This post continues on from the report we did earlier in the year documenting our travel first quarter travel costs.
April, May and June saw us complete our Trans-Atlantic cruise between Miami and Rome and then do 4 house sits in the UK, France and Germany. We also had a few breaks from house sitting with 2 nights in Paris, time visiting the Normandy beaches in France and exploring the beautiful town of Strasbourg.
This post will give an overview of what we did each month and then provide a summary of our travel costs for the entire quarter and each month.
These are real world costs and show just how inexpensive it can be to travel the world full time.
NOTE: all costs are in Australian Dollars
April – cruising, lambs and Paris!
The month started with the final 11 days of our Trans-Atlantic re-positioning cruise with Royal Caribbean. We had an inside cabin and the cruise stopped at the Azores, Gibraltar, Alicante and Valencia before terminating in Rome. We had an enjoyable time even though the weather became cooler as we headed from the balmy Florida sunshine into the mid Spring coolness of Europe.
Upon arrival in Rome, we flew directly to London for a 2-week house sit on a large property in Hampshire. Unfortunately, the elderly dog we were to care for had passed away shortly before our arrival. However, this property also had pigs and sheep to look after and, being Spring, it was lambing season. A pair of twins had lost their mother and we were to become their foster parents and bottle feed them 4 four times a day. It was a wonderful and very rewarding experience.
Our next sit was in France and we’d always wanted to try the Eurostar train between London and Paris. We splurged a little to experience this fast train option between the two European capitals. Another attraction that we’d never had the opportunity to visit was the opulent Palace of Versailles just outside of Paris. We added that to our itinerary at the end of the month and it was a marvellous experience.
May – lost in France
The beginning of May saw us start a new house sit in Normandy, France. This was to care for 2 Golden Retrievers in a massive renovated 16th-century convent. We’d never looked after such a large property previously and it was certainly quite different to our previous sits.
At the end of this sit we had another gap between sits and the home owners of the convent kindly offered us the opportunity to stay on with use of their car. We used this time to explore the World War II D-Day landing beaches along the coast of northern Normandy (something else I’d always wanted to do). It was extremely interesting visiting the places that played such an important role in our current day freedom.
Our next house sit was in the South of France and was for 4 cats. This was the third time we had done this sit and is one we really enjoy. We made our way south on the French high-speed trains known as TGV (Trans Grande Vitesse). This was another first for us and the journey was comfortable, smooth and fast with the train travelling at up to 300 kph. We enjoyed it so much it has become our preferred mode of travel in France.
June – France and a little piece of Germany
Our house sit in the South of France continued on for the first three weeks of June. Thanks to our gracious owners agreement we were able to have our adult son come and stay with us in France for around 10 days. Being nomadic and constantly on the move we don’t get the opportunity to see him often so we made some nice memories whilst he was with us.
Yet another short gap between sits provided an opportunity to visit Strasbourg. This is a French town that sits on the Rhine River and borders Germany. We didn’t know much about it before arriving but it was a delightful surprise. Our three-day visit was full of memorable moments.
Below is a short video illustrating how beautiful it was.
Towards the end of the month we boarded another TGV to take us to our final location for the month – a small town near Frankfurt called Oberursel. Here, we cared for two Maine Coon cats that were the biggest cats we’ve ever seen.
So what did our second three months cost?
During this 3 month period our accommodation was split as follows:
– 72 days (79%) house sitting (on 4 house sits)
– 11 days (12%) on the cruise
– 6 days (7%) in paid accommodation and
– 2 days (2%) with friends.
Our total expenses for the quarter were $8,359.22
General expenses* – $2702.09
Cruise (11 nights) – $1926.50
Paid accommodation (Airbnb and hotels) – $732.17
(an average of $122 per night)
Transport (7 train journeys) – $1431.64 (incl. Eurostar London-Paris and 3 x TGV journeys in France)
Groceries – $834.37
Fuel – $377
Flights (Rome – London) – $265.45
Phone plans (2 phones) – $90
*General expenses include anything not already allocated eg. food, drink, alcohol, entertainment, eating out, entrance fees to attractions, etc
Here’s the breakdown by month
We’re pretty happy again as the total of our travel costs was $8,359.22 This was again under our notional budget of $9,000 per quarter ($3,000 per month).
April was our most expensive month for the quarter as it included 11 nights on the cruise plus our flights to London, the Eurostar trip and 2 nights accommodation in Paris.
May was the least expensive as we spent almost the entire month house sitting.
The first half of the year
For the first 6 months of the year we’ve only spent $14,519.87 or ($79.35 per day) showing just how affordable full time travel can be.
Our travels during this time have seen us spend time in 8 countries – Mexico, USA (Florida), Portugal (the Azores), Gibraltar, Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
We are well below our notional budget for 6 months of $18,000 ($3,000 per month) so that’s been very pleasing.
Our plans for the coming 3 months include more time in Frankfurt, 10 days in Croatia, a month in Edinburgh, 3 weeks in France and 3 weeks in New York.
We’ll see how our costs go and write about them in October.
We wrote a post in August 2018 that covered our first full year of travelling for the period April 2017 to April 2018.
If you’re interested in reading it then click here – Travel the World full time for less than $100 per day
If you’re retired (or not) there is a way to have an exciting life with the world as your oyster. We’re proof that it can be done.
If you want to learn more about how we achieve this feel free to contact us or take a look at our Introduction to House Sitting page.
If you’ve found this post useful or interesting then please leave a comment or give us a like.
Feel free to share this post too so more people can be aware that there are alternative ways to spend your retirement. Glenn & Jacqueline
love reading your posts, as you give a lot of history of what you have seen
Thanks for the nice comment Krissy. Glad you’ve been finding our posts interesting. Glenn & Jacqueline. 🙂
Good job putting this all together 👍🤪
I loved reading about your travels. It is helpful in my desiins about traveling full time .
We’re very happy that this information helps you, that’s our hope when putting these out.
Do you mind telling us your name Anonymous?
I have not been keeping itemized expenditures like you have, but you’ve inspired me to begin doing so! It’s great to get such a broad look at costs and also get an idea of where costs are going up and down.
Hi Nicole, we have found it very helpful to track our costs (even at a reasonably high level).
It does make it easier to see how much you have spent (at least on a monthly basis) so that if you are on track with your budget, or ahead of it, then you can perhaps ‘spoil’ yourself at other times of the year and not feel guilty.
Good luck with your tracking.
Thanks for tagging me on this post. It’s just wonderful you show how affordable your incredible life is.
A few questions…
-your 2 nights with friends…were those the extra days at the convent house? Wondering how we’ll account for that sort of thing in our own tabulations.
-the convent house looks huge! Was it a lot of maintenance inside and out?
-does a lot of your spending on groceries and dining out end up in cash? Because we buy lots of staples at each sit, our groceries really add up. Still, usually cheaper than dining out.
I love that Jacqueline is in the hay with the little lamb. What a gentle spirit she has!! The animal whisperer.
Til next quarter!
Hi Amy, always happy to receive your questions. Thanks for having such an interest in the figures.
The 2 nights with friends were at the convent after our sit (as we consider those home owners our friends now!). It’s just a category to show days/nights where we have had free accommodation. We use a spreadsheet (courtesy of Andrew and Christopher of Global Wanderers) to track where we stay and what pets and modes of transport we use.
The 16th Century Convent was indeed HUGE. The main maintenance was the massive garden and the ride on mower broke so hand mowing took some time. We are going back there for 2 weeks in August to ‘work’ in the garden and help the owners out. Of course, we’ll reunite with the dogs too. We enjoy gardening so it will be a win-win for us.
In this quarter we mainly bought our groceries with our debit card so we were able to track that expenditure pretty accurately as it appeared on our bank statement. We usually just use cash for groceries. If we go to a market or bakery then that is paid with cash and comes out of the ‘cash’ bucket. Also, if we just pick up some staples from the local shop that would be with cash.
Dining out is almost always from the cash/general expenditure category.
Hope that answers your questions.
Jacqueline is indeed an animal whisperer and gentle spirit. We loved our time as foster parents to the lambs. Thanks for your kind words. 🙂