2015 Travel on a Budget

Blue Ridge Parkway

Dear Fellow Journeyers,

2015 is nearly over, so we wish to share all of our travels that we did for 2015, complete with detailed expenses per trip.  Our budget was $4,000 per person.

We traveled to 15 destinations during the year:

  • North America – 10 (Tampa, Orlando, New York, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Augusta, Emerald Coast, New York, Cocoa Beach & Mexico)
  • Europe – 3 (Germany, Austria & Slovakia)
  • Asia – 1 (Philippines)
  • Caribbean – 1 (Turks & Caicos)

The full cost of these travels was $8,791.94 per person for the whole year.  However, using travel hacking tools, exploiting mistake fares (while there were still mistake fares), and using big hotel discounts, we paid only $4,576.94 (only being a relative term, of course!), saving a total of $4,215 per person, which comes out to a total savings percentage of 48%!

Here is our 2015 Travel Calendar:

2015 in Travel Breakdown
2015 in Travel Breakdown

2015 Travels 2

As you can see, the above only covers five main categories:

    1. Airfare/Gas – how we normally get from our home to another (we either fly or drive there). If we are using points, these will cover our taxes & fees. If we are paying in cash, we reflect the amount we spent here as a whole.




  1. Hotel – Accommodation expenses: be it AirBnB or hotels is classified in this area. If we are staying with our parents/friends, or used points/miles, these will be 0 or will cover the cost of the taxes/resort or other fees/parking.
  2. Food – This will cover groceries or dining out. We may be frugal travelers but Peter loves to eat out when we travel to try out local cuisines (which we hope to replicate when we get back home if it’s good enough).
  3. Activities – These will cover tours, car rentals, attraction tickets, etc. This is the cash value we paid for said activities. If we used cash back for a whole activity then in theory, you may see this line item as 0.
  4. Miscellaneous – Additional parking fees, fines, etc that we can’t categorize above.
Money Saved in 2015 Travels
Money Saved in 2015 Travels

A couple of notes for our trip:

  • We go to New York a lot to visit friends who moved there last year – she used to be our roommate and lives in Manhattan. She & her husband let us crash in their place for free whenever we visit (yay for friends)
  • In Slovakia & Manila, we didn’t have to pay much for accommodation as we have family/friends who still live in the area.
  • Probably the best value trip we took in 2015 was Europe, where we only paid $670 each throughout our entire trip. That’s less than the price of an airline ticket if you paid for it in cash, people.
  • You can see our old blog post detailing how we did it in points/miles.

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