The most frequently asked question I get circles around the aspect of trip financing and time off. A random sampling of comments and questions I’ve gotten over the years are:
- “Are you a millionaire or something, because you’re always traveling”
- “What type of job pays that much? Can I get your job?”
- “How do you get so much time off?”
- “Do you save anything or do you just work and spend your money”
- “How much do you spend on traveling?”
- “How much have you spent on traveling?”
- “How much scotch do you have? Do you buy scotch while traveling?”
- “You’re going to get old one day, hopefully your travel stories will help you to retire on the streets”
All but the last bullet point are somewhat relevant questions. The last point was the comment of an incredibly, unhappy person lashing out at me, although I might be homeless in my old age. I’ll worry about retirement, when I’m ready to retire … not a moment sooner. All that planning for something that might not happen.
My answer to the majority of financing questions is simple. Why worry about the money, you can afford to travel on any budget. The question to ask yourself is “What style would I like to travel in?”. For instance, getting from Madrid to Barcelona can be done in a couple ways:
- Take a flight
- Preferente/First class train ride on Renfe
- Turista/Second class train ride on Renfe
- Non stop Buses
- Local trains and buses between towns
- Cycling / Walking
One would assume that you could not cycle from Madrid to Barcelona, but there are people who have done this. As for walking, well I haven’t read any trip logs about people walking from Madrid to Barcelona, but I assume that this is possible.
Traveling is as expensive as you make it. I happen to like first class rail travel because of the convenience and the fact that there is power for my laptop, since buses never have laptop power outlets.
As for my actual travel expenses, 31 days through Spain, Portugal and Morocco cost me a grand total of
The expense breakdown was as follows:
- Accommodation : $1268.20
- Food : $715.50
- Activities : $198.30
- Transportation : $1967.95
- Communications : $86.00
- Miscellaneous : $40
Of course, these costs are a bit skewed, since my flight to Madrid was on points (free), my stays at many of the hotels was subsidized by cash and points (Sheraton SPG Platinum benefits), internet was free (Platinum hotel rewards), roaming internet in train stations and mobile wi-fi was subsidized by work.
The excel workbook I’ve attached details all the costs I had on my trip … and is definitely a realistic guide to what costs one could face on doing a month long trip through Spain & Morocco with a bit of Portugal on the side.