[travel costs & budgets]…so far

My trip costs so far: $1,899.45 for 71 days of travel
Transportation: $1,602.17
Accommodation: $297.28 

With food & leisure activities, I’m hoping to spend no more than $2,500 for my trip, averaging out to about $35/day. Here’s a breakdown of my costs so far and how I’ve managed to save money thus far:


Flight costs really hit me hard for Greece. I wanted to stop in Boston to see my boyfriend one last time before my adventure so I spent extra money on one-way tickets for a longer layover in BOS. He’s worth it so I don’t mind :]

Meanwhile, I’ve saved a lot in accommodations and [hopefully] food a few different ways:

  1. Marriott points. The best. Thanks, ex-employer. [and here’s a mini plug for how much I enjoy having a Marriott card too!] My tip: sign up for hotel rewards programs, it’s usually free & easy to sign up! Eventually, you’ll rack up enough points for free stays – having a matching hotel card helps too!
  2. Staying at a hostel. I used http://www.hostelworld.com to book my hostel in Thessaloniki. Prices were a bit higher than I was expecting but it beats hotel prices. 
  3. Working abroad! Well, sort of. I joined http://www.workaway.info for great opportunities to work, volunteer, and play abroad. Here’s how it works: you dedicate X number of hours a day/week for a host in return for [most] meals and lodging. My thought: of all the long-term travel costs, food & accommodation [& shopping] will probably be the most expensive yet also the most flexible. For a more genuine experience, why not live & do & work as the locals do? I’m not a big foodie nor am I picky so local, home-cooked meals are perfect for me :] 

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I expect this will be the most expensive leg of my trip. Almost all the prices above are for 2 people so if you’re traveling alone, you can expect the total to drop a bit. You’ll notice that the Italy total here should raise my overall trip cost, but I’m splitting costs with my friend so that’s why this number here doesn’t match my personal costs. 

I’m excited to have company while traveling Italy, but it made workaway opportunities a bit trickier so this part of the trip will be all fun & touristy.

As far as transportation goes, we’ve mostly booked trains around Italy. I’m not sure how busses work in Italy but I’ve heard mixed reviews so we’ve stuck with trains to be safe. I’ll let you know how those work for us :]

We’ve split up lodging between Marriotts and bed & breakfasts using http://www.airbnb.com. It will be our first time using AirBnB but I’m looking forward to a home away from home.


Luckily, I found another workaway opportunity in France. I’d like to take a weekend or day trip to Paris and some of the other cities near Normandy but I’m not sure what I’ll have time for in between working. So, for now, the most expensive part of this leg is the transportation.

For cheaper flights and train tickets, I’ve relied on http://www.momondo.com as a search engine. Rumor has it that they have great prices on last minute flights but I like to plan ahead so I bought my tickets quite a few months early. I also used http://www.ryanair.com for cheap European flights across countries [ex: Greece to Italy and Italy to France]. For train tickets in Italy,  www.italiarail.com has great prices and frequent trains.

Do you have any tips on when to buy flight, train, or bus tickets? How have you been able to save money for big trips? I’d love to know!

Hope this helps!  


9 responses to “[travel costs & budgets]…so far

  1. Love what your doing with the blog. Cannot wait to see all your travels hopefully you will post often 🙂

  2. You’re going to love AirBnB, it’s a fantastic way to stay in a place without feeling like a tourist. And hopefully your host has a lot of good tips on where to eat, what museums to see, etc–like having a hotel concierge, but paying less for it!

    • Whew! I’m so glad to hear that! I was hoping it would be everything I thought it would be :]

      Have you ever stayed with BnBs that didn’t have reviews? I’ve sort of been a review snob and if they don’t have reviews, I’ve been more skeptical to book with them. Any suggestions on how to judge a good BnB?

      • It should definitely be everything you dream of. I’ve only used it once, but it was a fantastic deal and my host family gave me a huge list of recommended places to check out. The place I stayed at had many reviews, so I didn’t have to worry about going somewhere untested. Since AirBnB is linked through facebook, it should be pretty easy to gauge how trustworthy someone is–no reason you can’t reach out to a potential host, whether they have reviews or not, to make sure they check out OK.

      • Good point! I’ll just start Facebook stalking for more references :] Thanks for the tip, Nathan!
        [and thanks, too, for following me! – looks like you and I are in the same boat! I’m looking forward to hearing about your experiences!]

    • I did! I’m flying Ryanair for a couple of my flights in Europe [Thessaloniki to Rome & Rome to Paris] and those flights were about $56 each way. I should have mentioned that! I’ll add that into my post! Thanks for reminding me!

      I would looooove your favorite Cinque Terre spots! Loved the pinterest site! Thanks, Jen!

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