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We’re so excited to finally show you our monthly travel expenses which we’ve been tracking carefully this last month. We’ll be doing this each month!

A big part of our ambitions with this blog is to show you how much money you’ll need to travel the world as we do. We hope to be able to inspire you and kill the myth about travel being super expensive.

We’ve been using the iPhone app called Trail Wallet to track our expenses and it has really worked perfectly for us. It costs $2,99 but it has saved us a lot of money! We’ll be writing a review for the app soon, but you can check it out in App Store here. It was created by travel blogger Simon who has the blog Never Ending Voyage with his girlfriend Erin (check them out – their blog is amazing).

WHERE WE’VE BEEN IN JULY

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July was our first whole month traveling and living this new life of full time travel. We can’t believe it! It has been a test on many levels for us and we’ve struggled a lot to adapt.

But we’ve had so many amazing experiences and are now more focused and better prepared for what awaits us. We’re having the time of our lives and are really enjoying all of it even though it’s been tough.

As you might know, we’re cycling from Copenhagen to Rome and therefore we’ve been to a lot of different places in July. The month started in Berlin, then we crossed Germany and stayed in Hannover on the way. Then we crossed the Dutch border and spent some lovely days in beautiful Amsterdam. Crossing the Belgian border, we enjoyed Antwerpen and Bruxelles. The month ended in Paris – so we’ve been to many places!

OUR STANDARD OF LIVING

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Besides four nights at a hotel in Berlin in the beginning of July, we’ve been camping all the time. We have a small tent with us on the road and are actually getting used to sleeping in it. None of us has trouble sleeping and it’s very cheap to camp compared to hotels and even hostels.

In the large cities we’ve spent a lot more on food than we do when we cycle around small towns. We’ve had a lot of Starbucks when we’ve been close to one (we just love our coffee) and have been eating out a little – normally at fairly cheap places. In Berlin we ate lots of kebabs – they were just great there (and cheap)!

We’ve also done nothing to keep ourselves from trying the local treats. In Amsterdam we had many great treats. We’re giving ourselves some room to enjoy the food and have a great time.

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When on the road we usually buy our food in a supermarket and that saves us a lot. That being said, it’s not so inspiring and we’re really starting to miss a hot meal every now and then! But it helps keeping everything together and leaves us some room to go a little more crazy in the cities.

So our standard of living is not super high, but we can’t complain since we give ourselves room for some treats when in the cities.

OUR MONTHLY BUDGET

So, let’s talk about money. It’s not the most sexy thing to talk about budgets and numbers. But we’re all about transparency and this is a topic that worries lots of travellers to be. And with good reason – we were scared like hell for this too!

Most people know that Europe is a very expensive continent to live in. It really is. However, our home country has prepared us for the worst when it comes to costs of living, so we’re actually surprised in a positive way about the prices in the rest of Europe. Sad, isn’t it?

Our budget is 300 DKK (Danish currency) on a daily average (which is equivalent to around $53 and €40) for the both of us. That is pretty low. And it turns out that it might have been too low, since we’re over our budget this month.

Bummer!

BREAKDOWN OF OUR EXPENSES FOR JULY

In July we spent a total of 12,893.79 DKK ($2283.62 and €1729.62) which is 415.93 DKK ($73.67 and €55.79) on a daily basis. Ouch. That is way too much!

Let’s have a look at what we’ve spent our money on:

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Accommodation: 5,426.89 DKK ($961 and €728)

Food: 3,430.35 DKK ($608 and €460)

Eating Out: 1,863.35 DKK ($330 and €250)

Coffee/Tea: 1,107.38 DKK ($196 and €149)

Internet: 515.66 DKK ($91 and €69)

Miscellaneous: 253.18 DKK ($45 and €34)

Entertainment: 231.17 DKK ($41 and €31)

Transport: 65.62 DKK ($12 and €9)

Our accommodation expenses are way too high as you can see above (hope the different currencies aren’t too confusing). The category “Internet” was created about halfway through July and covers what we buy at Starbucks or McDonald’s when we’re there to work and use the Internet. This category may be higher next month, while “Eating Out” and “Coffee/Tea” might be lower.

So what the hell happened?

To be honest, bad planning happened. We were having issues finding somewhere to stay in Berlin and started by spending close to 2000 DKK ($354.22 and €268.29) for four nights at a hotel. We made that decision out of pure stress about not having somewhere to sleep at night and not having time for doing work (we had trouble finding wifi in Germany).

Looking back, that was a pretty bad decision on our part and had we just found somewhere to camp near Berlin we would have saved lots of money right there. We had some amazing days, though.

Also, we weren’t prepared for all of Europe closing down every Sunday – everything is really closed. That has caused us to spent a lot of money on food (since only restaurants are open) and water. We weren’t prepared at all.

HOW WE’RE GOING TO STAY INSIDE OUR BUDGET IN AUGUST

Luckily for us, we had some money from selling our stuff before we left that can cover what we used more than budgeted for. The 300 DKK a day is what we can make online while biking through Europe, so August has to be better.

In July we had the expensive hotel stay in Berlin – we won’t be doing that in August. We’ll be camping way more. In expensive places like Nice and Monaco we’ll experience with couchsurfing or asking people if we can set up our tent in their garden (we had luck with that in Germany). Or maybe simply set up our tent in a deserted place (we’ve done this twice in France with great results).

We’ll follow the Trail Wallet app more. When you go over your budget, the app is warning you. This is such a great motivation to stop spending more – love this app.

We hope you enjoyed reading our budget – we’ll try our best to bring no more red numbers and blown budgets in the future! 

Are you inspired to travel more?

10 Comments on Monthly Travel Expenses: July 2013

  1. Bell | Wanderlust Marriage
    August 3, 2013 at 11:01 am (4 years ago)

    Great post and love that you guys are being so transparent about the costs of your travels. That app sounds fantastic, we’ll be getting that for our next trip! Best of luck with August and I look forward to seeing how you go.

    Reply
    • Celia Schow
      August 3, 2013 at 11:08 am (4 years ago)

      Yay, I’m glad you liked it, Bell! We think it’s so important to be transparent and 100% honest about what it takes to travel the world! Yes, we’re loving the app! It’s making all this budget-talk like a game!
      Thanks so much! :)

      Reply
  2. Bell | Wanderlust Marriage
    August 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm (4 years ago)

    Right, we agree, and we have so many friends tell us it is too expensive, but it doesn’t have to be as you guys are showing. Love that you are biking too :)

    Reply
    • Celia Schow
      August 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, we’re getting that a lot too. I think what people forget is that this is not a vacation – this is a lifestyle! And an awesome one. ;) I believe everyone could do it – that’s why we’re sharing. :D Thanks! Biking in Europe is great! We’re experiencing sooo much.

      Cheers, Bell! :)

      Reply
  3. Kim Langholz
    August 3, 2013 at 2:08 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi Celia. I randomly landed on your blog. I remember you wrote a comment to a post i did on my blog, about 7 month ago i think. You’re goal was to travel the world, living of your websites/blogs, just as my goal was. I think it’s so cool that you and your boyfriend did it, and still are doing it. That’s awesome! I’ve only taken the first step and moved to Mallorca with my wife. I still got a job, so i’m not entirely there yet, but it will hopefully not take more than a year, before i can live from my websites. It’s cool that you share your budget, it motivates me to work even harder, as i know i’m not that far away from living the dream life my self. Good luck in the future and keep living your dream! :D Ps. You can live an entire month on Mallorca for much less than 12,000 DKK. Just a hint ;-)

    Reply
    • Celia Schow
      August 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Kim!

      Great, welcome!

      You’re right, I commented on you blog some months back. I’m happy to see that you remember! Thank you for the kind words. We’re really enjoying ourselves and are having a great time!
      Mallorca sounds so cool! I’m very happy for the both of you. I’m sure you’ll be able to quit your job soon enough. You seem so motivated and are already doing great with you sites! Best of luck with that. :)

      Haha – I know! You can do that in many places around the world. After our biking trip through Europe we’re going to South America and are planning on renting apartments there for months – that will make everything way cheaper. :D

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. Erin
    August 4, 2013 at 10:18 am (4 years ago)

    You were travelling to some of the most expensive countries in Europe so you really didn’t do that badly. I’m so glad Trail Wallet is making it easier for you to track your expenses and hopefully you’ll be able to stay on budget next month. Don’t miss out on the treats though—they are what make travel fun :)

    Reply
    • Celia Schow
      August 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Erin. Means a lot. :)

      Trail Wallet is fantastic! As mentioned, it’s becoming a sport for us to stay on our budget everyday! Europe is really expensive yes. We’re doing our best. I totally agree it’s so important to have a treat every once in a while! :D

      Have a great day!

      Reply
  5. Marko @ Travel Photo Blogging
    August 6, 2013 at 10:29 am (4 years ago)

    Hi Celia,

    I am glad you are successful with your new lifestyle. I would also love to do it one day. I was just wondering how many sites you have to own to earn enough income? Are they all travel related?

    I see you have chosen the expensive way to Rome. In y opinion it would be much less expensive if you would have planned your itinerary around the other side of alps – Eastern Europe is much friendlier on the wallet and just as beautiful.

    Have fun and feel free to check out my report on Rome to see what awaits you at the end of your European adventure (http://www.travel-pb.com/search/label/Rome).

    Reply
    • Celia Schow
      August 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Marko – Thanks so much for stopping by our blog. :) Glad you like it.

      Well, right now we’re mostly making our money freelance writing for some Danish clients. We have some sites each that are making very little money at the moment. We’re trying to build them and hopefully they’ll make more money in the future so we can stop the boring freelance writing ;)

      We have sites about different things. I also have a beutyblog in Danish that has a lot of readers. I’ve just recently begun to monetize it and it looks like it will be successful. :)

      Yes, we’ve chosen the somewhat expensive way but we really wanted to see Amsterdam and Paris. Also, I speak some German, French and Italian and feel most comfortable in countries where I understand the languages – especially when riding our bikes! So that’s the reason. We’d love to see Eastern Europe one day, but not on bikes.

      Thanks :)

      Reply

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