MARCH 2016

march2016


The Cost of Traveling:

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So how did our expenses break down for the month… let’s have a better look:

ACCOMMODATION – $AUD1633.00 ($USD1225.44)

During the month of March, we picked up a housesit in Seville for a bit over a week, which really helped bring the cost of Accommodation down. Having said that, we were pretty pleased with our total for accommodation this month – we selected budget accommodation through AirBnB and Booking.com and for the most part it was all pretty good. We averaged $AUD90/$USD67.49 per night, which considering we were in Paris, Barcelona, Venice and London, I think we did really well!

ENTERTAINMENT – $AUD307.75 ($USD230.94)

We did and saw lots this month, however we avoided a lot of the typical tourist attractions, opting instead for free activities – our budget just couldn’t stretch any further! Having said that, in the cities we visited there was a plethora of free activities to choose from including lots of walking tours which were a fantastic way to learn about the local area. Given how much we did this month, it is surprising how low this section of the budget is, however it just goes to prove that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time!

FLIGHTS – $AUD3606.71 ($USD2706.23)

Let’s face it, getting to Australia is EXPENSIVE!!! We spent the majority of this month in Europe, which used up around $AUD1300/$USD975, whilst the balance of our flight expenditure this month went to getting home, at a whopping $AUD2300/$USD1726 – which I might add was quite a bargain at only $575 per person – it’s usually a lot higher!

We took plenty of flights around Europe, which due to some late changes in our plans, we were unable to book well in advance so at times we paid far more than we otherwise might have.

Clearly, flights chewed up a huge chunk of our budget this month, but it was to be expected – we HAD to go back to Australia, and there really isn’t a cheaper way to do it!

EATING OUT – $AUD723.97 ($USD543.21)

There were no fancy restaurants or fine dining this month – it was budget budget budget all the way! Money really doesn’t go too far in most of the cities we visited this month, so we ate out as little as we could.

GROCERIES – $AUD399.00 ($USD299.38)

Grocery costs were a lot more reasonable than I expected so we bought a lot of basics this month and took food out with us when we travelled. Luckily it was so cold outside that we could make up some meat and salad baguettes in the morning and by lunch they were still fine – they’d effectively been in a fridge all day!

MISCELLANEOUS – $AUD73.00 ($USD54.77)

Our miscellaneous expenses this month included hair cuts for the whole family when we arrived back in Australia (much needed after 3 months away) and goggles for the kids once we hit the beach in Brisbane.

PARKING – $AUD83.00 ($USD62.10)

Our standard monthly cost, covering our car parking at home, at the Melbourne Airport!

PHONES – $AUD4.00 ($USD3.00)

We didn’t spend very much on phones at all this month. To keep costs down, we utilised Wifi everywhere we went and used HERE maps to get around without needing data. Luckily Europe has fantastic WiFi access – we were quite surprised at how well we got by without a local sim card!

TRANSPORT – $AUD1061.37 ($USD796.38)

Taxis, buses, trains and transfers made up our transport costs this month. We bused it from London to Paris which was a bit of $100, but given that it was a night bus it replaced a night of accommodation (just no where near as comfortable!). MET tickets made up a sizeable chunk of the budget, whilst transport to outer lying budget airline airports used up another chunk.

We took a bullet train from Seville to Barcelona which chewed up about 1/5th of the budget, but was well worth it for the experience alone! Finally the water taxi in Venice also took a huge chunk – a 2 day water taxi pass was $AUD135/$USD101.32

VISAS – $AUD0.00 ($USD0.00)

No visa costs this month.

SUMMARY

Well, what can I say, we COMPLETELY blew the budget this month, but it was to be expected. Flying back to Australia made up almost 30% of the budget, paying for accommodation 20% and transport around Europe another 13%. Europe is not a cheap destination, especially when you move at the speed we did.

We had a total of 25 nights in Europe and we wanted to do as much as we could. So yes, you could do Europe on a much smaller budget, especially if you deduct the cost of flights back to Australia – if we’d slowed down, spent more time in each place AND had a few rest days along the way, the budget would have looked a whole lot better. BUT, this was our chance to do and see all we could, in a limited time frame. And whilst exhausted at the end of it, we had an absolute ball!

TOTAL SPEND $AUD7933.80 ($USD5953.81)

Daily Average = $AUD255.90 ($USD192.03)

Daily Average without Aus flights = $AUD181.73 ($USD136.33)

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

OVER BUDGET BY $AUD3593.80 ($USD2696.91)

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