Posts Tagged With: holiday budget

The Final Numbers

I apologise for the hiatus, but as promised, here are the final figures for our 6 week trip to USA and Canada.

I will begin with the easiest figure – the grand total for 2 adults for 42 days and nights was $18,764.36 which is remarkably similar to our UK trip 2 years ago.  You can see the details for that trip here.

This is how it was broken up.

Airfares $     4,563.99
Accommodation $     6,335.44
Insurance $         559.94
Transport $     2,799.08
Food/Drink $     2,757.53
Sightseeing/Tours/Events $     1,258.61
Souvenirs/Gifts $         229.37
Other spending $         260.40

It is interesting to see where the money went.  Once again, accommodation was the biggest single expense.

Airfares includes 2 internal flights as well as our return flights from Brisbane to Chicago.  I included the cost of our visas and also car parking in Brisbane as it was all part of getting there.

Transport was trains, ferries, car hire, fuel and parking fees.

Food and drinks included everything that we ate or drank from restaurant meals, drinks at the pub, groceries to an occasional ice-cream or cup of coffee.

Sightseeing etc was made up of admission costs, guided tours, cruises and two shows.

We bought limited souvenirs with a couple of items for our granddaughters as well as some maple syrup and a boxed set of ‘Anne of Green Gables’ DVDs.

The final category of ‘Other’ was a couple of things from the chemist, a dental visit, a top and trousers for me as well as hats to replace the ones we left on the train early in the trip and phone recharge and some internet access.

As with our UK trip we pre-paid as much as we could with a total of $11,580.21 spent before we set out.

Our total budget was $20,000.00 for everything and although we kept very accurate records of what we spent we did not keep an exact running total.  It was not until today when I sat down and gathered up all of the information, converted our spending into AUD and completed the final spreadsheet that we knew exactly how much we spent.

This will be the last post on the blog until we start planning our next trip which will probably be within Australia.  In the meantime, I can be found on my other blog, Organised Castle.

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Adversity to Adventure

It is a few days since my last post about our day trip to Niagara Falls.  We had one full day after that in Toronto during which we caught up on some domestic chores, explored a little of the city and most importantly, spent our last night at a Cirque du Soleil performance.  It was magnificent and certainly worth seeing.

The title of this post comes a comment from a friend, “Great way to turn adversity into an adventure” and I will explain why.

We were up bright and early the morning after Cirque du Soleil as we were heading for home starting with a flight from Toronto to Chicago followed by another to Los Angeles and finally the long-haul flight across the Pacific Ocean to Brisbane.

However, things did not go according to plan and we arrived in Los Angeles too late to connect with the 11.20pm departure of the Brisbane flight so ended up being accommodated at the Sheraton Hotel near Los Angeles airport.  We were rebooked on the same flight the following evening so would have the whole day in Los Angeles.  We had never spent time here previously and so decided to make the most of the time we had and opted for the Hop On, Hop Off bus which does a route up the coast to Venice and Santa Monica.

After going to the end of the circuit at Santa Monica pier we hopped off and walked the majority of the way back to Fisherman’s Village near Marina del Rey.  It was a warm, sunny day and here is some of what we saw.

The lighthouse at Fisherman’s Village.

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Santa Monica beach.

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Santa Monica pier which also happens to be the end of the legendary Route 66.

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Some interesting merchandise at one of the beachfront stalls in Venice Beach.

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And artwork.

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Venice is so named for the canals which were designed in the early 1900’s but many were filled in and turned into roads in the 1920’s but a few canals remain.

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There was plenty to see and we made the most of our enforced stopover.

We are now safely at home so that is almost the end of posts on this blog for the time being apart from one final summation of the the costs.  I still have some calculations to do for that so it will probably not be until next weekend.

In the meantime, I will be back blogging at Organised Castle in the next day or so – once I have caught up on some sleep.

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Final Figures

No pictures in this post – just the final figures.  Here are the financial details of the trip.

I will begin with the easiest figure – the grand total for 2 adults for 7 nights and 7 days was $4,160.17

This is how it was broken up.

Airfares $     1,538.80
Accommodation $     1,029.08
Insurance $        141.75
Transport $        162.87
Food/Drink $        522.04
Sightseeing/Tours/Events $        332.09
Souvenirs/Gifts $          36.45
Other spending $         397.09

It is interesting to compare the ratios with our UK trip from 2014.  You can see the details here.  Since this was only for a week the airfares were the biggest single cost.  Our accommodation included breakfast provided each day and our room serviced.

Transport was taxi and train fares.

Food and drinks included everything that we ate or drank while out and about and the groceries we purchased.

Sightseeing etc was made up of admission costs, guided tour and cruise.

As with previous trips we did not feel the need for souvenirs, however, we capitulated and bought the photo from the Night Zoo and I have also included Oh Siew May’s book in this category.

The final category of ‘Other’ included a pack of Band Aids, a couple of pieces of fabric, a dress and 2 pairs of socks for myself as well as a new umbrella for both GMan and I.  All of these would have been bought regardless of whether we were on holidays or not.

I had set myself the relatively generous budget of $5,000 so we easily came in under budget for our one week jaunt to Singapore.

This is the final post until we begin planning our 2016 trip to the east coast of Canada in earnest.
In the meantime you can keep track of my slightly more mundane life on my other blog, Organised Castle.
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Crunching the Numbers

As promised in my last post, here are the financial details of the trip.

I will begin with the easiest figure – the grand total for 2 adults for 40 nights and 41 days was $18,157.76

This is how it was broken up.

Airfares $     3,960.00
Accommodation $     5,461.00
Insurance $         490.00
Transport $     3,939.18
Food/Drink $     2,280.65
Sightseeing/Tours/Events $     1,740.15
Souvenirs/Gifts $         137.26
Other spending $         149.52

It is interesting to see where the money went.  Accommodation was the biggest single cost.  We paid an average $140.00 AUD/night and most included breakfast or breakfast provisions.

Transport was trains, ferries, car hire, fuel and parking fees.

Food and drinks included everything that we ate or drank from restaurant meals, drinks at the pub, groceries to an occasional ice-cream or cup of coffee.

Sightseeing etc was made up of admission costs, guided tours, cruises and two shows.

We made a conscious decision to spend very little on souvenirs as we did not need ‘stuff’ to remind ourselves of what a great time we had.  The Duke bought a pair of socks from Portmeirion.  I bought 2 teatowels and a postcard which I intend to get framed.  The remainder was something for each of our daughters and our two grand daughters.

The final category of ‘Other’ was a couple of things from the chemist, 2 birthday presents, some hooks for hanging clothes hangers on the clothesline, a shirt and shoes for me and a haircut for The Duke.  All of these would have been bought regardless of whether we were on holidays or not.

We began planning for this trip about 14 months ago.  The first thing we did was to book our flights which was about this time last year.  The majority of our accommodation was booked through AirBnB which requires up-front payment.  About 3 – 4 months before our departure we booked tickets to 2 shows, most of our train fares, ferries to and from Ireland and the hire cars.  All of this except the hire car in Ireland was paid for at the time of booking. This meant that we had pre-paid at total of $10,905.24 before we set out.

Our total budget was $20,000.00 for everything and although we kept very accurate records of what we spent we did not keep an exact running total.  It was not until today when I sat down and gathered up all of the information, converted our spending into AUD and completed the final spreadsheet that we knew exactly how much we spent.

It is gratifying to know that we came in almost $2,000.00 under our allowed budget.  This also gives me confidence in my calculations for planning future trips.

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A Final Word

Our internet access was a bit hit and miss for the last couple of days of the holiday so the blog fell a little by the wayside.  Never mind, we are now home and I just wanted to tidy up a few loose ends before this blog goes into hibernation until our next holiday.  I am not sure when or where that will be.

We arrived back in Australia at 5.15am today after about 20 hours of travel.  We flew from Washington DC to Dallas and then from Dallas to Brisbane which was a 15.5 hour flight.  The first flight was delayed by almost an hour which meant we were cutting it very fine to catch our international flight.  I did a couple of quick sprints through Dallas airport (probably the most running I have done since I left school).  Unfortunately, our luggage did not end up on the same flight so we had to complete the paperwork in Brisbane and our suitcases should be delivered to our home tomorrow.

During the trip I tracked all of our spending and although I have a few figures to finalise I can report that our budget ended up looking like this.

Daily spending (included entertainment, transport,groceries, eating out, souvenirs) was $110/day.

We had paid for our airfares, accommodation and train travel beforehand and when I added this in and averaged it to a per day cost it became $400/day.

I have not included money that I spent on gifts (birthday and Christmas) as these would have been bought whether we were at home or overseas.  In fact, the items I bought were because they were unique and/or a very good price.  I did not include clothes which we bought for ourselves as this had been planned.  We had deliberately avoided buying clothes/shoes in the previous 12 months with the direct aim of buying these items overseas.

The only souvenirs we bought were a book on the Civil War that The Duke purchased and a souvenir photo from our cruise around Manhattan Island.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and I hope you have had fun reading about it.

Till our next trip it is au revoir for now.

You can follow my more mundane life on my other 2 blogs – Organised Castle and Eating For Health.  I hope to update these soon.

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