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Travel Budget

October 23rd, 2007 at 11:43 am

Next month, I am taking a 9-day (8-night) trip to Washington DC and New York City. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am! I have never been to DC, and it is a place I have wanted to go for a very long time.

Over a year ago, when DH & I decided we would probably be relocating and I would have the opportunity to take some time off and do some travelling, we earmarked some of our savings as my travel fund. After doing some research and getting some GREAT advice from Savings Advice members, I decided that $2K would be a more-than-ample budget. [This is actually a fair bit less than what DH & I had originally earmarked, but I decided I just didn't need all of it.]

Today I sat down and came up with an actual itemized budget, and my total is $1,734. This gives me a nice fat 15% cushion I can go over without blowing my slimmed-down budget. If I can stick to the $1,734 number while still doing what I want to do on the trip, I will be thrilled. If I go over by a bit, that will be fine. Unless I've made some gross error in calculations, I don't think I will go over the $2K unless I have a real emergency or turn in to a careless spendthrift.

Here are the numbers. The first 4 items I already know the actual cost, and the others are what I am budgeting in each category:

Mileage to & from the airport (DH will be driving me there and picking me up) = $48
Airfare = $311
Lodging = $840 [I do realize this is a lot. I am picking up the tab on a place large enough to accomodate myself & my siblings who decided to tag along on my trip.]
Bus between DC & NYC = $35
Food & Beverages = $180
Local Transportation (Shuttle bus, Metro) = $70
Admissions = $25
Film & Photo Development = $30
Gifts = $100
Souveniers = $50
Misc = $45

I've given myself pretty generous gift, souvenier, and food/beverage allowances. I've also added $5/day in the "misc" category as "mad money." So, I think this is a budget that is doable and won't cause a moment of feeling deprived.

If there's anything I've overlooked, please let me know!

5 Responses to “Travel Budget”

  1. davera Says:

    DC is a wonderful place to visit, and November will be a great time to go, since you will avoid the summer crowds. Most of the museums have free admission. You may be able to get a multi-day Metro pass. $20 a day for food and beverages seems on the low side, though.

  2. scfr Says:

    Thanks davera!

    Admissions: I'm planning to go to Mount Vernon ($13), and I added a bit on top of that because I heard some of the museums have extra features you have to pay for, like IMAX movies. Not sure I will want to go to those, but thought I'd include room for them in the budget just in case.

    Food/Beverages: I'm renting a condo with a kitchen, so we'll be doing breakfast & dinner (grocery cost only) there and eating lunch out. I have 3 siblings, 2 who are joining me for sure, and 1 who may or may not come. Since I am footing the bill for the condo, my brother will treat me to lunch out on the days he is there, and my sister will buy groceries & cook dinner on the days she is there. That's why I thought an average budget of $20 per day would be more than enough.

  3. Ima saver Says:

    Just have fun!!

  4. davera Says:

    Sounds like a great plan. You can get a free tour of the Capitol, if you or your siblings call your representative. Often, they'll have a member of their staff do this for the hometown folks, or sign you up for the official tour. But you need to schedule it well in advance.

    You can also request your Senator's office to put your name on the list for the Senators' dining room in the Capitol, after 1 pm. It is very inexpensive and very elegant and historic. In November, the famous Senate Bean Soup and cornbread will taste terrific!

    A tour of the White House is harder to get. After 9/11, you must request it at least 6 months in advance.
    But there's a nice WH Museum you can go to.

  5. katwoman Says:

    If at all possible take a Greyline tour to Williamsburg. I just love that place.

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