The last couple of weeks I was getting a bit stressed about our hotel situation. Most specifically how much we were forking out per night for two rooms. ‘Stress’ may not be the right word, but I was certainly getting a little melancholy about our lack of free hotel nights and the cost of paid stays as we ventured away from major destination cities and my beloved hotel chains.
What About All Those ‘Family Friendly’ and ‘Cheap’ South East Asia Tales?
And, as I’ve quickly learned on this RTW trip, I’m a bit a lot more of a princess than I thought I was. All those $20 room nights I’ve read about on South East Asia travel blogs… ? Turns out they’re not for me.
I know, I’m ashamed of myself too.
I knew I wasn’t in the ‘budget backpack’ category. But I thought I was solidly in the ‘flashpacker’ zone for sure. Turns out my threshold seems to be at the low-end of luxury. Ah well.
Add in the lack of true ‘family friendly’ accommodations and our cost of shelter more than doubles. Yes! When we have to pay for them at the non-chain hotels, our nightly cost more than doubles. Even at the shitty end of the hotel scale.
Have a kid under two? No problem, they can stay for free. Even multiples. But when we add a third child to our mandatory two rooms (even one who is only ten) the nightly rate often goes up 50%. Trust me. I’ve spent hours on booking engines in the last few months. I’ve been caught by the great $25 entry fee for an okay room. Add in VAT and service charge, $30. Still sounds good. Two rooms $60. Still great. Add in Ben, $90. See what happened there? Countless times. How in the world!?! I’ve vowed that next time we’re going to book three rooms. Just because. And damn, that was all in US dollars. It’s somewhat painful converting to Canadian.
Oh, and for any arm-chair travellers out there, I have asked on arrival at several hotels for ‘walk in’ rates and get the same kind of thing.
It was a tough day of leisure. Well, we had some chores. Like getting the laundry done and finding an ATM and some toiletries. But overall, it was another day off from touring around. We also fit in haircuts, some foot massage, and pedicures. It seems like we spent money all day long.
I alluded to having money problems right from the start of this journey in this post. Our money woes weren’t a result of our personal bank accounts or our credit cards. Or even from lack of cash in our wallets.
It was all caused by the big bad dong. Or rather the ATMs from which you can’t always get them.
Getting close to the end of our time in Vietnam, I realized that I haven’t tallied up our expenses for Japan. The delay was initially due to waiting for charges, especially cash advances, to show up on the credit card. Then it was just lack of momentum.
All in, our 11 nights in Japan cost this family of five $1,630.16 Canadian.
That’s for everything. Flights from Boston to Tokyo, Tokyo to Kyoto round trip, all hotel fees we paid (only one night was a paid stay), all meals, currency conversion fees, activities and rail transport to get around the cities. That last one was by far our largest expense. Oh, and any miscellany as well. Check out the details below: Continue reading “11 Nights in Japan – $1,630.16”
One of the most common questions I get about our world travel plans is how much all the hotels and airfare for a family of five are going to cost. Well, so far we’ve spent $511.16 for all the flights we’ve booked to date. Between the five of us that’s 20 one way flights, seven of which are in business class. Continue reading “Sweet Spots and Travel Hacking – Airfare”