Every time I travel, I track my expenses and share them with my readers. I write a travel expense report for each trip to help me analyze my own expenses while on the road, and also to be transparent with my readers about how much I really spend.
As I learn more about saving money while traveling and become better at this lifestyle, we’ll see how these expense reports change!
This fall, I went to New York City, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, and then came back home to Nashville. So, I visited 4 cities in 4 countries outside of the USA. I managed to do all of this in 2 weeks, because I needed to get back within that time frame!
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Here’s the budget and prepaid expenses I laid out for this trip ahead of time:
the budget + prepaid expenses: transport
|Route||Mode of Transport||Miles Traveled||Cost|
|New York to|
Brussels (with a layover in Lille)
|Amsterdam to Berlin||Flight||358||$64.84|
|New York to|
|Total cost of|
The best part of writing this table was seeing how little I spent on my flight from New York to Paris. I bought a roundtrip ticket on a super saver fare through Air France, with whom I had a wonderful first experience.
I will say that booking the roundtrip, which I never do, caused me to spend a little more than I like to on my flights within Europe. Those EasyJet flights were much higher than I’d usually spend!
But, I was operating with a tight time frame and had no other option for this trip. As you can see, living on a one-way ticket is the more affordable option if you’re traveling long-term!
|Total cost||Cost per night|
|New York||Hilton Hotel||3||$0||$0|
|Paris||Boutique Hotel (Found on Airbnb)||1||$116.11||$116.11|
|Amsterdam||Hotel Boat (Found on Hostelworld)||4||$241.85||$60.46|
|Paris||Boutique Hotel (Found on Airbnb)||2||$194.08||$97.04|
|Total cost of|
Considering I went to Amsterdam and Paris, two of the more expensive cities, I did well on accommodation expenses. I would have saved more had I chosen to stay in hostel dorms instead of private rooms and small hotels, but I prefer the privacy for personal and safety reasons.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to spend anything on the overnight stays in New York and Atlanta due to hotel points!
|Location||Activity||Cost per person|
|New York||9/11 Museum||$26|
|Amsterdam||Van Gogh Museum||$20.81|
|Amsterdam||Anne Frank House||$11.50|
|Paris||Marmottan Monet Museum||$13.41|
|Activities, Food, +|
This is where I definitely could have saved. Because I didn’t stay in any Airbnbs, I didn’t have kitchen access like would have otherwise. This put my food spending at a high. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t have been able to carry leftovers with me because of the fast pace of my trip. That would have resulted in wasted food.
Although some of the museums and experiences I had were costly, they were worth it. I’m completely okay with spending my money on experiences instead of stuff.
Now, for the main event! Let’s add it all up…
grand total: $1,495.51
I’d say this is a middle-of-the-road cost for two weeks in Europe. The most expensive parts were getting to and from the USA, getting flights within Europe to make it back for the return leg of my Paris roundtrip, and the cost of visiting the Netherlands.
I certainly felt the difference between Amsterdam and Berlin! Food, museums, and especially lodging were much more affordable in Germany for this trip.
In the future, I’ll revert back to Airbnb travel when I’m in a more expensive area like Western Europe. Sure, I love eating out just as much as the next person. But, going to restaurants takes up too much of my travel expenses.
In total, I’m not upset at how much I spent on this trip. Especially considering I got to tick off two new countries, and I visited one of the most expensive cities in the world!
. . .
I hope this travel expense report helps you see how much travel can cost. It helped me visualize where I saved and where I splurged, so I can adjust for next time and see what happens!
Where are you going next?
*Cover photo by Léonard Cotte. Thanks, Léonard!
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