Travel budget time: Spending in September

Opps. We went more than $500 over our budget in September… so it was a very expensive month. That’s the bad news. What’s the good news?

We’re going to The Caribbean, baby!

Yep, that’s right – we have organised a two month house sitting assignment in Dominica, an island in the Caribbean.

Hiking in the Olympic Mountains Double-Barrelled Travel

This was taken when we were hiking in the Olympic Mountains in September

We’re super excited. But that’s not all..

My parents are going to fly out to meet us there for Christmas and New Year! By this point we won’t have seen them for a year so I’m really looking forward to some quality family time.

And it’ll be the first time we’ve spent Christmas together in five years, which makes it even more exciting.

So we had to buy our flights to the Caribbean which is what made us so over budget. The flights cost just over $650 for the two of us, flying from Miami one-way. It cost my parents nearly $5,000 to come from Australia so I’m quite happy with the price we paid in comparison!

Anyway, if you take out what we paid for the flights, we were actually under budget in September by $150 or so.

Visiting friends in Vacaville Double-Barrelled Travel

We visited friends in September and spent more than we probably should have dining out

Spending on food in September – expensive!

Nonetheless, there were some expenses that shocked me a little this month when I added up.

For example, we spent more on both eating out and groceries this month than we did in August.

Don’t ask me how that happened! We’ve been visiting a few friends as we’ve been driving down the west coast of the USA and all I can think of is that perhaps we’ve been dining out more than usual.

But that doesn’t explain the high cost of groceries.

Thankfully we spent nearly half of what we spent last month on alcohol – just $81.81. I’m pretty pleased with this figure.

October should be a cheaper month foodwise because Dave and I have decided to go vegetarian! We’ve been meeting lots of vegetarians and we’ve realised how beneficial a vegetarian diet is for you, so we’ve decided to try it out for a few weeks.

Who knows whether it will last but it’s worth a try. And a vegetarian diet is cheap!

Exploring the Redwoods Forest Double-Barrelled Travel

We dove to some amazing places in September – including the Redwoods Forest

Car problems… yet again

Our car had to be fixed. Again. I’m getting so tired of going to the mechanic! This time we also had to replace the back circuit boards because we were driving around without any brake lights.

We were really worried we were going to get pulled over by the cops before we had a chance to replace the lights but we didn’t. Ironically, as soon as they were fixed we got pulled over for something else… but that’s a blog for another time. And I don’t want to write about it just yet because I’m still seething.

We also had some other issues with the car, so all up our repairs cost just over $400 – a large proportion of our travel budget.

Thankfully Hannah is driving really well now so hopefully she’ll last until we ditch her to fly to Dominica. (Where we’re going in The Caribbean.) She only has to last another six weeks!

Camping at Red Rock Canyon Double-Barrelled Travel

We camped a lot in September – this is in Red Rock Canyon in California – but we also spent a lot of money on other accommodation like Air B and B

Most expensive accommodation yet

September was the most expensive month of our travel budget spending in terms of accommodation. Although we camped a lot, we also spent a lot of money on Air B and B, in cities like Seattle and San Francisco, as well as in regional areas like the Redwoods Forest.

We met some amazing people who really inspired us, so much so that I’m writing a separate post on that alone.

So I really think that it was money well spent.

Can you believe that we’ve been travelling for four and a half months now and we’ve only paid for hotel / motel accommodation for three nights in total?

We realised that the other day and we’re quite amazed.

It just goes to show that there are a lot of alternatives to the traditional hotel accommodation.

Patree Air B and B accommodation Double-Barrelled Travel

This is Patree at her wonderful house near the Redwoods. We stayed with her through Air B and B

Spending money on having fun

Our other expenses were on some memorable experiences and therefore were totally worth it.

We spent nearly $60 on going to a shooting range where we fired both pistols and rifles. When in America! Blog post to come…

We also went on a day hike in the Olympic Mountains in Washington, which took more than eight and a half hours. Afterwards we were utterly exhausted so you can imagine our delight when we relaxed in some nearby hot springs to ease the pain in our feet.

That was certainly $18 well spent.

While we were house sitting in Port Angeles in Washington for two weeks I decided to take a break from the blog to do some art. So I spent about $30 buying some painting supplies and had a bit of fun with that.

So all in all, although it was an expensive month I don’t really regret anything that we spent our money on – especially those flights to the Caribbean!

Carmen at the shooting range in the USA Double-Barrelled Travel

Shooting guns was worth the $60 cost! Especially as I was quite good at it 🙂

Breakdown of our travel budget spending in September:



Eating out


Public transport










Fuel and parking


Flights to Dominica






Total without flights


Have you road tripped through the USA before? How much did it cost you?

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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.

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