Travel · Travel Tips

Trip Budgeting: A Necessary Evil

Trip Budget

I really don’t like the phrase, “better late than never”. I pride myself in not being a procrastinator … that was until it crossed my mind at 3 in the morning that we have not set a daily budget for our trip! With only 27 days until departure, today is better late than never!

Setting a budget for a trip takes quite a bit of research. Usually we don’t worry too much about budgeting as our typical trips are not longer than 7 days. But, because we will be gone 20 days, it is a necessary evil.

This is how I went about creating our budget. NOTE: All prices are averages.

Ireland

Exchange Rate: Euro: €.88 = $1.00 USD

Café/Pub Meal Cost: €6-€12 = $7-$13 USD

Pint: €4.50-€5.00 = $5-$6 USD

Mid-range Restaurant: €12-€25 = $13-$29 USD

Transportation: €2.80 = $3.18 USD

Because all but one day of meals will be paid for in Killarney since we are there on business, we’re able to back off our budget some for the 7th-11th. At $80 a day, this should be more than sufficient. Once we arrive in Dublin on the 11th-15th we’ll have to increase this to $100 a day. Total Budget: $720

Scotland

Exchange Rate: British Pound: £1 = $1.44 USD

Bar lunch: £10 = $14.50 USD

Midrange restaurant: £25 = $36 USD

Transportation: £3.70 = $5.30 USD

We will be spending 6 days in Scotland; part of the 15th-16th in St. Andrews and part of the 16th-20th in Edinburgh. Seeing as how my husband is a big golfer, I figure we better budget out $200 for the day since we will inevitably end up at the Old Course’s pro shop stocking up on souvenirs and Christmas gifts. While in Edinburgh, $100 a day should be doable. Total Budget: $600

France

Exchange Rate: Euro: €.88 = $1.00 USD

Cheap Meal: €12-€18 = $13.50-$21 USD

Transportation: (Metro x10 tickets) €14.10 = $16.08, RER x1 ticket €10 = $11.40 USD

I’ve heard time and time again that France is expensive. It wasn’t until I began figuring the budget that I grasped just how expensive it is! We have decided to stretch it out to $120 for the 5 (4.5) days we are here. Total Budget: $600

I did not include any attractions/accommodations/rail as that has been prepaid. At $1920 for food, souvenirs, and transportation, I think we should be able to stay within our budget (just keep me far away from Louis Vuitton in Paris). I also did not add any significant breakfast costs into our daily budget because breakfast for us usually consists of coffee and a granola bar. After our trip, I plan on doing a city-by-city breakdown of our expenses, including flights, accommodations, tours, rail, intercity transportation, food, and souvenirs.

Curious how we actually did on our budget? Look here to find out.

Share your experience!

How do you plan a budget for your trips? Do you stick to it, or does it fly out the window?

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