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Seven months in and we’re still tracking our travel expenses – who’s still with us?! Here’s our full review of our March budget for 2018.
For those of you interested in a complete breakdown for our entire trip, you can access our budget tracking spreadsheet here. We spent a few hours redoing it late last year and it’s made seeing our expenses at a glance super easy. Give us a shoutout in the comments if you like it!
Trip Budget(s) Budget Overview
A quick refresher on the budgets we cover in our monthly review. Our trip budgets show what we spent on a trip that lasts anywhere from 3-10 days. If you’re planning a trip to this same location, it should give you an idea of expected travel expenses.
March 2018 Trip Budgets
We started picking up the pace in March and made it to several different locations – including our first stop in Europe! Here’s a recap of each trip/location.
Read our trip recap for Thailand (including other locations like Bangkok and Chiang Mai).
We came out $283.67 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: We don’t normally take taxis as our main mode of transportation but didn’t have a lot of options in Krabi. I’m not even sure if we saw a bus? Because of this, we’re just slightly over in the transportation category for this budget. We also went out to eat for lunch and dinner (plus cocktails!) more than usual. Luckily because the prices are so cheap in Thailand, we were still within budget. Most meals at the beach resturants were $5 or less per person. You can’t beat that!
- Where we saved: While we did save a good amount by booking an Airbnb, I now wish we would have booked a resort or hotel. Our Airbnb experience was one of the poorer during our trip so far – nothing horrible, just not as nice – and I was quite envious of all the people in the resorts next to our place. In Thailand you get more bang for your buck, so we could have afforded something nicer than your average hotel.
Bucharest, Brasov and Sibiu, Romania
Read our trip recap for Romania.
We came out $367.56 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know we hardly ever spend money on entertainment. We prefer to find cheap or free things to do in the cities we visit. In Romania, we went to a spa – you guys. That was pretty out of the norm for us. While we were still under budget in the entertainment category, I’d still call it a splurge…and one we’d probably take back if we could. To be honest, our trip to the spa wasn’t worth the $40 price tag.
- Where we saved: For a European country, Romania is quite inexpensive. We were able to save in almost all categories and similar to our time in Thailand, we did go out to eat more than usual (one night was $22 for two meals, two drinks and dessert!). Our airbnbs were all pretty cheap and we only found one of them not up to our usual standards.
Eger & Budapest, Hungary
Read our trip recap for Hungary.
We came out $488.58 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: Hungary was a pleasant surprise for us – tons to do and most of it very inexpensive. We were slightly over on transportation and had several unplanned expenses. We sent a lot of postcards from Hungary, had to replace an Apple charging cable (can you say ca-ching?) and bought some souvenirs from a local market.
- Where we saved: Food was cheap and we got great deal on our Budapest airbnb. While we could have paid more for a place closer to the city center, we found it Budapest very walkable and the location worked well for us.
Read our trip recap for Austria.
We came out $549.31 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: We did a lot of snacking in Vienna. There were some local foods and bakeries we wanted to try – plus raspberry gelato with red wine – so we went for it. Last minute, we booked some cheap tickets to the Vienna Ballet and had to find Scott some dress clothes a thrift store, so that was another unexpected expense.
- Where we saved: Again for this trip we were able to save a significant amount of money by booking an airbnb outside the city center. This one was about two blocks from a main stop with tram, bus and subway so we were able to get a weekly pass and cheaply travel throughout the city. I’d say booking the cheaper airbnb was worth it in this case. We also budget quite a bit more for entertainment and just didn’t end up spending it. A lot of the museums and sites in Vienna cost money to get in and we had planned on doing just that. During our visit we change our minds and save a little money in the process.
Total March Budget Numbers for 2018
Trip + One Way Flights = $6,261.00
Actual Spend = $4,541.86
March, we had one of our biggest differences between budget and actual to date. We spent 73% of our allocated budget and the variance between budgeted and actual spend is +$1,719.14.
For the first seven months of our trip, we’re now at +$8,336.72 compared to our budget. Some of the European locations we’re researching now are more expeneisve than we had originally realized, so it will be good to have that extra cushion for future trips.
If you want to see all the details, view our Google budget tracking spreadsheet.
Post your travel budget questions in the comments! We’d love to help you budget for an upcoming trip in Europe or anywhere else in the world.