5 Minute Read
September proved to be another above average month for our travel expenses while we made our way up and down the United Kingdom and into Germany. 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.
September 2018 Trip Budgets
We spent nearly all of September in the United Kingdom, with road trips up and down both coats, two of Scotland’s biggest cities, and a nice stint in the Scottish Highlands. At the end of the month, we flew out to Munich. Here’s a recap of each trip/location.
Read our trip recap for Edinburgh (coming soon!).
We came out $45.28 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: We spent double our entertainment budget and wish we could do it all over again. If we had to choose, we’d skip the Real Mary King’s Close tour and maybe even the Scotch Whiskey Experience. Both were a little too touristy for our tastes. We also had a quick trip to the doctor for an earache, so more money in the Misc category than usual too.
- Where we saved: I’m surprised we came in under budget for food as we did go out to eat a couple of times and even picked up some bakery treats. I must have been planning that – ; ) We also came in under budget for our airbnb and while the location was great…we did have a run in with a pesky mouse. Would have paid more to avoid that.
Read our trip recap for Glasgow (coming soon!).
We came out $75.13 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: Food. We found a donut shop I could resist visiting several times. There were beers with our friend, Rory. Lots of little fun things to eat and drank…which in the end added up to quite a bit.
- Where we saved: Only after we were in Glasgow did hear that our airbnb was in one of the worst parts of town. So…if we had a do-over, we’d probably spend a little more for a different location. We did walk everywhere instead of taking public transportation, which saved us a few dollars too.
Culloden, Inverness & Portree, Scottland (The Scottish Highlands)
We came out $131.91 behind compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: The urge to walk away with some amazing, handmade souvenirs was strong. We visited a shop that creates sheepskin items and Scott got a cozy pair of slippers. Then at a textile shop (with a loom powered by bicycle), where we bought a woven throw blanket. We felt like both items were worth the price tag and would be lasting reminders of our adventure.
- Where we saved: We ate a lot of sandwiches and had a lot of picnics on this portion of the trip. With only one grocery stop, our food expenses came in far under budget.
West Coast United Kingdom: Liverpool, Birmingham, Bath & Bristol
We came out $358.32 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: We spent just a smidge more than planned in parking and gas, but the real splurge came when we went to Mailboxes, Etc. We’ve already sent two packages back to the United States and we planned on sending one more with our summer clothes and souvenirs. It ended up costing us about $150.00. In the end, I’m glad we’re not hauling all the extra items around but hearing that total when we went to check out was a bit of a shock.
- Where we saved: Our airbnbs were a good mix of small and larger apartments that fell below our budget. We also didn’t spend nearly as much on food and most of the attractions we wanted to see were free. Just walking around many of these cities was the best kind of touring you could do.
Read our trip recap for our Munich (coming soon!).
We came out $375.52 ahead compared to our budget.
- Where we splurged: Not a splurge, but public transportation was expensive. Efficient, but expensive.
- Where we saved: We budgeted quite a bit extra in food and entertainment for Munich because of Oktoberfest. We weren’t sure what to expect, so we wanted to have more money set aside than we thought we would need. Luckily, we came in under budget in both categories. Getting into Oktoberfest itself was free, while the beers ($15 for 1 liter) and food were steep.
Total September Budget Numbers for 2018
Trip + One Way Flights = $6,050.00
Actual Spend = $5,318.82
We anticipated that September would be another expensive month and we were right. While touring the big cities of the United Kingdom was a dream come true, it does cost more than many of the other places we’ve visited. Keep this in mind if you’re planning a UK trip soon. It’s going to be more expensive than going almost anywhere in America too. This month, we spent 88% of our allocated budget and the variance between budgeted and actual spend is +$731.18
With only seven weeks of travel left until we return to Minnesota, we’re at +12,979.01 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.