Cost of travelling – hidden costs


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You’ve found that great deal on a hotel or flights and booked the trip away. It seems like such a good deal! But what about all the rest, the cost of travelling that perhaps you are forgetting about, the ones that just add up?

Image of passport and cost of travelling

I’m going to use my trip to Kenya and Uganda as an example to highlight these extra cost of travelling you might not have considered. I am aware this is quite an extreme example – a lot of this costs might not be as relevant for a trip to Europe, for example, but it shows clearly how costs add up.

I am not going to including spending money for food and activities when I am out there, as this is a given. Likewise transport and accommodation (although this is included in my tour).

Return train ticket to London – £55

I don’t live in London anymore, so have to either drive or get the train in to get out to the airport. Unless you live in a city with an airport, this is a cost to consider. I always book an open return, rather than specifying a particular train, just in case that plane is delayed!

Taxi to Heathrow – £35 

As I need to be at the airport at some ungodly hour, the only easy way to do this is a taxi. I am lucky that my father lives in North London, so can get the taxi from there. However, if I didn’t another cost to consider would be accommodation at the airport the night before.

Tube from airport – £2.80

I am flying back into London City at the end of the trip, so require tube journey to get to train station to get the train home to Norfolk.

Injections – £36.50

I was lucky with this trip for two reasons. Firstly because I have travelled so much I have already had pretty much every jab going including boosters making me the human equivalent of a pin cushion.

Norfolk is also a good area for having travelling clinics, so a lot of the jabs are free. I know London isn’t as good for this.

For previous trips I have paid for Rabies and when I was living in London I had to pay for Hep B.

Visas – £65

I opted for an East African visa for this trip, it meant I could travel between Kenya and Uganda as well as having the option to enter Rwanda. Prices for visas vary depending on the country, so do always double check. Check as well whether you need to arrange in advance. If I had wanted to get a Kenyan visa I could have purchased this on arrival.

Malaria tablets – £43

The nurse I met gave a bit of a hack for this. I have had malrone in the past, with only a few crazy dream side effects so knew this was ok for me. However she said if she gave me a prescription I would have to pay that cost, as well as the £2.50 per tablet cost. However some local pharmacies will give you the same equivalent over the counter, after a consultation with them, for only £1.80 each. So make sure you do your research here. I went to Tesco’s, but I have heard Superdrug do a good deal as well.

Additional clothing – £22

Because the trip I am going on, to see the gorillas, involves an extreme hike I needed to purchase additional items. I am sure seasoned travellers will have a repertoire of clothing for all occasions, as I often do. However even I didn’t have gardening gloves and thick hiking trousers so I didn’t get scratched.

But regardless, there is always the temptation of treating oneself to a new beach dress, outfit for Instagram or a winter coat. This cost adds up!

Transfer – £0

In some countries I am happy to work out the public transports. However in others I like to have a transfer to the hotel booked for peace of mind. I did in Ulaanbaator and Beijing. Nairobi was one of those countries and as we are arriving late I already knew I wanted one booked. However on this occasion our tour company gave us one with compliments.

This is always a cost to consider regardless of whether you plan to use public transport or not from the airport.

Total additional cost of travelling – £259.30

Even I am quite surprised at how this extra cost of travelling added up when writing the post, sometimes it is the little things that make the most difference.

Any tips for cutting down on the extra cost of travelling? What is the one travel hack you have to save money? 

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The Barefoot Backpacker March 23, 2018 - 10:00 am

Ah … no!

I have a tendendcy to catch overnight/late evening coaches (ie, departing before the last local bus) to airports if I have relatively early flights. This may mean arriving 5 hours before my flight because this is the UK and the distances aren’t very long, but I’d rather that than spend extra money on transport and ho(s)tels. Sometimes, anyway. I’ve also been known to take a weird combination of flights to both maximise my time in a place whilst minimising cost (I flew overnight once from Doncaster to Stockholm, via a 6 hour stop in Poznan Airport, because two flights on Wizzair was cheaper and better than arriving late in Stockholm and having to spend an extra night there, or arriving lunchtime and missing out on a few hours’ exploring).

But yeh, most of those points I’ve no choice but to pay up – visas and malaria tablets are pretty much standard … 🙁

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders March 23, 2018 - 10:27 am

Good idea with the overnight buses. I live in Norwich, and despite it taking 2-3 hours in a car somehow they make some of the buses take 8 hours!


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