Welcome to our ongoing series that asks: How Much Does it Cost to Travel?
The goal of this series is to provide you with real budgets people have used for trips they have actually taken. This could be anything from a long weekend in Miami to 6 months backpacking around South East Asia. It’s our hope that by shining a spotlight on what people are actually spending- and the value they get for it, you will have a better idea of what it really costs to travel.
All of the travel budgets will live on this dedicated page.
Today’s budget comes from Anne of Travel the Globe 4 Less.
Where did you go?
We visited two cities in Croatia and Montenegro. Kotor in Montenegro and Dubrovnik in Croatia which are both small countries in the Balkan peninsula. It’s an area that fascinates me as I studied the region’s politics at University many moons ago.
Briefly, what was your itinerary?
We flew to Dubrovnik and spent three nights in an Airbnb perched above the old town. It had fabulous views of the bay and was lovely and quiet, not to mention the owner was truly wonderful. She welcomed us with open arms and looked after us beautifully during our stay.
From there we drove to Kotor Bay in Montenegro and stayed in another Airbnb which was also elevated above the bay. It made for amazing views but amazing agony when clambering back up the hill after a few beers! Both places, in Croatia and Montenegro, we had fabulous views!
How much money did you spend overall?
We spent £1132 in total for two to travel plus a further £442 during our stay for our week in Croatia and Montenegro. This covered eating and drinking and a few activities in Dubrovnik.
We paid around £500 for two flights from Leeds to Dubrovnik, much more than I would normally pay for a European flight but we only booked two weeks in advance.
Our accommodation costs were £337 for our Dubrovnik Airbnb and a further £295 for our apartment in Kotor. These were definitely not bargains but even the cheapest (and most horrible places) in Dubrovnik were coming out ridiculously expensive due to the late booking.
How much did you spend on transportation?
In addition to the £500 on flights, we hired a car which was a bargain at £96. Unfortunately, my husband foolishly agreed to £122 of extras. This is a complete rip off as it includes a full tank of fuel (we used very little fuel), roadside assistance, permission to take the car on the ferry (no one asks you for proof that you can) and the Green card authorizing cross-border travel.
The Green Card must be shown at borders so there is no way to travel without it but this costs only €8 a day so we could have got away with paying just €40. I was not a happy bunny! If you rent a car and want to travel between Croatia and Montenegro keep this in mind!
What kind of accommodation did you stay in during your week in Croatia and Montenegro?
We booked two separate Airbnb which provided plenty of living space, a kitchen, and bathrooms.
I am rapidly finding that although I love luxury hotels, I like having the extra space of an Airbnb, the intimacy with locals, not to mention it is better value for money.
What sort of activities did you do?
We like to be active on holiday but this mainly involves lots of walking, as we like to explore on foot so that we can get under the skin of a place. We also do regular runs on our trips away (I know, not for everyone but it means I can have the odd gelato without feeling guilty, not to mention a few drinks in the evening!). Plus, we travel regularly so if I simply dropped my exercise regime every time I travelled, I would be as big as an elephant.
We did one organized trip where we went kayaking in Kotor bay and that was amazing but other than that we were on our own in Croatia and Montenegro.
What did you splurge on? Was it worth it?
Tickets to the city walls of Dubrovnik which are eye wateringly expensive at £19 a head. I almost had a coronary, as I am used to walking city walls for free. I even thought I was going to be using the walls as a route for one of my runs, however, anyone who has walked those walls will know that would be a crazy plan!
That said, the walls are a must see as the views from the ramparts are truly spectacular. Staring over terracotta tiles, seeing laundry blowing in the breeze, smelling heavenly scents wafting up from below and the azure blue seas glistening beyond is truly a sight that will stay with me for a long time!
What did you scrimp on? Are you happy with that decision?
Accommodation, but as you can see I do not feel that that was a hardship. As much as I love fancy hotels with butlers, spas and private pools, I also like experiencing an authentic trip. We stayed in a lovely residential area in Dubrovnik which was all winding lanes above the city. We would never have explored that area but for the fact that we stayed in an Airbnb.
Did you purchase any special souvenirs?
No, the only souvenirs I collect these days are photos and memories.
Did you do anything special to save up for this trip?
No, but this trip to Croatia and Montenegro was to celebrate finishing my MBA and getting a new job!
Do you have any regrets regarding how you budgeted this trip? Would you do things differently next time?
My only regret is that I did not get a bargain on the flights but then we booked with just a few weeks’ notice. If I was to return, I would look to book much further in advance so that I could bag a bargain budget flight, as paying that amount for a flight in Europe upsets me!
Anything else to add?
This part of the world is truly breathtaking.
Also if you do drive be warned that the border between Kotor and Croatia can be incredibly busy in summer. We did a detour into Bosnia to avoid it on the way back and shared our experience on ‘How to avoid the Dubrovnik border and visit Bosnia‘.