Financial Friday 2

Welcome to the second installment of Financial Friday. Where I tell you how much I shouldn’t have spent traveling…or at least that’s what it felt like this week…

Travel

Nothing happened here until Tuesday when I went back to the airport super early. The return bus trip to Keflavik was $24.35.

The flight from Keflavik to Frankfurt via WOW Air was $109.28 after the baggage fee for my carry-on.

On Wednesday, I hopped a flight from Frankfurt to Athens via Ryanair which should have cost me $33.96. Except I was a dumb ass, and forgot to check in until it was past the 2 hour window. Yeah…that little blunder cost me an additional $62.18. Bringing the total cost of the flight to $96.14.

Since the Athens airport is quite a ways from the city center, I caught the train into town: $12.44.

Accommodation

Bus hostel was still $30.44 per night for 4 nights this week.

The Meininger hostel in Frankfurt set me back $74.68 for one night…but at least I was close to the airport…. I guess. Still, ouch.

And Athens Backpacker hostel ran me $129.61 for 7 nights which comes out to $18.52 per night. This is, by far, the best price for accommodation yet!

Food

I managed to get away with 1 more grocery run in Reykjavik: $13.30. Between what I got then and on the previous grocery runs, I was able to feed myself for the remainder of my time in Iceland. I even had 2 bananas left over that I put in the ‘free food’ box.

I was pretty stuffed trying to finish off my food in Iceland so I only got one meal in Frankfurt: a personal sized pizza, a cheese pretzel, and some water…that turned out to be sparkling water. I should have known better, and read the label more closely. Anyway, that was $6.72.

When I got to the Athens airport, I got a salami sandwich with some water: $9.92.

When in town, I stopped by a couple gyro places. The first was with chicken: $3.65. The second was with pork: $3.78. And both those prices include the $0.50 bottle of water.

I liked the chicken gyro so much, I had them for two more meals on Thursday: $7.30. They’re so good…and so cheap!

Other

There’s the obligatory travel insurance: $3.07 per day.

I broke down and bought a USB-C cable at the mall in Reykjavik: $23.80. Those are the cables that my GoPro uses.

I also had the GoPro cable I left at home mailed to the hostel in Athens: $26.17. Forgetting that cable was not a cheap mistake.

On Saturday night, a few friends I met at the hostel in Reykjavik wanted to go out dancing. We ended up hitting the Paloma bar/club downtown: $9.99. It was a good time, and a lot of dancing.

On Thursday, I ran down to the laundromat and did my first load of laundry since I’ve been on the road: $8.82. About a week and a half before I had to do my first cloths cleaning…not bad.

Summary

Week 2
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 0 0 0 133.53 108.58 0 242.11
Lodging 30.44 30.44 30.44 30.44 74.67 18.52 18.52 233.47
Food 0 13.3 0 0 6.72 17.35 7.3 44.67
Other 26.87 13.06 3.07 30.24 3.07 3.07 11.89 91.27
Total 57.31 56.8 33.51 60.68 217.99 147.52 37.71 611.52

So another week way over budget. Granted, about $100 of it was my own fault between the airport check-in and the GoPro cable. At least now I’m in a ‘cheap’ country though. I think I should be able to keep my expenses under $50 a day. And maybe…just maybe…I can make up for the expensive beginning.

Sleep? What’s That?

OK, there’s no way I’m going to be able to concentrate until I mention that I lost my GoPro cable!  Which means I have until its battery runs out, then it’s worthless. Oh, and no pics for the blog as the cable was my method of transfer to the computer…. This isn’t nearly as bad as having all my stuff stolen, but it’s still pretty upsetting. Now that that’s out of the way….

I made it to Iceland…and didn’t get much sleep. It started with me catching an Uber to an early morning Greyhound to Chicago. Because it was so early, my night-owl self couldn’t sleep while I had some semblance of a bed (and by that I mean a bunch of comforters over a carpeted floor). I think I got 2 hours of sleep on the bus, but that was it for that day..or two..is anyone really counting?

Then, another Uber to the airport, and I was finally getting somewhere. This is also when I discovered budget airlines (or at least WOW) don’t start checking bags until a few hours before a flight. Fortunately for me, I only had a carry-on, and was able to go right through security after online check-in.

Travel hack: when traveling with a budget airline that will charge you for anything more than a small, personal item, you’re left with the choice of a checked bag or a carry-on as you’ll be charged for either. The advantage of a checked bag is that you can fit a lot more into it, and not have to worry about carting something through your whole trip. The down side is not being able to get past bag check-in (the very first step) until a few hours before the plane boards.

The advantage of a carry-on is that you can get through security as early as you like (well, really only as early as they’ll let you do an online check-in). Then with all that extra time, you can hit up a plush lounge. You did remember to get access to lounges before you left right? I know I didn’t, and I’m regretting not putting in for an AmEx card. That would have been awesome!

Anyway, the flight got delayed, but that’s no big deal. We did get to briefly see the Northern Lights on the way over though…for like 5 minutes. I’ll probably get a better view at some point while I’m here.

And before you ask, I only got 2…maybe 3 hours of sleep on the flight. So I left early Monday morning, and now it’s Tuesday evening, and I’m running on 5 hours of sleep tops. How I’m not passed out in my bunk right now, I may never know….

But the plane was purple! And there were jokes written all over the walls, and stewardess call-buttons…. I have to give it to WOW, they sure know how to class up an airplane.

When we arrived Reykjavik as a balmy -1 C (30 F), and snowing. Things did not improve on the bus from Keflavik to Reykjavik, or after arrival. In fact, I caught a shitload of snow, and wind in the face while I tracked across the city a few times trying to wait until the hostel’s check-in time arrived. I’m just glad I decided to keep some layers for the cold, because I was nice and toasty…well, except for my face…. In my face? I don’t think I’m doing this joke right….

Well, I’m certainly learning a lot on this trip. Maybe…just maybe you guys can manage to avoid them now that they’re out on the internet.

Next blog: no pictures! But I’ll probably have a few tales of me running around Reykjavik screwing even more things up. I can hardly wait.