Trying to budget for a trip is always hard. More often than not, I tend to say screw it and make sure we have more than enough put back to cover what we think we will spend. This was definitely the case when we blew our budget by double on our latest trip.
I knew going into this trip that it was going to be expensive; after all, we were gone a total of 23 days. After we got home, I began adding up our total costs. I had planned on a budget of approximately $1,900 – this included, transportation, food, souvenirs, and any additional outings. After crunching numbers, we spent a staggering $3926.83 while we were over there – 48% more than we had planned on spending. This is on top of the $8645.75 we had already prepaid for flights, transportation, accommodations, and excursions.
Here is the overall breakdown of our trip.
Air – 38%
$4727.84 – $4125.92 of the flights is a business expense
Transportation (train, car, metro) – 3%
Accommodations – 24%
$3049.21 – $1371 of the accommodations is a business expense
Excursions – 7%
Souvenirs – 11%
Food – 11%
Currency – 6%
Total Trip Costs
$12,572.58 – excluding business expenses, our total out of pocket came to $7075.66
We definitely could have done this trip a lot cheaper. We upgraded our long haul flights to Economy Plus to allow for extra legroom and a larger seat. This in itself added nearly $900 to the trip. Our hotel in Killarney was 5-star and cost more for one night than any of the other hotels for a 3-night stay. Had we stayed somewhere else, we could’ve saved about $600. We also threw in several last-minute excursions including Disneyland Paris, Old Town Cemetery Walking Tour in Edinburgh, a tour of Holyrood House in Edinburgh, and Louve tickets in Paris – totaling around $239 . Would we have not shipped 3 boxes of souvenirs back, this would’ve saved us $70. Lastly, alcohol was expensive. I lumped this into food and drink and chose not to break it down for a reason. What would we have done differently? Paid for everything in cash. The exchange rate in Europe and the U.K. is terrible for the U.S. Dollar. I think this would have saved us gobs of money. We initially went over with £200 GBP and €300 Euro. We purchased an additional €200 Euro in Dublin and on our way to Paris just to be safe. With all that said, I believe we did a pretty good job at keeping our expenses in check considering the high price of food everywhere we went.