When we first announced that we were planning on traveling, the main questions we got were "Where are you going?" and "How much is that going to cost?". I'm going to do a monthly summary going forward that will help to answer those questions. This one is a little tricky as we started traveling in late May and we spent 2 weeks on a cruise, that probably cost more than we were planning, so that we could spend some time with my parents. I've combined May and June together for the first post.
I've done the long term travel thing before but this was Jane's first attempt at it. We talked about it a lot in New York and came up with a starting budget that we would try to meet. That original number was $5,000 USD a month. That number assumed ~$2,000 for accommodation, ~$2,000 for food, drink and entertainment and ~$1,000 a month for flights, transportation and miscellaneous (insurance, parking, laundry etc.) . We also had a bunch of credit card points and airline miles that would be thrown into the mix.
I can't tell you the number of people who laughed at me and debated the costs. I heard estimates of $200 a day for food in Europe and "stay at this hotel, it was only $250 a night." I get it. People only have so many days vacation so when the do go somewhere they treat themselves. We on the other hand will be treating this more as living than vacationing. I've read a bunch of blogs talking about this and our original number is significantly higher than a lot of travelers budgets. (Jodie from Legal Nomads has a great resource section discussing budgets and shows other peoples totals if you want to kill some time at work).
Our original thinking was we would spend most of our time in 3 or 4 star hotels or use airbnb. We would typically eat out 1 meal a day and eat breakfast and the other meal in our room. Our target number is an average and in reality, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan will probably be closer to $6,000+ while Thailand, Spain (Camino de Santiago) and Southeast Asia will probably be closer to $4,000 a month. As I began planning, I realized I was very ambitious in my budget. We want to do some expensive activities (cruise with my parents, overnight diving trips on the Great Barrier Reef, hike the Milford track, visit the Skellig islands, scuba classes for Jane etc) so the budget in that area was low. We are also planning on being in Europe during the summer peak season so all our accommodations are at peak prices. We have a car rental for 3.5 months in Europe as well. After adjusting, a more realistic number we began to target was $5,700 USD a month.
Anyways, I've rambled enough and going forward I'll keep to the numbers. These are from May 23rd to June 30th.
We traveled by:
Air - 3,939 miles or 6,339 km
Boat - 4,142 miles or 6,666 km
Car - 1,791 miles or 2,883 km
Walking - 177 miles or 285 km
Countries visited: 7 - England, Norway, Scotland, Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, France
Beds slept in: 13
Spring rolls consumed by Graham: 2
Ice cream cones consumed by Jane: 12
(These were special requests for the blog)
From May 23 - June 30, we spent:
Total of $12,273
The cruise cost $7,133 when you count all the tips, taxes, excursions and other costs associated with it.
Excluding the cruise, we spent $5,140 over 23 days which amounts to $223 a day which is about $43 a day over budget.
We also spent:
90,829 CITI Thank You Points (Airfare IAD-LHR and CDG-IAD)
105,000 Hilton Points
(1 night in London, 2 nights in Dublin)
18,000 British Airway Points