Hi Friends! I wanted to take a few minutes to sit down and run through the costs of our recent trip to Ireland. If you’re not interested, feel free to move on, I won’t be offended! Now, I know I’ve said it before, but something I’ve always missed from travel blogs is hearing how much their trips actually cost. Seeing bloggers visit and travel to incredible places, I’d always assumed we could never afford it; and sometimes we definitely can’t, but sometimes we can!
When I started this blog I promised myself I’d always be up front and honest about the costs of our trips so that if any of you were wondering about it, nothing would be vague and you’d know exactly how much it cost!
Alright, let’s get to the goods.
First off, let me start by saying Eric and I don’t runaway to Europe for a long weekend anytime we wish. This was kind of an out-of-the blue idea with some friends of ours and we decided to go for it! We both worked hard in the months leading up to the trip to save our money, and we even did some small odd jobs to help as well! If you set your mind to it, you can make it happen.
I feel like I should mention, we don’t plan or go on any of our trips without having every dollar we need already saved. We intentionally save for each trip we take. Further, we use things like AAA discounts and travel points to help lower costs. Sign up below to get my 25 best budget travel tips!
So, before we even bought the flights, Eric and I wrote out a potential budget of the trip. We now do this with all our trips. It truly helps us have the right expectations of how much everything will cost, what items we can splurge on and where we need to be more frugal. Then we save for each budget item and cross it off as we’ve saved the money.
Of course, we knew this wouldn’t necessarily be a cheap vacation, it’s Europe for goodness sake. However, we did take steps to limit our spending and make wise choices.
Below is what we originally budgeted for the trip and what each item actually cost. Keep in mind, since we were traveling with friends, we were able to split 2 out of the 3 lodging bills in half with them.
Budgeted vs. Actual Costs
As you can see, we actually came in under budget, which was awesome! There were a few areas that we ended up spending less than we thought, such as the flights and transportation. Unexpectedly, our flights were a bit under budget. We were fortunate to find a good deal, and we packed in carry-ons so there weren’t any extra baggage fees.
Transportation included the rental car, gas, and all of the parking meters we used. Our transportation costs were much lower than we expected which was so exciting! A large reason for that was because my friend (who grew up in Northern Ireland!) gave me some great advice on how to avoid paying the large rental car insurance rates in Ireland, while staying covered. I can go into that more in a post later on if you’re interested. 🙂
You’ll see we went quite a bit over in souvenirs, haha, but what else are you supposed to do when you find a Cath Kidston outlet?! In all seriousness, we knew we had saved in other areas, so we felt fine spending a little extra here. Other than that, we stayed to our budget pretty tightly, and ended up saving about $260, so we’re happy with that!
Hopefully this post is helpful to you all. I always want to be upfront and honest with the costs that go into our trips. We work hard to save for them and try to plan them out wisely. My hope is that this type of post might encourage you that you can go on these trips too!
Thanks for reading guys! 🙂