Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Europe Trip: The Numbers

Before I went to Europe, I built up a travel fun in my ING account, totally separate from my other savings and checking. I am SO glad I did it this way. While I was there, I withdrew from ATM's using that account and bought tickets and other things with my debit card from ING. I didn't have a way to track my exact spending, because of the conversion rate and fees. I did check on the account from time to time while I was in Europe just to make sure I wasn't getting close to overdraft (I didn't.). I had $1,400 in my travel fund when I left, and I came home with $525 left in that fund (which I will use toward a trip to Yosemite for BF's birthday next month).

I didn't track what I spent that $875 on while I was there. I can tell you it was a lot of food, part of the B&B bill, museums, train tickets, and very few souvenirs. And I'm fine with that. I'm sure I could have been more frugal, but that wasn't my goal. I just wanted to come home with some money left in that account, and I succeeded.

So, how much did my eight day (including travel time) trip to Europe cost me? Here's the breakdown:
Flight: $890
Hotel in Bruges: $185
Pre-paid Museums: $40
Money Spent while on Trip: $875
Total: $1,990...so let's just say $2,000 since I'm probably forgetting something.

Like I said, I'm sure someone out there has done the same trip for fifteen dollars or something. But I am actually fine with my total. It was an amazing trip, and I had so much fun with my friend, Shelley. And, since I kept the fund separate, I have no regrets about using them for the trip.

I've decided to put $100 per month away in my travel fund, even when I don't have a trip planned. I love traveling, and being able to do it IS a priority for me. I have been on six international trips in my twenties, five of them to Europe, one to Jamaica. I'm happy that getting serious about my finances doesn't mean never going on a big trip...it just means planning for it a little better.

How much do you spend on your vacations? Do you make travel a priority?


  1. Continuing to tuck that money aside each month is a great idea! Then that money is building when you are ready.

  2. We haven't made vacations or travel a priority in the past..but times are changing and I think that vacations are going to start to become more important to us now.

  3. $2,000 isn't bad at all, especially for Western Europe!!

    I put anywhere between $200-$300/month into a travel fund and am always planning the next 'adventure'.

    Sometimes I wonder if $300/month is too much to put away for something like travel, but I make sacrifices in other parts of the budget (i.e. dinners out/clothing) to make it happen. I figure that I'm already saving $5,500 (ish)/year for long-term savings, so these trips aren't sacrificing future savings too much!

  4. Thanks for sharing. I'm curious - how was the hotel so cheap??

  5. My husband and I put $200.00 a fortnight into our travel fund, we love going overseas for new adventures. But if we had an emergency we can raid the travel fund for that.
    Your photos looked gorgeous, we've never been to Europe as it is so far from where we live. Also it was great to see you wearing those amazingly awesome boots you'd purchased recently. How long are you going to Yosemite for? We went on the free bird watching tour there with a park ranger, it was so funny.