My $100 weekend-trip budget
|November 30, 2009||Posted by thefrugalvegan under Travel|
As many of you know, I travel often for weekend trips away to visit friends. Where they live, the shopping and food is fantastic and I normally get carried away by making purchases I shouldn’t make. I live in a small city where shopping isn’t great and it’s expensive. The food is limited for vegans and most of it isn’t worth the price so you can imagine how excited I get when I travel somewhere where they cater to my interests and tastes!!
I visited our nation’s capital (Ottawa) where a friend moved 6 months ago. I told him that I had $100 in my budget and would have to work around that. He was happy that I wasn’t going to drag him to shop everywhere so it all worked out. Mind you, he did treat me to dinner and a lunch and coffee. Here is how I spent my $100:
Shopping: Instead of galavanting through crowded malls and be tempted with deals (it is the holiday season!), we opted to go to two thrift stores: Salvation Army & Goodwill. I spent almost half my money in both places ($39Cdn). Here is what I purchased:
*1 long dress (with black, olive and white circles), 1 brown asymetrical halter dress, 1 black batwing top, 1 purple necklace, 1 lilac pyjama set, 4 candles, 1 DVD & 2 National Geographic Magazines. The items are not as cheap as where I live, thrift stores here are better but I did end up with a bunch of stuff. The DVD I found is an indie documentary so I paid $5.99 for it because it’s not a common item but it will go in a movie package I am making for a friend for his birthday.
*We stumbled upon a HUGE health food store, nothing like we have where I live, so we went in and I spent $9.18 on a couple of vegan cupcakes made at a local bakery, some spice mixture that I found in the discount bin for a gift and powdered vegan alfredo sauce. We ate the cupcakes in the evening with coffee. Cheaper than going out for dessert right?
*I paid $4 for two coffees at a local organic coffee shop (including tip)
*We visited two small craft shows and I purchased what they call a “honey shot” just a small amount of local cinnamon honey nicely packaged for $1.25 (great stocking stuffer) and $20 for a handmade copper and metal necklace.
*I made the mistake of purchasing two magaines for $7 at the airport but I have this bad habit of doing that. Next time I will save one of my magazines that I receive at home and not read it if I am going on an upcoming trip. This is the only purchase I made that I wish I could take back.
*I paid for lunch for my friend and I one day which cost $15 in total.
*Since I had to get to the airport around the time I normally eat dinner, I stopped by a coffee shop and purchased a bagel with peanut butter and jam for $1.85. Not bad for a dinner!
*On the airplane, the nice flight attendant gave me 5 pacakges of roasted almonds and my own seat with no one sitting next to me so I could have some space. How sweet was he? So I had my complimentary drink (mineral water) and a package of almonds to fill up the rest of my tummy. I kept the other 4 for future snacks this week.
Thanks to my friend who was generous and paid for a few meals we had, I didn’t blow my budget! We did a lot of driving around as he showed me some interesting areas in town and for entertainment we watched a rented movie and talked over home-brewed coffee.
It’s amazing what you will do when you are on a budget! I honestly had a lot more fun this time because of this. I will definitely do this again in the future.
Mind you, I didn’t have to get to and from the airport nor did I have to pay for a hotel. The $100 I gave myself was for spending for fun things and food. You can split your budget based on what you need to spend; $100 for shopping/food, $20 for local transportation, $50 for accommodations…. I usually pay for accommodations and transportation in advance so usually I just need to budget my spending for food and shopping.
So if you’re on a tight budget but want to travel, find out what is going on in that city that is free and if it’s not too cold, walking around and discovering things is really fun too. I used to love getting lost in European cities when I travelled in my 20′s. There are always activities going on at all times of the year!
Can’t wait for my next trip! 2 more months to go…….