#54 Travel Budgeting Part 2: Expect The Expected

In #65 Travel Budgeting, we expected this trip to cost $3,316.

When we travel, we are a bit looser on how we spend. We tend to see people we don't see as often, like our family and friends. This brings out our generous side. We treated a dinner which added $40, plus we cooked lunch which cost $30.

We also tend to change our plans half way depending on the weather. This, plus my lack of planning for admission tickets to museums and events cost an additional $137. The Battleship Island (Gunkanjima) ferry in Nagasaki, Japan was $100. Plus $131 for buses, taxis and trains on top of our JR passes which we paid $222 for before the trip.

Does this look like a Battleship?


Originally I expected we would have enough luggage space to bring back plenty of snacks, gifts and other life-improving things, however since we visited my wife's family, we ended up receiving gifts which consumed our luggage space. The gifts we bought were $140, including some souvenir alcohol and lots of local boxed snacks. Some of this spending will help us come in under budget on our overall gifts budget for the year. The luggage to carry back the additional things was $157, at least we got it at 50% off.

We ended up spending $3,875 or $559 over budget. Fortunately, our overall travel budget for the year was expected to be $1,900 under budget. So assuming we don't have any last minute travelling in the next 40 days, we should come in under budget for the year by $1,341.

Expect The Expected

Seems like our original budgeting for this trip had some holes we didn't account for. In reality, I should have budgeted for some admission fees for various activities and I should have expected some cost for local travel not covered by our train passes.

Travelling, like life, never goes according to plan. You can try to plan every expense down to the very smallest details, but 99% of the time you will miss something or figure out that the prices are not what you expected or the exchange rate moved out of your favour. In this case, I forgot to expect many expected costs. This was the main reason for the cost overrun. 

I'm a little disappointed that we went over budget, but I'm not too concerned. I know exactly why we went over, and that's the most important thing. I do not regret any of the additional spending, and we are well within our overall travel budget for the year. Lesson learned for next time to plan better.


Save Money Retire Early is written by Jon Lo, a barely 30 something change optimist, and personal finance guy. I believe anyone can be rich or poor, it's what you save that makes the difference.

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