How much we’ve spent travelling through the USA and Canada so far

At the beginning of our trip, I know I promised to own up to how much we spend along the way. And I’ve kept to this promise… so I’d like to give you a rundown on how much we’re spent travelling through the USA and Canada so far.

Each day I have been keeping track on my phone for every little expense we might have, from buying ice cream to alcohol.

June was an expensive month. I’m not going to lie. It was painfully expensive because of the car.

Carmen in the Hannah Montana van for USA road trip Double-Barrelled Travel

Trust me, my face was the opposite to this when our car broke down the day after we bought her

We originally budgeted to spend just $3,500 on our car but because we were ripped off, we ended up going more than $800 over budget.


Here’s a rundown of all our expenses for the 30 days in June:



Eating out














Fuel / tolls / parking




Total without car




Without the car though, things are looking good. We budgeted $100 a day for everything – including accommodation, food and transport. Excluding the car, we came in slightly under budget at $2922.65 for the whole 30 days.

Granted on some days we went over budget, like when we were eating out in cities, but then the next day we’d make up for it by having a cheap day.

What shocked me though was how much we spent on eating out. It made up a third of our budget at $1049.75! What an expense! We really need to cut down on the fancy dinners if we want to last the six months we’ve got planned for the USA.

A burger from the Burgernator in Kensington Market Toronto Double-Barrelled Travel

Yet another delicious burger – this one’s from the Burgernator in Kensington Market, Toronto. Tasty as it might be, the cost of eating out is adding up!

We also spent $245.75 on alcohol, which doesn’t sound like much but taking in mind that that figure doesn’t include alcohol bought in supermarkets or purchased with dinners, it’s quite a lot. So maybe cut back on the drinking too? (We’ve tried, but Dave’s not a fan…)

The ‘other’ figure was more than I expected too, at $269.88. This includes things we probably shouldn’t have purchased like two pairs of sunglasses, books to read and a haircut, and things we really needed to buy like new toiletries.

Cannoli from Mike's Pastry Boston Double-Barrelled Travel

How can you not eat out when there’s delicious food tempting you everywhere you go? This is a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry in Boston

So I was disappointed with those figures but what I am proud of is that we’ve only spent $328 on accommodation and $134.25 on entry into tourist attractions. For a whole month!

Why’d this cost so little?

Firstly, we’re super grateful for our friends, Shane and Dianna, because we were able to stay with them for free in Canada. Secondly, we’ve been camping in the van, which saves a lot of money!

Camping at country bumpkins in New Hampshire Double-Barrelled Travel

How can you get sick of camping when you’re staying in places like this? This was at Country Bumpkins campground in New Hampshire.

And thankfully, we’ve managed to get a load of complimentary accommodation and ticket entries through this blog.

This is great because it’s created a lot of brilliant content for our site and also allowed us to save money.

It’s certainly kept us busy though. We’ve been posting every two days but that’s not even enough. At the moment we have 10 blogs on our schedule, so we need to get busy writing.

And where better to get that done than in country USA? After spending three nights in New York City (which was AMAZING!) we’ve now driven back to rural New Hampshire and are housesitting here for two weeks.

Quebec City waterfall Double-Barrelled Travel

Even on a budget we’ve still managed to see and do loads of things – this was taken at Montmorency Falls Park, just outside of Quebec City

We have to look after a fish and a rabbit and in return we get to use a five bedroomed house as our writing pad. The house has a large yard that overlooks the woods so it’s a very tranquil place to write. We just have to keep an eye out for bears – they’re spotted walking by in the woods occasionally!

We’ve had glorious weather too, so each day we’re popping down to the neighbouring lake to have a swim…

…life is pretty good right now!

And of course, all this staying in means we’re spending less money. So hopefully in July we’ll be able to make up the shortfall we spent on the car…

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About the author

Carmen has been nomadic since May 2013 and the co-founder of Double-Barrelled Travel. She loves experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. She is having the most fun when skiing down a mountain, scuba diving in the Caribbean or curled up with a good book.

5 comments on “How much we’ve spent travelling through the USA and Canada so far”

  1. Erin Reply

    We are heading to San Francisco later today and I know we’re going to spend a fortune even though we have free accommodation—we are going to spend so much on food! Why not take advantage while you are there though?

    Let us know if you’d like to try our Trail Wallet app to help track your travel expenses.

    • Carmen Allan-Petale Reply

      Oh I know, it’s so tough to resist eating out when there’s so much delicious food on offer.
      We’ve downloaded your app – going to try it out for July instead of recording on my phone in Notes. Will let you know how it goes!
      Travel safe – hope the San Fran airport has all re-opened ok after the crash.

    • Carmen Allan-Petale Reply

      Was lovely to meet you too! Thank you for a great tour 🙂

  2. Pingback: Cheap places to stay in Quebec City - Double-Barrelled Travel

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