Yup. That’s the expense total. On November 14, 2011 I set out to prove it was possible to travel leisurely and enjoyably for under $100 dollars a day. This $100 a day budget was to include all transportation, lodging, food, tourism, and souvenir expenses. Absolutely EVERYTHING. Those of you who followed the whole trip will know, sometimes it was tough. The average daily allowance fluctuated between the high of $100 and a low of $54.47. Sometimes I was over budget. Sometimes I was under budget. But not once did I pass up a tasty treat, pretty trinket, or chance for an added adventure.
I kept a tight record of my travel expenses, down to every 2 TL metro ride in Istanbul, and 5 Dinar glass of orange juice in Marrakesh. Sometimes I felt miserly, but mostly I felt intrigued. Would the average work out in the end? Would I come in under budget? That Thing That Sucked Me In sucked pretty hard in Goreme, Turkey, when I bought over $300 worth of hand thrown and hand painted pottery (that included shipping, promise!).
But, I am happy to say, I DID come home under budget. The total spent was $3,419.96. A full $280.04 under the goal of $3,700 for a 37 day trip. Wahoo!!!
So, what did I end up spending that money on?
– $1,590.87 was spent on transportation. Planes, Trains (and Metros/Trams), Buses, Boats, and Camels. Still no hot air balloon though.
– $321.64 was spent on lodging. Hostels mostly.
– $459.87 was spent on food. This included meals, grocery store trips, snacks, and water.
– $266.64 was spent on other touristy things. Things like museum entrance fees, my Sahara Tour, and tips for henna done by the little old ladies in Morocco.
– $780.95 was spent on souvenirs. So I like new trinkets. I’ll say it, and I’m sure others have said it- when traveling, go ahead an splurge a little on those strange and unique things that call you in. What are the chances you’ll be back a second time to pick it up later? Pretty slim, I’d say, so go ahead and enjoy the shopping experience.
And of course, the souvenir budget wasn’t necessary for survival, so I could have skated in almost $1,000 under budget if I wasn’t such a sucker for the rare and hand made.
Needless to say, I was pretty pleased with myself for making it home with cash to spare. So pleased, in fact, that I decided to spend the remaining funds on a weekend trip to Philadelphia, to visit with some old friends. I managed to squeeze that trip out for $290; which included gas ($65), theater tickets ($56), a hotel room in center city ($89), food ($50), and a night at the bars ($30). Getting to reconnect with college friends in a new Grown-Up way- Priceless.
Though I still think I prefer the $10 student rush fill in the front row tickets over the $56 with a terrible view tickets…
Well, now I’m back home and broke, a common enough state for an artistic fairy type. Stay tuned next month for a Great American Journey. A road trip to Arizona and the beginning of a most unique and exciting adventure- the Renaissance Circuit!