If you have ever gone traveling long-term, I think you can probably relate to this blog post title.
I read all over the internet that the pre-departure expenses were going to potentially add up to more than what you’ll spend while traveling. This makes a lot of sense, especially in my case because I’m booking all of my accommodations and almost all of my cross-country transportation beforehand.
I set my budget to something that I thought I could definitely do, but now I’m realizing that while I still think it’s possible, it will take a lot of careful planing and organization.
Pre-traveling expenses have really added up and put a huge dent in my already tight budget, to say the least!
My budget for 6 weeks in Europe is $3000. My budget for 3 months in Southeast Asia is $2000. After that, I plan to go to Australia, which I haven’t budgeted yet because I will be working (or, at least I plan to be… but let’s think positively!)
So far, these are the standout expenses:
Travel insurance with Travel Cuts Bon Voyage: $620 for 18 months
Flight to London: $435
Flight to Kuala Lumpur: $425
Vietnam 30-day visa: $93 (this was shocking to me… I definitely didn’t expect it to be that much)
I’ve budgeted $30 a day in Europe for hostels and have made a conscious effort to choose hotels in that price range… I have been extremely successful so far except in Barcelona where we splurged on a Bed & Breakfast called La Belle Epoque 1904, which comes out to around $45 each a night. We’re staying in the Lavender room. I’m very excited for that one! (Milena, one of the owners, apparently makes homemade fresh croissants… mmm).
Other than that, all of my expenses have just really added up. Here are some of the bigger purchases: microfibre packtowels ($25 and $19), SmartWool socks ($16), The North Face trail running shoes ($80), waterproof sacs (used by professional scuba divers, mind you!) ($12).
My favourite travel stores in Montreal: MEC, Atmosphere and La Cordée. Le Baron is also pretty good, but not at the top of my list (I’ve been the the first three repeatedly, probably at least three times each. Don’t judge me, I’m indecisive!). It’s good to shop around to find the best prices. I haven’t found that one store consistently has the best prices for everything.
I still need to get some more odds and ends, like locks for my bag and a plug adapter/transformer. If anyone knows of a good transformer, let me know! (It’s different than a converter… It’s for electronics that don’t use a heating element like iPods or computers). I can only find them online and I’m leaving next week and don’t have time to risk not receiving it in time.
You know what keeps me sane through all of this spending madness? It’s pretty obvious. Keeping track of everything I spend with an Excel spreadsheet (how I love those). Keeping a meticulous record of everything I spend with descriptions and locations bought makes me feel a lot more in control of my spending and the total amount spent thus far. It doesn’t leave room for any surprises. Generally I like surprises, but not when it comes to money.
Anyway, it’s super late and I have a lot to do tomorrow so I should probably get some sleep.