As I may have mentioned, I'm a planner. I love to plan. And one of the aspects of planning is budgeting. While watching my "money" slip away as I build a budget is never fun, I still like to play with numbers and estimate what things will cost.
So, I couldn't help but build some budgets for this amazing trip we have in the works.
Of course, I sort of pad my budgets, and I base them on budget hotels, meals, etc. Hotel rooms? $150/night, though I'll be looking for $100/night. Food? $50/day, though we'll probably end up snacking for one meal a day, or buying stuff at the market instead of a restaurant. I think I'm pretty close on transportation, but I'd much rather come in under budget, than have something come up and be ridiculously more than we'd planned.
Here's the disclaimer of how I budgeted food. Breakfast = $10/person. Lunch = $15/person. Dinner = $25/person. I looked at what days we'd need what (arriving in afternoon, no dinner the night of the wedding, etc.) and came up with the food totals.
Here are the totals I estimated (all per person):
Flight: $1,500 (it doesn't look like we're going to get lucky there...)
Hotels: $675 (9 nights @ $75/night)
Travel: $150 (trains and buses, plus a little extra for the occasional taxi)
TOTAL (per person, based on double occupancy in hotels): $2,775
Flight to Dublin: $100
Food: $260 (changed to $60/day to calculate for beers.)
Car Rental: $200
TOTAL (per person, based on double occupancy in hotels): $1,010
TOTAL (Italy + Ireland, per person): $3,785
So, the next question becomes - is Ireland worth that extra $1,000? We're leaning towards yes, simply because we're not really sure when in the next few years we would even be able to get back to Europe. This is an amazing opportunity to take a really fantastic trip - a once in a lifetime trip, really. From here out, there will be mortgages and bills and all sorts of grown-up things, and who knows when we'd be able to do something like this.
And, I think that if we are smart, cut spending, and maybe pick up some freelance jobs and overtime, that the entire trip is do-able.
Here's hoping, at least.