Spending on the Road: Month 2

Spending on the road: Month 2

We’ve previously shared our expenditure for our first month on the road travelling through Europe in our motorhome. Next we’re sharing our second month. As we’ve previously explained, it took us three months of travel before we sat down to look at our spending and work out the actual daily budget we needed to try and stick to. If we thought our spending in the first month was bad, our second month was truly eye-watering.

Our second month of travel was spent mainly in Italy, with a little bit at the beginning in France. This month was overshadowed by issues with the Baby Bus, unbearably hot weather, and a rubbish cold for the whole family.

Below we’ve shared how much we spent and on what, as best we can from the notes we made. We’ve also shared what we learnt and the reasons why we think we spent such an eye-watering amount in our second month of travel. (This is in relation to what we now know is our daily budget).

Month two on the road: how much we spent and on what

Below is a breakdown of our spending on the road for month 2 travelling through France and Italy in our motorhome. This was August 2018. I’ve ordered it by expenses, with the largest first.

  • Hotels €794
  • Eating out €759
  • Food & ‘household’ shopping €532
  • Fuel €448
  • Campsites €393
  • Miscellaneous* €158
  • Tolls €158
  • Van maintenance €143
  • Laundry €29
  • Aires €24
  • Parking €19

Total: €3,457

Days on the road: 31 days

Average daily spend: €112 for our family of four.

Putting that into some context, we are now aiming to a daily budget of €30 a day for the four of us! Aha! Laugh or cry?!

In addition to what we spend whilst travelling, we also have a few other monthly outgoings. We detailed those in our blog post Our Daily Budget.

*Miscellaneous this month included: activities €2, clothing €15, the ferry to Venice €26, car hire to get to Marseille for an appointment €65, €40 for the appointment, and souvenirs €10.

Month two on the road: what we learnt

Charlie’s thoughts

It’s a bit sick-making “fessing up” to our spending in August. We spent an insane amount of money – nearly 4 times what we should have been – and at times I was really bloody miserable this month. It makes me feel ungrateful.

I have been open about the struggles I have faced on this journey both mentally and emotionally. It is hard not to feel that I’m the main reason we spent all that money. In fact, that’s true of how I’ve felt about our spending over the last 5 years really. I know that I’m not solely responsible, but it’s shitty feeling like you might be mainly responsible.

In an attempt to be gentle with myself, the week we spent in a hotel in Italy was while my parents were visiting us. Of all our weeks travelling that one has been most like a holiday. We did nice things with them, ate nice food, and at the time we desperately needed that hotel environment.

Nick’s thoughts

From looking at our spending in month two, it made me realise this was not how I imagined vanlife was going to be. Just like from month one I’ve learnt we spend our money on eating out to cheer ourselves up. Who knew (everyone else it seems!) that the south of France and Italy would be soooo hot in August. If we hadn’t spent this money then we probably would have given up – that’s if we’d known where else to go.

As Charlie said, it felt awful realising that we’d spent all this money, but in the end it’s what we needed to do at the time to stay sane. It was our most expensive month of 2018 – and hopefully of the entire journey. The girls had a great time with their grandparents and our big girl had a lovely birthday in Venice.