5 Minute Read
October was our second most expensive month of travel. Why? Get the details and budget breakdowns below.
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) vs. 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.
October 2018 Trip Budgets
We hit three pretty expensive countries this month, including Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Here’s a recap of each trip/location.
Germany Road Trip: Southern Germany, Bavaria, the Black Forest to Cologne
Read our road trip recap for Germany (coming soon!).
We came out $1,291.13 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: Honestly, I think I went a little overly conservative with the budget estimate. These numbers look good, but I think I was so nervous after under-budgeting a few places that I put more money than I needed into this one. We did stay at two hotels, which is a splurge for us….but we had a family member help us cover those with earned rewards points. We also got a lot of bakery treats and fun food, but we didn’t end up going out for lunch or dinner as we anticipated.
- Where we saved: We stayed in great places in Germany, but nothing over the top or too fancy. We also didn’t go out to eat and the grocery stores were quiet affordable.
Amsterdam & Rotterdam, The Netherlands (aka Holland)
Read our trip recap for the Netherlands (coming soon!).
We came out $18.89 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: The Netherlands were expensive…you’ve been warned. Our accommodations were both costly and at least a 20-30 minute walk outside the city center in both Amsterdam and Rotterdam. We did splurge on some baked goods, food at a local market and chocolates, which put us a bit closer to spending our entire food budget compared to other locations. In Rotterdam, we also bought a couple of small souvenirs.
- Where we saved: We put some money in the budget to take a river cruise and hit a couple more sites that cost money, but didn’t end up doing those. The majority of our site seeing happened by following our favorite – and free – Rick Steves’ audio guide tours.
Bruges & Brussels, Belgium
Read our trip recap for Belgium (coming soon!).
We came out $151.80 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: Food! We ate all the waffles and fries we could find here. We also had to buy more data for the hotspot, which was unplanned.
- Where we saved: We thought we might have to buy a public transportation card, but we ended up walking everywhere in Bruges and Brussels, so that was great. One of our accommodations wasn’t up to our usual standards though, so while we did save money there I wish we would have spent a little more. And, once again, we focused on free things to do in the cities and didn’t end up spending anything on entertainment.
Read our trip recap for Berlin (coming soon!).
We came out $303.85 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: We really didn’t. Enough said.
- Where we saved: At the last minute, we had to book a new Airbnb and found one for much lower than what we had originally planned to pay. We also had considered going to a few museums in town that cost money but opted for our usual routine of free sites. Our public transportation passes didn’t end up being nearly as expensive as we thought they would be either, which was a nice bonus.
Krakow & Warsaw, Poland
Read our trip recap for our Poland (coming soon!).
We came out $135.45 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: Just slightly over budget in the entertainment category for Poland, we did a day trip to the two concentration camps (Auschwitz and Birkenau) and visited a museum. Normally we stick to free sites, but both of these were very important for us to see.
- Where we saved: Again, we were lucky to be able to walk everywhere in Krakow and Warsaw, which saved us money on public transportation. Our airbnbs also came under budget since Poland is generally a cheap country to visit.
Total October Budget Numbers for 2018
Trip + One Way Flights = $8,215.00
Actual Spend = $6,047.37
Since we visited several popular and well-known European countries, we thought we’d be spending quite a bit this month. Luckily, our over budgeting in Germany saved us and gave us a nice excess in October. This month, we spent 74% of our allocated budget and the variance between budgeted and actual spend is +$2,167.63
In just about two weeks we fly back to Minnesota (can you believe it?!) and we’re at +15,146.64 compared to our budget.
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.