Slow Travel Cost per Month

We kept track of every expense for our first 6 months of slow travel and we ran the numbers to see just how much this lifestyle costs.

These expenses are for two people and they include everything: lodging, restaurants, groceries, airfare, tour tickets…even Amelia’s hair care and facials.

Throughout the video, we share money-saving tips to help you travel on a budget.

Watch Our Video About Our Slow Travel Costs

Slow Travel Cost Details

These numbers are for our first 6 months of full time travel, starting in Matosinhos, Portugal on October 21, 2023 and ending in Kotor, Montenegro on April 29, 2024.

In the video, I said it was 6.3 months, but that included our 9 nights in the USA, which we decided to omit from the video and this analysis. With those 9 nights omitted, this analysis is for 181 nights, which I rounded to 6 months to keep the math simple.

Because of this change, these numbers are a little different than the video. However, they are more accurate.

Category Total Total/Month % of Total
 Lodging  $   13,692  $            2,282 45%
 Restaurants  $      4,498  $                750 15%
 Groceries  $      3,796  $                633 12%
 Airfare  $      2,295  $                383 8%
 Health Insurance  $      1,425  $                238 5%
 Clothing & Shoes  $      1,344  $                224 4%
 Taxis & Uber  $          982  $                164 3%
 Healthcare  $          739  $                123 2%
 Tour Tickets  $          461  $                   77 2%
 Hair & Nails  $          353  $                   59 1%
 Misc Shopping  $          184  $                   31 1%
 Train  $          151  $                   25 0.5%
 TV & Music  $             93  $                   15 0.3%
 Coffee  $             90  $                   15 0.3%
 eSIM  $             84  $                   14 0.3%
 Snacks  $             75  $                   12 0.2%
 Tourist Tax  $             42  $                      7 0.1%
 Other  $             35  $                      6 0.1%
 Coworking  $             21  $                      4 0.1%
 Metro & Trams  $             13  $                      2 0.0%
 Total   $   30,375  $            5,062

During our first 6 months in Europe, we stayed in:

  • Portugal – 16 nights
  • Spain – 31 nights
  • Rome – 12 nights
  • Athens – 26 nights
  • Albania – 77 nights
  • Montenegro – 28 nights

In the video, we mentioned two hotels (Sheraton in Matosinhos and CUE in Podgorica). After reviewing the data, we forgot to mention a two night hotel stay in Seville due to a travel planning error.

We booked our AirBnB in Seville before we booked our flight from Porto without realizing the airline didn’t fly every day of the week. The Porto AirBnB was booked after our stay, so couldn’t extend our stay and ended up leaving a day early, which meant we paid for a night in an AirBnB that we didn’t use.

Additionally, we paid for two nights in a hotel in Seville to cover us until we could check-in to the AirBnB there (the flight from Porto arrived too late for us to check-in to the AirBnB so we had already planned to stay one night in the hotel).

That was a costly mistake that we (hopefully) won’t make again. Now, we always book our transportation before we reserve a place to stay.

Final Thoughts…

After fixing the error in our calculations, our average monthly expenses are now over $5K, which has us both freaking out a little.

We could definitely save money by eating out less and not ordering wine at dinner. If we didn’t have a YouTube channel that constantly needs new content, we could stay places longer and negotiate lower rates for lodging.

But the biggest savings will come from focusing our time in lower cost destinations like the Balkans, SE Asia and Latin America.

Our single biggest expense is lodging: 45% of the total. By staying in lower cost countries, we can significantly reduce that expense. Our AirBnB’s in Athens and Albania were almost half the cost of similar places in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Montenegro. Based on our research, SE Asia will be even less than Albania.

Thanks to our new accounting firm (Taxes For Expats), we re-filed our taxes for the past 3 years and got a nice chunk of change back from the IRS. That’s helping fund our travels and has kept us from going into debt to finance them, but we can’t rely on that “found money” in the future.

The bottom line is that Western Europe is a lot more expensive than other places and it’s not in our budget for long-term stays. France really blew our budget, but even Spain and Portugal cost a lot more than the places we have on our future travels list.

The “vacation” is over. It’s time to start acting like it.

See Also: Top 30 Expat Countries Quest

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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JP Stonestreet
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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!

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