Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Mid-way travel expense total

I bet some of you are wondering how much money I’ve spent on travel so far this year. Well, I guess you could look back and add up my weekly spending recaps or check out my trip reports, but it would probably be a lot easier if you checked out this awesome spreadsheet I just made. Feel free to click to make it bigger. :)

Everything is up-to-date as of a few days ago. Any blank space indicates something I haven’t booked yet, and because of that the Average Cost of each trip is inaccurate. It takes into account trips we haven’t gone on yet, so just ignore that box.

Now, here are the cost break downs per trip, and per day:

Individually, each trip hasn’t been that expensive. And even the Average Price Per Day (w/travel expenses) is pretty low at €85.10 ($110.15) for Western Europe. Although, I guess it’s kind of cheating since we have my sponsorship, which has saved us well over $3,500 combined so far this year. And when you add everything up, I’ve spent €4,079.65, or $5,267.73 so far this year on travel – and the majority of our trips are still to come. :|

We are going to really tighten our belts and try to keep our costs down in August. I expect that month will cost me around $2,000-$2,500, now that I’m not going back to Vancouver. And I think that when we finally do leave Europe in December, I will end up spending around $10,000 on travel for the year. But that $10,000 will amount to visiting 20 different countries spread over almost an entire year, and I honestly consider it to be completely worth it. Sure, that cash could have been put towards my mortgage, into an RRSP, or saved for something else, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And 30 years from now, I’ll still be happy with my decision. :)

Call me nerdy, but I’m really excited to see what the final total ends up being, as well as how much I spent in total just living here in Germany. Let me know if you have any questions, and I’d be happy to answer them!

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Sue says:

    This is a great snapshot. I follow a mix of travel blogs and pf blogs but this is the only one I can think of that is a combination of both. I don’t track my expenditure (my budget is simple in that sense – money in less savings, rent, pension, phone, commuter travel and balance is fun money which covers travel, social, meals out, groceries clothes etc) so I’m not sure what I spend on trips but now I’m wishing I did.

  2. SavingMentor says:

    This is really impressive Krystal. You’re a master at travelling cheaply to be able to pull off so many little trips like that for so little!

    Was in Paris last month for 9 days (just stayed in the one city) and had an amazing time. I’m sure I did things a lot more extravagantly than you did because one of the reasons I try so hard to save money at home is so I can let loose on vacation. Even with getting the hotel and flights free using points, I still probably spent significantly more than you per day and I don’t even drink so it wasn’t all booze :)

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Thanks! :) Europe is so expensive, it’s hard to keep spending under control. I think if I were going to Europe for a short trip like you did, I would have done the same as you – splurged on more things. Especially in Paris – you have to! I think dinner on our first night in Paris was close to $50! But since our goal is to stretch our euros as far as they will go, we have to watch our money. Not to say we don’t splurge on things! We always sit down for dinner, and if there are things we really want to do (like take a day trip to Gibraltar, or rent a gondola in Venice), we make sure to do it.

  3. We are planning to go to New Zealand for over a month in the winter. Before I was so pro-apartment or condo or camper van but I may look at using HostelBooker.

    Maybe they can even sponsor the Grocery Alerts road trip!

    Good insight – Europe is pricey but some things like museums and events are actually way cheaper and some food is worth it.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Wow New Zealand for a month? That would be incredible. I’ve always wanted to go there, and have always imagined touring around in a camper van. :) I can’t wait to see pics from your trip!

  4. I’m a spreadsheet nerd, so I love this!

    You’ve been to such a lot of wonderful places – if you had to choose which city has been you favourite? :)

  5. Super impressed that you’ve been living in Europe while continuing to make money and save money (even if its not a ton) and pay down your mortgage. Such a fantastic opportunity! Excited to hear about the rest of your year!

  6. Betty says:

    Hi Krystal! Would you be interested to talking about the best travel credit cards and their perks (ie. medical, points)? Love this blog… Thanks for the awesome info! :)

  7. Michelle says:

    I definitely think this is money well spent!

  8. Jewel of Toronto says:

    Glad you’re not going to regret money well spent!

  9. JJLC says:

    Sounds like you are having a fantastic time. I’m glad it’s working out for you both personally and financially.

    I just wanted to point out for other “would be followers” who think they could also travel so cheaply. It appears that Krystal’s sponsor has saved her on average $233 per trip based on 15 trips so far. ($3500 / 15) = $233.33. I didn’t look back at all the trip posts, but that average is actually higher because you did pay for some accommodation on 7 out of the 15 trips, but I didn’t check each post to see if a discount from your sponsor was included in that cost.

    Point is, for those would be “cheap travelers”, you are likely not going to be able to tour around Europe for $302 per trip, the average would be more like $550 after accommodations assuming you tried to travel as fiscally responsible as Krystal has. Unfortunately, I’m sure isn’t going to sponsor everyone’s travel around Europe. Krystal has been extremely fortunate to have generosity by providing free or discounted accommodation in exchange for her hostel reviews on this blog.

    For Krystal and her BF, considering the accommodations are approximately 50% of your travel costs and you are getting it either free or at a discounted rate I’d certainly stay as long as it’s affordable. This type of travel opportunity doesn’t come around very often and not for too many people so enjoying it.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yes, I do disclose on most posts that I am being sponsored by Hostelbookers. The $3,500 sum is for the both of us combined, so my savings is actually $1,750. But what I do want to stress is that some of the places they have put us in have been very nice, and something we probably would have never paid for on our own. Or they have put us into normal priced hostels, but in a private room – which obviously costs more than a dorm room. For the accommodation that we actually have to pay for ourselves (and we are paying for all of our accommodation from September-December travel), our average cost per night is around $20-25 each. And it could even be cheaper if we wanted to stay in larger hostel dorm rooms. It is definitely doable to travel Europe for $20/night. Especially in off-peak times.

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