Jan 2016

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The Cost of Traveling:

January was a big month for us… our first month away and we completely blew our budget! Not a great start, but it was completely expected and will be reflected in a much lower result for February! Below we share our cost of traveling for the month of January.

To do this we have found the best travel app, it’s called Trail Wallet, and we use it to record every transaction, from a cup of coffee and parking, to accommodation and flight costs.

FLIGHTS – $AUD3436.45 ($USD2449.09)

Our biggest expense by far this month was flights – but when you consider just how far we’ve flown, we’ve actually done really well! This month consisted of a total of 7 flights for Cam and 5 for Brody, Sienna and I (Cam was still flying to and from Melbourne for work!)

Flights between Melbourne and Perth for all of us cost $1177.00, Perth to Bali cost $486.00 and Bali to Dubai $1773.45.

We certainly don’t expect our flight costs to be anywhere near this amount going forward – in fact for Feb, it shouldn’t be any more than $800!

What really put us over this month is that January included flight costs to get us to both our first and second housesits – our UAE house sit actually occurs throughout February, however as we travelled over on the 27th Jan, technically the cost had to be factored into our January Expense Report.

But as a side note, when we originally looked at flying to Dubai, flight costs were around $900 per person, or $3600 all up. This month we managed to do a lot more flights, for less money! Love shopping around for bargains!

EATING OUT – $AUD646.78 ($USD460.89)

Our second largest expense this month was eating out. We cooked a lot at home this month – so I’m actually a bit surprised at how high this amount is. At an average cost of $26.41/day though, it really isn’t hard to reach this amount – a coffee here and there, an icecream for the kids, fish n chips on the beach… it adds up really quickly.

Plus, our quick trip to Bali meant there was lots of eating out! Food isn’t too expensive in Bali, but eating out a couple of times each day made up $200 or 29.14% of our food costs for the month – in only 3 days of travel!

GROCERIES – $AUD523.74 ($USD373.22)

The joy of housesitting is that we have the use of a full kitchen – which means we can easily prepare food. We ate at home the majority of the time, which meant a couple of big shops at the local Woolworths Supermarket whilst in Perth.

Being able to cook definitely helps us keep our expenses down – and because we are travelling slowly, it has meant that on our slow days we’ve enjoyed a yummy home cooked lunch, and a light dinner (so I don’t have to cook when I’m tired at the end of the day!)

ENTERTAINMENT – $AUD298.00 ($USD212.28)

I’m a little surprised that this one wasn’t a bit higher – luckily for us there were lots of free things to do in Perth.

We had a couple of bigger outings this month with a trip to Adventure World Perth ($177.00), the Fremantle Prison ($84.00) and of course sightseeing entrance fees in Bali ($37.00).

Apart from that, we chose a lot of free experiences – a great opportunity to save on some cash, and get the kids thinking about how we can have fun, without spending lots of money!

ACCOMMODATION – $AUD380.00 ($USD270.69)

Ah the joys of housesitting!!! $380.00 for 26 nights of accommodation! Actually, this cost covered just four nights, 1 in Perth and 3 in Bali.

VISAS – $AUD200.00 ($USD140.00)

What can I say – getting into Bali is expensive – $50 per person! It does give us 30 days in Bali, but we only had 3 days! In hindsight I didn’t think this through well enough and it made our trip to Bali quite expensive – but hey, you only live once!

TRANSPORT – $AUD182.18 ($USD129.67)

Transport this month consisted mainly of petrol costs and taxi fares.

We were fortunate enough to borrow our housesit owner’s car for the time we were in Perth, which added about $60 to the months expenses! Still, far less than if we’d paid for a hire car!

Taxis to and from airports, along with a $50 fare to drive us around Bali for a full day also made up this monthly expense. Unfortunately it’s not an avoidable expense, but certainly one I’d like to keep down.

MISCELLANEOUS – $AUD125.79 ($USD89.53)

This item was made up with a couple of weird little things that we spent this month – things that are not likely to happen again, and really had no where else to go in our Expense report. $32 on a travel hairdryer (because I decided that is a luxury I DO want to carry!) $24 on Currency Conversion fees (didn’t think that one through well!), and a few other bits and pieces.

PARKING – $AUD90.00 ($USD64.06)

As we are still maintaining a car back at home in Australia – part of our travel includes parking at the airport. We’ve included it here, but broken our yearly fee down into monthly installments. With a little shopping around and a bit of negotiation, we managed to pick up a full 12 months parking at the Melbourne Airport for only $83/mth. Cam can come and go as much as he likes, he gets picked up and dropped off at the terminal on request and he doesn’t have to continuously put his hand in his pocket. Plus, anyone who has parked at Melbourne Airport before will know that this is an AWESOME price!


All up, not a bad month. We have obviously gone over our budget, but I’m happy that the airfare costs to Dubai, (which are technically balanced out against our Feb Housesit) are the only reason we’ve gone over! In fact, if it wasn’t for that we’d have been under budget!

Our budget was pretty heavily dominated by flights this month, so the budget felt pretty tight – there really wasn’t a lot left over for outings etc, but we’ve decided that is all part of the challenge. I read a really good article this month that talked about having money v’s not having money and it kind of summarised our month. Our motto this month:

It’s not that I can’t afford it, it’s just that it’s not a priority

Put simply, we might not have had a lot of money to play with this month, but as a result, we’ve travelled a lot and seen a lot of different things! Plus, the kids have learned about budgeting and how to have fun, without spending a lot of money.


TOTAL SPEND $AUD5882.94 ($USD4185.99)

Daily Average = $AUD189.77 ($USD135.00)

Budget = $AUD140.00 ($USD100.00)

OVER BUDGET BY $AUD1632.94 ($USD1162.31)

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