Travel Budget: 2008 & 2009

suitcaseEvery year, I include “see a new country” amongst my resolutions. It’s the only one I’m guaranteed to hit without fail. I currently have $6000 a year earmarked for this part of my life, and it’s too important to my sanity and the core of who I am to give up completely no matter what economic blows rain down upon my poor little self-employed head.

Results for 2008
Mexico in May:  $1000
Argentina in August:  $2300
Colorado in December:  $900 (assuming I get that $80 bus fare refunded)
TOTAL:  $4200

Yes, I came in under budget for the year, but only because I cancelled my plans to spend Thanksgiving week in India when Lehman collapsed and wrought havoc on my personal economy. That trip would have been about $1150 airfare + $650 hotels/food/trains/etc = $1800.

Plans for 2009
Africa in April (3-4 weeks):  $3000
Colorado in September (wedding):  $1200
…Bad economy:  No more trips
…Eh economy:  Thanksgiving 3-day weekend in Vegas @ $800
…Okay economy:  T’giving 5-day weekend in Sevilla, Spain @ $1300
…Great economy:  T’giving week in India or Syria @ $1800-2300
TOTAL:  $4200-6500

In case you can’t figure it out from my numbers, I’m not a 4-star kinda gal. I actually like quirky guesthouses/inns/B&Bs that go for about a third the price of a hotel room, and I think public transportation is fun to figure out even if I don’t know the language. Heck, especially if I don’t know the language! I travel alone, so fancy restaurants are out of the question…I can deal with dining solo, but not in a cloth-napkin kind of place. I’ve never traveled with anyone who liked to travel this way, just a couple of boyfriends back in the 90s who barely tolerated my choices some of the time – and usually bitched about how they deserved better. I swear, you could quintuple my income and the only thing that would change is using taxis instead of public transportation for airport transfers. I call my travel style “luxury student”.

10 Responses

  1. I’m so jealous that you’re going to Africa!

    And while I’ve never traveled anywhere outside of North America, I’d like to travel the same way you do. I’m not a resort kind of girl. I like tiny b&bs and cool hostels. When my BF and I go traveling for a year, out of all the things that could excite me about the trip, I can’t wait to sit on the sidewalk of a random street in a bustling neighbourhood in Cambodia and eat crickets off a skewer. 🙂

  2. Hi there-what a wonderful way of seeing the world and its great you’ve budgetted for it all too! Happy New year to you!

  3. Wow you really do like to travel. I’m sticking closer to home now that we have pets, boarding costs are insane. I don’t need a 5 star vacation, but a minimal level of comfort is preferred! We often do sailing vacations, travel somewhere and rent a boat to live on for a week. It’s not cheap but tends to be less than the hotel/restaurant route. Your plans sound fun!

  4. I could definitely travel like you do… if I was traveling. I like how you have the inate gusto to take the more personal route. You, MoneyMateKate, are simply fascinating.

    And Krystal’s crickets on a skewer… um.. to personal. lol!

  5. Prepare to be jealous! I have lived in /visited the following countries (yes, I am american!):
    Costa Rica

    And I think I am missing a few. Anyways I love to travel but have to leave DH at home. He prefers a more lux vacation and I am happy trekking through jungles (Costa Rica) and eating grasshoppers (Thailand). Usually my mom and I go and we leave the men at home with the dogs (I have two large labs and she has two Shitzus and a Sharpei).

  6. I forgot to add that this year Puerto Rico is on the agenda and maybe somewhere else. I would love to go on Safari in Namibia!

  7. Jealous? Oh, I think I need to put in my list…nothing like a little healthy competition 😉

    Philippines (lived)
    Japan (lived)
    Thailand (studied)
    Scotland (lived)
    Ireland & N. Ireland
    Italy (studied) + Vatican
    Spain (lived)
    Czech Republic
    Costa Rica

    See why Kenya & Tanzania are next on the list? I’m missing a whole continent!

    P.S. I have two passports/citizenships: US & UK. The world is my oyster!

  8. I also like traveling like you, but I do think if I was a gazillionaire I’d stay in hotels more often. It’s just simpler, and your friend won’t get bed bugs and complain about your hostel choice.

    I’m not sure that next year will be a good travel year for me, but I have some big plans for 2010 and beyond.

    Have fun!

  9. okay, I am a little jealous, but I have only been doing this for about 10 years and I dont have the advantage of dual citizenship either. 🙂

    I too feel like i am missing a whole continent but my mom is obsessed with asia and wants to do Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Myanmar would also be on the list if it wasnt for the instability of the country right now.

  10. I am highly jealous of you and Gypsy! Wish I could leave DH at home and my mom would want to travel like this… hmmm…:)

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