As you may already know, this year Chad, Luna, and I decided to spend our spring in Dubrovnik, Croatia, a town known for its charming ancient city, its views of the bluer-than-blue Adriatic sea, and its many islands scattered off the coast. In summertime, Dubrovnik is bursting with people – so much so that the town is thinking of imposing a visitor limit – but in the spring, particularly March, it’s relatively quiet.
As usual, while we’ve been circling the walls of old town, exploring abandoned hotels, and indulging in fresh figs and homemade liquors from our wonderful landlords, I’ve been tracking my expenses and today I’m going to share them here.
Before I dive into the numbers, a few notes on how I travel:
:: First, remember that I’m working while I’m traveling, which means someone spending all their time exploring, taking day trips, and eating out is likely to spend more.
:: Second, I fall somewhere in between the extreme budget travelers and the luxury crowd. I don’t stay in hotels (usually) and I don’t couchsurf. This means that while you can easily spend more than I do, you can also easily spend a lot less by always eating in, couchsurfing or staying in dorms or at campgrounds. Consider this budget very middle-of-the-road.
:: Third, the below budget is just my day-to-day expenses. It doesn’t include business expenses, big one-time purchases (like a new computer or car), etc. For more details about how I manage all my expenses on the road, visit this extensive post.
Now, then, to the numbers!
|Entertainment & activities||$16||112.12|
|Health & wellness||$223.23||1564.30|
This month, I’ve split out my traveling-with-a-dog expenses from the main budget because Luna racked up quite the bill. If you are not traveling with a dog (or even if you were traveling with a totally healthy dog), this bill won’t apply. But in case it’s helpful to know, here’s where Luna’s very expensive first month on the Croatian coast landed:
|Luna (vet bills, supplies)||$287.41||2014.05|
These days, I’m traveling with my partner. Keep in mind that the above expenses are my spending and do not include his expenses. We split the rent 50-50 and lunch and dinner groceries 60-40 (while purchasing our own breakfast stuff and sometimes our own snack stuff separately). Luna is my responsibility, so these are her full bills and our health insurance and healthcare costs are totally separate as well.
Our base here in Croatia is an amazing fourth-floor Airbnb apartment (watch for a review in the coming weeks) overlooking the hills in Lapad, about 20 – 30 minutes on foot from the center. The accommodation cost above is my half of the first month’s rent. Keep in mind that our rent was discounted due to being here in off-season and staying two whole months. If you’re coming in summer or staying less time, expect to pay more.
Happily, groceries and supplies in Croatia are just as low priced as I remember from my month in Split and my grocery bill for month one ran low (and month two is poised to be even lower since things like olive oil usually last more than a month). Eating out is more expensive here than in other parts of Croatia (compare two sushi rolls in Zagreb for $10 to dinner out here at about $40 for the two of us sharing an appetizer, main, and dessert), but it still isn’t too bad since Chad and I tend to split a single entree and perhaps a dessert each time. Our eating out budget represents about five or six meals out.
My health and wellness expenses include a $160 monthly payment to GeoBlue Insurance (who I adore) and a few pharmacy trips. I visited the doctor this month, but didn’t pay a cent as it was fully covered by my insurance. Since I bundle health and wellness together, this category also includes a haircut (150 kuna) and a wash and style later in the month (another 150 kuna).
Luna’s expenses include seven or eight (!!) vet visits, the first for a routine vaccination and the rest for a horrifying mystery illness that turned out to be a failing pancreas. She’s okay now, on pancreas meds for the next two months, at which time we’ll re-check her levels. But expense-wise, this was a high month for her. Vet expenses include not only visits and exams, but an IV to hydrate her, full blood work, an x-ray, pancreas pills, sedative for the x-ray, and oh so many shots of various types of medication. Her expenses also include her food, which had to be thrown out and re-purchased mid-month when she was put onto a strict diet for her pancreas. One thing to note is that even though her category comes in crazy high for her this month, her mystery illness would have cost at least three times as much in North America. The bill for the sedation, IV, blood work, x-ray, exam, anti-nausea shot, and 100 days worth of pancreas pills was about $150, which is about what it costs just to see a vet in Vancouver or Denver.
Interested in seeing more travel budgets? You’ll find them all here.
Definitely looks like an inexpensive place to stay for awhile! I’m so sorry Luna was so sick! I really hope the meds help and she’s free and clear when she gets her tests in a couple months.
Thanks. She’s doing a lot better now.
And yes – definitely not pricey in the off-season as long as you don’t spend all your time eating out in old town (because meals there are about twice as expensive as meals out on Lapad).
I was actually thinking the vet bills weren’t too bad. That would end up costing thousands here in Canada.
Glad your pooch will be okay! I’m sure that was scary
Thanks. She’s doing much better now.
And yes – the cost would have been so much worse in US/Canada.
Sorry to hear about Luna and happy to hear she’s on the mend. It’s so scary when they aren’t well. Was it pancreatitus?
I believe so. The vet didn’t use that word, but based on the description he gave me, that’s what it is/was.
Nice overview of your monthly costs in Dubrovnik. However, your accommodation bill seems pretty high for the off-season in Dubrovnik. But at least you were happy with the apartment. Hope Luna gets better soon!
I’m sure it depends on the place. Ours is a two-bedroom pretty luxuriously appointed with stunning views and the cost includes weekly cleaning and other perks. :)
I just accidentally hit upon your blog! It’s great and traveling with a dog really fascinates me. My husband and I are retired and have been travelling full time for more than 4 years. (Sold our house, all our belongings, and truly wanderers!) While I absolutely love it, I really miss not having a dog. I intend to now check out your other blog entries. If you have other suggestions I’m very interested. Thanks.
P.S. If you are interested check out my blog: Hendricksonadventure.com
Welcome! Have you joined the Animal Travelers group on Facebook? There are tons of nomads with dogs (and cats!) in there. Might be another good resource as you think about traveling with a dog in future.