Our sunny, little attic room.
So often I hear people say “I would travel, but I just don’t have the money,” which is just silliness.
Traveling doesn’t have to be any more expensive than staying put (and, in fact, when you are staying put and accumulating stuff, you’re probably spending more money than you would laying on the beach with a book). And inexpensive traveling doesn’t have to be dirty or uncomfortable.
To prove it to you, I’ve been keeping detailed track of my expenses while traveling, and I’m going to share them here.
Keep in mind that I tend to live simply, but I’m not, by any means, traveling in the cheapest way possible. So, consider this budget traveling for those of us who are too old and grumpy to sleep in noisy hostels or eat every meal off a food truck. And, keep in mind, I’m traveling with a dog (I’ve tried to split out her expenses for the most part, though there may be some treats mixed up in the grocery bills)…so, that ups my expenses a bit.
Everything is tracked in US dollars.
Without further ado…
my expenses from one month in Edinburgh, Scotland:
|Rent for my sunny attic room*
(including all cleaning and utilities and laundry)
|Train from Manchester to Edinburgh||$76.84
And the dog, in her carrier, was free!
(Love the UK)
|Currency exchange fee||$4.95|
|Dog supplies (toy, brush)||$13.39|
|Restaurants & pubs||$158.00|
|Groceries (eating in + supplies)||$239.97|
|Medicine (from getting sick a couple times – boo)||$41.12|
|Day-to-day transportation||$0 (Edinburgh is wonderfully walkable)|
|Phone (online number via Skype)||$5 (+ $10 Google call credit)|
|Misc.$40 (I’m guessing a little on this, but there were a few receipts lost and I have an idea of the general amount)|
Before leaving the U.S., I found a friend to cover my car insurance (aka. lease my car real cheap), I temporarily shut off my cell phone (eliminating that bill), and I stored my things in a friend’s basement (eliminating storage costs). So the only cost I had back home during my month in Edinburgh was my car payment.
In cases of more short-term travel (where you can’t get rid of all your stuff), you can still put a temporary hold on your cell phone (which means no cell bills), sub-let your house/apartment/room, and lend your car to a friend in exchange for her covering insurance and maintenance. Because having expenses at home at the same time is one of the things that makes traveling feel so expensive. If your travel expenses are your only expenses, it can be just as affordable as hanging out at home.
* Edlets guesthouse rental: This was, by far, not the cheapest option I had. Last I checked, you could rent a private room via Airbnb for less than $400 for the month. For me, though, needing WIFI, privacy for work, and a dog-friendly place, the guesthouse it was!
** Plane tickets vary so greatly that I haven’t included my pricing here (as its usefulness is debatable). I’ll probably write a “finding cheap plane tickets” post at some point, so watch for that for tips!
*** I have also not included all of Luna’s airline fees and such, as those things depend very much on where you come in from and what the status of your animal is (is it a pet? An ESA? A service animal?).
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