Sunday, September 13, 2009

Paris, Je t'aime

This summer, BF and I took a vacation to explore the wonders of Oslo, Paris and the little town off Omaha Beach in Normandy. We spent two weeks, alternating between sight seeing, basking in the sun, and just soaking in the European culture (aka drinking coffee's and people watching).

My budget for this trip was $1500. We sorted out our expenses for the trip, and I am happy announce that we are under budget! *applause*

I have to add that our trip was "subsidized," since BF was working in Europe at the time on a project, he flew me instead of him flying back to Toronto, so my flight was paid for. BF has also racked up a tonne of points because he travels a lot for work, and we were able to stay for 4 nights at Starwood hotels in the heart of Paris for free!

Here is a rough breakdown of our spending for the two weeks:

Hotels: $670.99
Sight Seeing: $192.70
Transportation: $361.75
Food: $1 165.67
Misc: $87.30
Gifts (mine only): $159.00
MY TOTAL: $1 398.21

BF and I rented a cottage on the beach for 7 days costing us $500. We also stayed one night at a hotel in Caen for $95, and there are some hotel fee's that we paid in addition to his points.

Sight Seeing:
We went to a Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, a tapestry museum in Bayeaux, and went up the Arc de Triomph in Paris. We also stopped by a carnival and went on some rides, and played some games.

A lot of the sight seeing we did was FREE, such as walking all over the city, hanging out on the Seinne River for picnics and reading, going to parks, going to Eiffel Tower - and admiring the lights from below instead of going up the tower, Notre Dame Cathedral is also free, and admiring the view of the city from the Church of Sacred Heart.

BF and I both love food. We did a fair bit of cooking at our cottage, but in Paris, we mostly went out to eat. We loved all the pastries they had for breakfast, and the deilicous coffee (BF preferred the espreesso's). However, we usually bought baguettes (bread sticks), cheese, ham, and of course, wine, with us on our days out in the park or on the river for lunch picnics and general snacking.

We did have one fancy seafood meal in Oslo. Delicious. $195. BF and I think it was worth it!

This mostly included the buses we took to get from the airport to the hotel, and vice versa. We also took the metro when we were in Paris a few times. We took the local bus in Normandy to get into the nearby cities a couple of times.

Aside: I LOVE the Paris subway and wish that someday (soon) Toronto can have something that is just as easy to use and efficient.

Misc: We took out about $700 in cash, and I tried to estimate where the spending went. I'm not sure what happened to this, but it could easily fall into the food category. Some of it went to washroom fee's (in Paris, you need to pay to use most of their public washroom facilties).

Gifts: I bought a bottle of Jo Malone perfume and Avene cleanser for myself. I also bought some gifts for my family.

Do you budget for what you are spending on your vacations? What do you spend the most on??

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