So let’s get reeaaalllly personal for a sec. Let’s talk about money. Specifically just how much money I spent on travel in 2017. I began tracking this partly due to my own curiosity – although I generally budget carefully prior to taking a trip, I take a relatively relaxed approach while on vacation, so I’ve never paid more attention than to know that I stay close enough to my budget to count. Secondly, sometimes this level of detail could be helpful to those considering planning their own vacation. If money talk isn’t your thing, you may want to skip this post. If it is (or if you’re just curious) read on!
In this total, I am including all major trips and weekend getaways that I took in 2017. What I did not include is our many camping trips, even those that felt more like vacations. Mostly because the mountain air distracted me from my cell phone enough that I forgot to keep track. Overall, our spending on camping trips was minimal due to most campsites being inexpensive (ranging from no cost to $31 a night on the very high end) and most camp activities being on the cheap (read: free) side. However, camping was the vast majority of the travel and weekend getaways we did over the summer. I also did not include the out of town conferences I attended. Because those were not paid for by me. Other than those oversights, I think the list below is comprehensive. Also note, for most of my travels, expenses were shared with Brandon, so I’m documenting what I actually spent, not the total cost of the trips.
Transportation (aka gas money): $40
Lodging: $125 for a hotel on the way to Cali. Brandon paid for the VRBO where we stayed for the weekend.
Food and Drinks: $150 with additional meals paid for by Brandon
Tours and Activities: $32
Total: $367 for an elegant weekend in California wine country
Transportation: $41.26 for gas, valet parking, and an Uber
Lodging: $143 for one night at a chic hotel
Food and Drinks: $105.84 (I didn’t track this, but Brandon probably spent about this much for our “fancy” dinner out in Portland)
Tours and Activities: $11.45 for a couple of books from Powell’s; the thrill I got from longingly exploring the bookstore? Priceless!
Total: $301.55 for a fun weekend away from small town life
Transportation: $845.69 for flights, a rental car, and gas
Lodging: Free – one of the many great things about visiting friends and family
Food and Drinks: $220.84 spent mostly on coffee, we also enjoyed many amazing home cooked meals
Tours and Activities: Despite being free, time with friends and family is invaluable
Total: $1066.53 for Easter weekend with my favorite people
For this trip, I actually tracked both my expenses and Brandon’s, so I’ll provide both. Just because I can.
Transportation: $373.92 for me – taxes and fees for the flights (which were booked with airline miles) and airport parking; $405 for Brandon – mostly transportation while in Jamaica, including to and from the airport and our driver for the day we went to the south part of the island
Lodging: $623.73 – I paid the deposit for Rockhouse and paid for a hotel in San Francisco so we could get some sleep after arriving back around midnight and not having a flight home until later the next morning; $650 – Brandon paid the remaining Rockhouse balance
Food and Drinks (please don’t judge…): $585 for me; $738 for Brandon; I don’t think either of us have any regrets – so. much. lobster.
Tours and Activities: $306 for me, including some relaxing spa time; $288 for Brandon
Other: $413 for me – a trip like this had some extra stuff, like yellow fever vaccines, but this also includes souvenirs, travel insurance, and dog sitting; $255 for my love, whose insurance, unlike mine, did not cover the $225 vaccine…
Total: $2301.65 for me and $2336 for Brandon for an amazing, life changing, magical week in paradise (side note, our plan for splitting expenses apparently worked perfectly – Brandon brought cash and used his credit card at the hotel and I covered any and all other expenses that could be paid for with a credit card)
Wedding Dress Weekend
Transportation: About $25 – expenses for gas and valet parking were split between myself and 3 sweet friends
Lodging: $65 – not a bad per person price for a gorgeous and roomy suite in a fancy hotel
Food: Maybe $150, I didn’t track this particularly well, but we had some amazing meals
Tours and Activities: If I don’t include the $1300 I spent on a wedding dress, wedding dress shopping was pretty much a free activity 😉
Total: $240 for a super fun women’s weekend finding the most beautiful wedding dress that has ever existed
Grand Total (not including camping trips and conferences): $4276.63
Of course, these are just the broad categories. If there are specific things you’re curious about, for instance the cost of a certain hotel or tour, I’m happy to share! I will confess, this was interesting for me to calculate. And if I’m being honest, I feel like I actually spent less than I thought I had. I know this is still a lot of money, but traveling, at least for now, is a priority in my life and something I choose to spend my money on over other things. I can’t think of a single trip or experience I would change from 2017 and I am incredibly excited about my travel plans for 2018!