Welcome to Weekend Finance, a series peeling back the curtain on the finances behind The Weekend Jetsetter. It’s time for my third update of the year on quarterly spending. (Click here for Q2 and here for Q1).
Well this is a tad bit late but I promised to do quarterly spending recaps and dangit, I’m sticking to it! The fall is always the most nuts time of year for me at work and this year things were further compounded by my MBA coursework. When I was working in fashion, it was fashion week and market week. Now that I’m in tech, fall is tech conference season and somehow it’s also finals season at school. And at the end of November, I took a much-needed “real” vacation!
Without further ado, let’s dive into how much I spent on travel in Q3 2019 and what my annual numbers are looking like.
By the Numbers: 2019 Trips (Q1 + Q2 + Q3)
- One-way Flights: 7 (including 2 for work)
- Road Trips within California: 7
- Nights Away from Home (Including Red-Eye Flights): 21
- Nights in hotels, hostels, campsites or vacation rentals: 16
- Foreign Countries: 1
- US States & Territories Outside CA: 3
- Total Spending on Flights, Gas, Car Rentals & Accommodations Year-to-Date: $5,258
How Much I Spent on Travel in Q3 2019: Month by Month Spending Breakdown
July was a high travel spending month for me – potentially the highest ever. I was thinking about this post as I typed in my credit card number to Orbitz and cringing at having to tell you guys how much I spent. No joke!
But at the same time… I REALLY needed a vacation. Obviously I’ve always been excited about vacation but I have never felt so drained and desperate for a break as I was in July when I was booking fall/winter travel. With craziness at work and nearing the final few classes of my MBA program, things had been nonstop. I also received my annual bonus in July and got word that come October I’d be getting a healthy raise. Woot!
With some extra cash on hand, and knowing I’d be wrapping up a big project at work and the fall semester in mid-November, I decided to plan a legitimate vacation complete with real hotel rooms and all.
I was also running very light on points after booking some other family and holiday-related travel so had to actually take out my credit card and pony up the actual money for the trip we planned to Singapore and the island of Langkawi, Malaysia. This may be the first trip I actually paid for in full… a milestone in adulthood?!
Booking two flight + hotel packages (which is usually cheaper than booking separately) and one hotel night separately, we spent:
- $2,549.51 on a package including round trip flights to Singapore + two nights in a 4-star hotel
- $84.20 for one night in a hotel in Singapore near the airport for our layover on the other end of our trip
- $792 for round trip flights from Singapore to Langkawi, Malaysia + four nights at a 4-star resort
- Total: $3,425.71 or $1,712.86 each
Other, less exciting travel spending in July included:
- Booked our flights to visit Nick’s family in Michigan over the holidays (18,921 Chase points plus $468.78 in cash).
- Spent $106 each on two nights in a hotel in Chicago while visiting friends — it was my first time using HotelTonight and I was actually impressed at how easy it was to snag a massive suite right downtown for so cheap at the last second. (If you’re interested in trying this service, use my code ANRICE34 when you sign up for $25 off your first booking).
Total Travel Spending: $2,287.64
In August I scaled back quite a bit on the travel spending front. BUT, absolutely could not resist booking a $270 flight from San Francisco to Guatemala for next spring. I also spent $19 on deposits for hostels while I’m there. I have barely thought about this trip since I booked it on a whim but am super interested in visiting Guatemala and will be checking out Antigua and Lake Atitlan – so send me your tips!
I did take one trip in August but barely spent any money. Nick and I spontaneously hopped in the car one weekend and drove to Nevada. We did a road trip on Highway 50 and camped in our car (which is allowed in Nevada!) and ate pretty much at our only option: gas stations. I desperately need to find time to write about that adventure because it was so different than anything I’ve done recently.
I can’t find any record of me paying for gas on the Nevada trip so I’ll assume Nick paid for it and somehow I must have paid him back in food or something… or if not, hopefully he doesn’t read this and come looking =)
Total Travel Spending: $299
In September I took a super amazing trip to Shasta Lake, one of my favorite places in California. This trip also deserves a blog post because I continued the trend of unique adventures by spending a 4-day weekend on a houseboat. Yes, a houseboat! It was so fun! Why am I using so many exclamation points!
This was a group trip that I somehow did not get roped into organizing any part of, which was actually very relaxing (something wrong with the boat? #notmyproblem).
I don’t normally include money I spend on food here since I’m eating out constantly anyway (cons of working and going to school 70-80 hrs a week) but for this trip we all just threw in $500 for the boat, booze and groceries for three nights. I have no idea what the breakdown was, but it was worth every penny for sure.
I also traveled to Boston in September for my cousin’s wedding. Since the flight had already been paid for and we were staying with family the first week, I didn’t spend any extra money. We’ll get to the wedding weekend (in October costs) when I get to Q4. For now, don’t forget to follow on Instagram to see how I spent my fancy-pants real-money vacation in late November!
Total Travel Spending: $500
Total Travel Spending in Q3: $3,086.64