October budget roundup!

A few changes to the reporting this month: I’ve switched to reporting in Canadian dollars since we used Euros, Moroccan dirham and Romanian leu this month. Booze and Food are now separate categories.

October was expensive. Here’s how we fared:

Total spending:


Ouch, right? Considering our budget is $100/day, we really blew it. We spent more than double our budget at CAD$204.62/day. Here’s why:

Accommodations: CAD$2495

Overall, we spent 40% more on accommodation than we did last month. The main reason is that we had almost a week of free accommodation in Toronto last month. If you take into account the free days at the beginning of Sept, we paid on average $74/night in Sept. In October, that figure is $80.48/night. Our most expensive place was in Girona: $130/night. It was only for two days so we splurged. It was also one of the nicest places we stayed. Otherwise all our accommodation hovered around $75-80/night, and most had kitchens so we could cook for ourselves. The bargain of the month was our apartment in Bucharest for €33 (~CAD$46). Our accommodation costs still come in under what our mortgage/property taxes/utilities/insurance at home are. I keep reminding myself that we’ll be spending less on accommodation once we get to Asia

Food: CAD$1284.31
Booze: CAD$469.72
Total food/booze: CAD$1754.02

We actually spent less per day on food in October than September if you take into account the free food in Toronto. In September, we spent about $65/day on food for the 24 days we weren’t being fed by family in Toronto. In October, food spending works out to be just over $56/day. There were a couple of expensive days in there, the buffet dinner and breakfast at the airport hotel (yuk!), plus a nice dinner out in Seville.

I’m happy to report that our booze spending isn’t as embarrassing as expected. A couple of things to note on the booze/food front: in Granada, tapas are free with your drink. So we spent far less on food than on alcohol in Granada. In Morocco, we didn’t drink at all as most places didn’t serve alcohol and the stores that sold it were all outside the medina. We are too lazy to be true alcoholics.

Attractions: CAD$395.13

We did a couple of expensive tours in Morocco, to the Middle Atlas Mountains and to Volubilis, Meknes and Moulay Idriss.

Transportation: CAD$1235.76

We spent a lot more on trains in Spain than in Portugal. We ended up on a first class train from Madrid to Girona (sweet!) because 2nd class was sold out. Fortunately, we had a coupon for 30% off, but it was still a whopping CAD$530 for three tickets. Fortunately, I was able to “erase” the charges using my credit card’s travel points.

Even though Spain’s trains were expensive, we still saved money by not purchasing a Eurail pass for Spain and Portugal. The Railpass for 9 days in two months would have cost US$1262 (Source: Railpass – 9 days in two months: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-portugal-spain-pass/index.html)

Eurail Pass price screenshot


We paid a total of €940 or approximately US$1194.80

Country Trains Cost € USD (converted at 1.27)
Portugal Lisbon – Coimbra € 48.40 $61.47
Portugal Coimbra – Porto € 21.65 $27.50
Portugal Porto – Sintra € 76.10 $96.65
Portugal Sintra – Lagos € 62.00 $78.74
Portugal Lagos – Vila Real de Santo Antonio € 26.00 $33.02
Spain Seville – Granada € 76.85 $97.60
Spain Granada – Madrid € 216.00 $274.32
Spain Madrid – Girona € 372.45 $473.01
Spain Girona – Barcelona € 41.34 $52.50
€ 940.79 $1194.80


Miscellaneous: CAD$463.10

There were some bigger expenses in the miscellaneous department in October. We purchased a 1T external hard drive for CAD$101.93. Through a series of expensive misunderstandings we paid $226.81 to store our luggage for a week. We also purchased some warm clothes.

We are really looking forward to slowing down soon. We’ve been travelling at a breakneck pace, doing all the tours, walking and eating out lots. Not only will it be more restful at a slower pace, it will also be less expensive. After a whirlwind tour of Jordan and Angkor Wat (yes, we’ll see the amazing sites of Petra and Angkor within one week of each other!), we head to 16 days of laid-back beach life on a Thai island.

We’ve recalibrated the budget. In order to stay afloat until I get a paycheque again (Darren doesn’t pay himself anymore), we need to drill it down to about $70/day. We have some contingency money just in case, but we’d rather not dip into it. I’m hoping it’ll be easier to do this once we get to South East Asia and start travelling much more slowly.




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