Travel Theme: Numbers

This week’s travel theme from Where’s My Backpack has me thinking about numbers, budget numbers.  Do you set a budget and work within it when you travel? I do and I don’t. I don’t set a specific number as such but I do set limits for what I’m willing to pay for hotels and other expenses. I wait for seat sales, buy train tickets in advance, and book attractions online where they often have a little discount. Yes, you might be restricted to a particular day but that’s the…er..price you pay.

I lob all the prices and costs into a spreadsheet, add on a ballpark amount for “spending” money which would include food, gas, transportation (cabs, bus etc.), phone top ups and other miscellaneous purchases. Then I make a column to record how much has been put in the savings account and later, how much I’ve paid on my credit card once things are purchased or charged (flight, hotels, etc) so I can see how much more I need to save/pay. There’s X dollars that generally go towards the travel fund each pay so when I’m ready to book, there’s a good bit there already.

Most of the time, the bulk of the trip is paid for by the time I leave. Yep, sometimes I splurge while away, sometimes spend more than the allotted X dollars spending money. That’s ok, though. I’m pretty good for staying within the budget or reasonably so.

The travel has other advantages. Other numbers that add up. I’m a registered Aeroplan member and have a credit card that gets me points. I watch the miles add up and currently I’ve got enough for two flights in North America. Notice I don’t say “Free”. When I started using Aeroplan, there was a small fee to book using points. Now they charge you all the taxes and surcharges and your “free” ticket isn’t so free anymore. A flight to London from Halifax most of the time costs, with taxes and charges all in, about $1100 to $1200 depending on when you go and if you can get a seat sale. A “free” ticket on Aeroplan points costs over $600. It sometimes costs more than the price of the airfare.  I can remember when a ticket to London on Air Canada would cost about that much with all the fees and now it’s double.

Ah well. More numbers. The days always count down to the next trip. We don’t start counting “sleeps” until the plane ticket is bought. Now, however, we aren’t planning a trip, we’re planning a wedding. (196 sleeps in case you’re wondering)

And a few photos for the number challenge

Lombard Street in London. The banks and moneylenders used to use symbols instead of written signs because most of the everyday people couldn’t read.

Water measurement on the hull of a ship

Clock in the city of York, UK

Flight Connection Centre, Heathrow Airport, What number is your gate?

Flight Connection Centre, Heathrow Airport, What number is your gate?


5 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Numbers

    • Tvor says:

      I seem to recall it wasn’t a shop, it probably was back in the 1500s. There were a few similar “signs” along the street which used to be where the Jewish moneylenders had their shops/homes.

  1. goannasnake says:

    I love the grasshopper. I do a travel budget then fail to stick to it. Last year’s 9 week triip went about 20% over budget (we stopped counting after a while). My father would be ashamed of me. He has little books of numbers for every trip with the cost of everything recorded, even fuel and mileage to work out cost per mile in the hire cars. He’s a bit fanatical like that.

    • Tvor says:

      I start off writing down everything i spend, food, taxis, groceries, snacks, entrance fees, souvenirs etc. and then about 2/3 way through i just seem to get tired of it lol The only thing I do make sure of is to record what I spend on any souvenirs or shopping that i’m going to claim coming back across the border and keep those receipts in case i need them. Only ever needed them to show coming back from the US into Canada by car. Have not had to show them coming in by air yet.

  2. Shea-Michelle says:

    Usually I have a set budget when travelling, though I would set some extra as a cushion especially to a country I’ve never been to. Sometimes I would miscalculate, ending up having to spend more than the budget I’ve set but I would spend it if it is for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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