When Ben and I started Dose of Discovery, we often discussed ways to share our mutual interest in personal finance and travel expenses. We feel this is something that’s missing from the travel blog world. You can find guides to cities around the world with insider tips on what to do, but how do you know if it’s an affordable option for you?
Our goal is to make travel and exploration accessible to anyone, regardless of budget. We try to highlight ways to explore your own city and country in addition to incredible international destinations. As we continue to travel, we plan to track our expenses and share them at a high level. We’ll point out ways you could cut costs. And we’ll also share some of our tips for using airline and hotel points for reducing travel expenses.
In addition to helping us understand where our own money goes, we hope this helps inspire and enable you to save and budget for your own trip. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll share our expenses from our recent trip to Maine. Before we do, we want to provide some context on our general money and travel philosophies.
Our Philosophy on Money
I’ll start off by saying that Ben and I are very blessed to have well-paying jobs that provide enough time off to travel each year. We’ve both worked hard to get where we are today, but also recognize how lucky we are to have been born in the USA to two fantastic families. We both learned the value of managing our money well at a young age.
In general, neither of us keep strict budgets, but we have spent time discussing and deciding on spending priorities. We prioritize spending money on experiences, a large part of which is travel. We try to cut expenses in other areas that are less important to us – like owning more ‘stuff’ and eating out a lot. We spend less than we make to ensure that we have enough set aside when the next trip idea pops up. This gives us freedom and flexibility in how we spend our money.
We also don’t set budgets when we plan our trips. In fact, we’ve never closely tracked how much we spend when we travel. We’ll be learning how to better manage our travel funds right along with you. We hope this will help you plan better for your experiences, locally or internationally.
Our Philosophy on Travel
Any time you take advice from a blog or another person, it’s important to understand their travel style. Do they prefer to book a group tour or travel independently? Do they spend lavishly on the best restaurants in the city or find cheap local eats? Do they hit the top tourist spots and move on to the next city or spend extra time exploring unique neighborhoods and attractions? Answers to these and other questions can help you understand if you’re likely to be happy with that person’s recommendations.
Ben and I typically find ourselves somewhere in the middle on most of these questions. We prefer to travel independently and do our own research beforehand. We usually hit many of the top ‘tourist attractions’ – they’re popular for a reason! But we also try to add extra time to our trip to find unique, local experiences.
We stay in average-priced accommodations. We don’t spend money on lavish hotels, but we also haven’t signed up for couch surfing yet. We’ve accumulated a decent amount of hotel and airline points from our current and former consultant lives that allow us to book nights for free.
We try to eat at local, reasonably-priced restaurants. We don’t spend a lot of money on alcohol or clubs when we travel. While we may definitely hit up a few local bars, we’d rather spend our time exploring a new city than nursing a hangover.
We tend to treat ourselves a little more on trips than we do in daily life. Especially if we know it’s a destination that we may not see again anytime in the near future. This means that we may spend a little extra money to eat at a local restaurant everyone is talking about. Or book a slightly more expensive hotel that is closer to the city center. Or stay an extra day so we can book the overnight home stay program.
Sharing our Travel Expenses
Whatever your budget or travel style may be, we hope you’ll find this information helpful. It’s not easy to put a piece of your finances out there for the world to see, but we’ll do our best to remain transparent and honest. We think it’s an important topic! If there are specific travel and money-related topics you’d like us to cover, let us know in the comments.
Check back soon for a look at our travel expenses from our trip to Maine!