burn a lot of calories on the way and therefore want to be provided with more than one standard evening meal, i.e. you’ll love to have several courses in the evening. All the more so as during the day, i.e. during the tour itself, we did not „eat“ anything apart from plenty of water. This is the rule rather than the exception for experienced „marathoners“, as you could hardly „add on“ enough carbohydrates in the course of a tour lasting many hours to completely avoid a „hunger pang„, if you are not yet used to burning fat (instead of carbohydrates). Alternatively, if you are not used to this, you have to carry quite extensive food reserves with you and constantly replenish them, or alternatively, you have to stop over in alpine huts wherever possible. We could spare ourselves both, as the notorious „hunger pangs“ simply did not occur for us, even after many hours.
After arriving at the respective hut, on the other hand, it was our standard to first drink at least one large so-called Radler (beer mixed with limo). After refreshment and, if necessary, a shower, which is possible at almost all (AV) huts in the meantime but is always subject to an extra charge, we usually had another piece of cake plus coffee/cappuccino in the afternoon. These costs could certainly be saved or reduced, although we usually did not want to save money on showers in the evening. The costs for this ranged from 2€ for 5 minutes to 5€ for 3 minutes or even 5€ for 15 litres of hot water. Cold showers (be careful: „cold“ can be so cold when washing your hair, that you will have a headache afterwards/temporarily) are usually free of charge if at all possible!
Drinks with dinner: In Bavaria and also in Tyrol, we always had 1-3 (p.P.) comparatively (still) affordable „Radler“ or beer as standard. However, the costs for these clearly increase from north to south! While a 0.5l beer in Bavaria in 2020 at the AV hut still costs about €3.50-3.80, in the Dolomites you have to pay up to €6.50 for it. This quickly adds up to a lot of money, so that from our previous experiences we had already decided in advance no longer to buy a beer from the Italian border onwards, i.e. beginning from the stage to Stein on our way to the south. From the Italian border, i.e. from South Tyrol, we switched to the much cheaper (red) wine instead of drinking beer in the evening and combined this 1:1 with the free pure mountain spring water or water from tap („l’acqua del rubinetto„). So typically we had ordered 1l of (red) wine plus 1l of water (from the tap) in the evening, with the cost of the wine ranging from a cheap 8€ per litre(!!) to 16€ per litre (Puezhütte, Kreuzwiesenalm).
Due to the (pre-)reservation of rooms in the AV huts (mandatory in 2020), which due to Corona were mostly occupied just by the two of us, even in shared rooms, we had relatively much „free space“ to „spread out“ and also needed to be less considerate of other mountain friends. We only stayed in a dormitory once, i.e. at the „Kreuzwiesenalm„, as the cost difference compared to staying in a room was comparatively high (35€ in the dormitory compared to 80€ p.p. in a double room), even though the rooms here are supposed to be extremely comfortable and almost luxurious. So if you are looking for cost-saving options, dormitory accommodation (on a mattress with blankets) may generally be your first choice. In 2020, however, the rooms simply enabled us to maintain the necessary distance from fellow travellers and to minimise contact.