What It’s Costing Me To Travel: May ’16 Travel Audit

As I travel I’m publishing monthly expense audits along with some notes on what traveling at that cost looks like. 1. Below are my travel expenses for May. I started doing this last month. You can see what it cost me to travel in Scotland in my April travel audit here.

Have questions or curious about certain aspects of this? Feel free to ask me in the comments or email me at aplambeck22 [at] gmail.com

Also when I began traveling I shared a complete list of everything I brought with me. You can see my original packing list and how it’s changed since then here. 

Travel Audit May ’16

Countries Visited: Germany, Czech Republic, Poland

Total Travel Expenses: $867.15

Daily Average: $29.90/day

Contemplating something profound and serious while watching the sun set over the countryside in Poland.
Contemplating something profound and deep while watching the sun set over the countryside in Poland.


Breakdown By Country:

$62.13/day $16.85/day 2 $29.31/day

Travel Expenses By Country & Category:

TOTAL BERLIN       (4 nights) CZECH      (11 nights) POLAND     (14 nights)
Lodging 3 $191.09 $47.24 $0.00 $143.85
Food (Groceries) $121.57 $18.49 $28.68 $74.40
Food (Eating Out) $152.37 $37.67 $53.33 $61.37
Transportation $91.34 $53.27 $12.87 $25.20
Indulgences (coffee, alcohol, tourism, etc.) 4 $139.84 $38.26 $42.85 $58.73 5
Unaccounted For 6 $170.94 $53.57 $47.63 $46.82
TOTAL $867.15 $248.50 $185.36 $410.37


Travel Logs (pictures, thoughts and short stories from this leg of my journey):

Travel Log from Wroclaw, Poland

Travel Log from my trek over the Krkonose mountain range from Misecky, Czech Republic to Szklarska Poreba, Poland

General Thoughts:

It got significantly more challenging to keep track of things when I left English speaking countries.

Most the things I enjoy about traveling tend not to cost much. I’m not a “foodie”, I don’t try to check off the “10 things to do” in each city and I don’t spend too many late nights out on the town. When I eat out, do touristy things or hit the night scene I am intentional about it.

Instead I prefer to spend my “on time” meeting people, exploring and absorbing the local culture and atmosphere (AKA talking, walking and sitting).

I was surprised to see that Berlin was about as expensive as Scotland and that my fairly luxurious month in Central Europe cost in total about as much as 12 spartan days in Scotland.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany.

Poland is awesome and cheap! Easily my favorite country visited this month. I give the nod to Wroclaw over Krakow.

I probably averaged a little under one meal out a day. This is not to say I didn’t eat well though. I ate and drank very well in the Czech Republic and Poland. I see food more as a source of nutrition and fuel however and am also gluten free so I often prefer to cook myself. This also helps me satiate my never-ending appetite (A byproduct of being gluten free).

Ojcow National Park, Poland


I rotated between hostels and Airbnbs. Hostels can be dirt cheap and I have a high comfort tolerance (I stayed in Krakow for 7 nights for $50…and that included a light breakfast and was actually my favorite hostel so far mainly because it had a comfy couch and reliable internet) and rather obviously, is a good way to meet other travelers. 7 Airbnb is a great way to meet locals with local knowledge and get away from the touristy places. Often times more private, there can be a lot of hidden perks 8. I have found cooking for my hosts a good way to open up the relationship.

Free walking tours have been a good way to get my bearings in a new city.

The first couple days in a new country tends to be mentally and physically draining for me. I try not to plan to do much on these days.

Street view in Wroclaw, Poland.
Street view in Wroclaw, Poland.
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  1. What else would you expect from a finance major?
  2. I stayed with a family friend. I’d expect the true cost to have been around $35/day.
  3. I spent 2 nights of May in Hungary and for the sake of simplicity will include those expenses in June’s audit
  4. To make it easier I’ve started including any optional expenses in this category. This also, very conveniently, masks the cost of my coffee and alcohol habits.
  5. This included visiting Auschwitz and the Salt Mines and a fair amount of wodka.
  6. For anyone bothering to check the numbers there was a small discrepancy in my math and the actual amount and I added that amount to the unaccounted for category.
  7. However my experience meeting interesting travelers is that it’s kind of hit and miss. I’ve learned to avoid any hostel boasting a bar on the premise.
  8. like having a modern apartment w/ coffee & yerba mate, bike, full kitchen and laundry all to myself

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Hello. I’m Alasdair.

Hello. I’m Alasdair.

I believe that being aware of who I am and mindful of who I am becoming is the best investment I can make in my life —and that when we focus our efforts within, the rewards naturally flow outward to those we love and through the communities we belong to.