As you know, this November, Luna and I spent a month recovering from a difficult October on the beaches of southwestern France. We based ourselves in Biarritz, which is a glitzy, beautiful resort town with a reputation for surfing and it’s history as a luxury getaway for European royalty.
It was a much-needed break and the perfect place to take that break (seriously, we were even the warmest city in Europe for a day or two).
Today, I thought I would share my final figures from that trip–yet again busting the mythology that travel has to be cost prohibitive.
In case you’re new around here, I should also add that I’m a very middle-of-the-road type traveler. I rent apartments. I travel slowly. I eat out, but not every day. I love to walk. I rarely take public transport. So it would be very easy to spend more than I do in any given place and it would also be relatively easy to spend less (couchsurfing or housesitting, for example, could help you cut my budget in half). I’m not a super budget traveler, but I’m also definitely not on a luxury tour around the world. Instead, I live on the same budget that I would live on in the US.
But enough about me. Here’s that budget breakdown:
|Groceries and supplies||328.33||$408.91|
|Other (printing, post office, etc.)||18.90||$33.57 (incl. atm fees)|
|Dog food, supplies, & vet bills||0||$0|
|Health + wellness||0||$0|
Notes on my spending:
:: Due to an accommodation disaster, I went a little over budget for housing this month. I hope to make up the difference by choosing lower-cost places in December.
:: My transportation costs are also a little above average. In part, this is because I already had my heart set on Biarritz when I discovered that the low-cost plane ticket I found online was with an airline that didn’t accept dogs. So I decided to devote a little more budget than I’d planned and take the train. Transportation also includes a pricey taxi ride when I first arrived and several day trips down the coast.
:: My grocery cost also rose, but you’ll notice a corresponding drop in the dog food costs. This is because when Luna’s food ran out this month, due to her really bad allergies, the vet and I decided it would be best for me to make her food. So now her food cost is all rolled in with mine.
:: It would be easy to spend more on a month in Biarritz, in part because the things I spend my time doing are often cheap or free. Luna loves the beach, so we spent a lot of time playing fetch in the surf or taking long walks along the shore. I also ate a lot of crepes, had drinks with new friends, and spent a good deal of time just wandering around Biarritz, Bayonne (two hours away by foot), Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and Hendaye taking photos, listening to books on tape, and simply taking in the scenery.
:: Finally, as usual, there are a few costs I haven’t included in the above breakdown (just because they are very specific to me and aren’t really useful when thinking about a budget for traveling here). They are things like my Audible subscription, a few books, a new camera, and the renewal fee for Luna’s microchip.
Interested in seeing more travel budgets? You’ll find them all here.
Going to France?
I wrote a book for you. Check it out: France: 100 Locals Tell You Where to Go, What to Eat, & How to Fit In.