Monday, July 27, 2009

Ireland: Sharing Our Budget

Previously: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8 and 9, and places we stayed.

Hubs and I love to travel, but we also hate to part with our money. To find a happy medium, we are budget travelers. I still can't believe we managed to have a comfortable 9 nights/10 days vacation to Ireland for less than $3000.

Here is the breakdown:

Airfare: If we had bought the tickets a day or two earlier, we could have gotten them cheaper, but in the grand scheme of things, $1,096.62 for two people was a steal. We flew direct on Aer Lingus from IAD to DUB. No delays whatsoever! It took merely 6 or 7 hours to get there.

Food: I was surprised to learn that Ireland doesn't really have its own cuisine! So instead of spending twice as much on something that we could easily find back home, we visited the local markets often and made our own sandwiches. Not to mention economical, we enjoyed snacking throughout the day and eating in the comfort of our own room. We did dine at a couple of pubs to get the experience, though.

I was really good at keeping track at how much we were spending on food until we got to Dublin. So this is not exact, but I think we spent roughly $180 on food. Not much at all.

The daily breakfast provided by B&Bs really helped us save money on food.

Visiting local markets was just as fun as seeing the sights.

I craved for fish n' chips one night. Hubs and I got two orders and it was 24 euros! For some battered-fried fish and fries! Crazy.

Car Rental: We rented a small Kia for 8 days and it was $427.44, with most basic insurance included. We could've gotten a manual transmission for less, but I am glad we didn't. Driving in the constant rain and the "wrong" side of the road were challenging enough!

Gas (including parking & tolls): We drove all over Ireland, so you can imagine our gas bill was high. On average, we had to fill up every 1.5 days. We spent about $140 in this category.

Lodging: As mentioned, we spent nearly all our nights at homey B&Bs. They really made our trip that much more authentic, not to mention budget-friendly. We saved money on lunches because the hearty Irish breakfast usually held us over until dinner time! We spent $885 in total, which averaged roughly to $100 a night.

Etc etc etc: $122.72. I know we spent 29 euros ($39.23) on the heritage cards, 3,75 euros ($5.25) on an adapter, and bought some (food) souvenirs but I am unsure where we spent the rest.

Grand Total: $2851.75*.

We are super happy with that number! I had planned a $3,200 budget for this trip and we came under by more than $300! With all that "extra" money left over, it's time to plan our next European destination! :)

This is it everyone! The end of my Ireland trip series!

When hubs and I talked about the one place we each wanted to go in Europe, his had always been Ireland. I am so glad we found the time to take this trip before his summer classes started. Ireland isn't your typical European destination, but perhaps that's why this trip was so unique, so different, so eye-opening.

Thanks again for reading our stories - I hope my posts will help YOU in planning your own Irish adventure!

* We did all the currency exchange back home, simply because we didn't want to deal with the hassle of exchanging money in a foreign country or wasting valuable time. We probably could've gotten a better rate in Ireland, though. The exchange rate we got back home - on 5/4/09 - was 1 euro to 1.401 usd.

5 comments:

  1. You guys are such smart travelers!! Thanks for sharing the details with us. If I ever hit up Ireland, I'm printing this series out.

    What's a heritage card, by the way?

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  2. Wow..that's not a bad deal at all! =)

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  3. I am a penny pincher too! Love how you saved and still had a great trip!

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  4. Tired of Being TiredJuly 30, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    Thanks for the great trip Tong! Definitely needed this getaway before diving deep into these summer classes. Just a few more weeks to go till our next getaway!

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