Last Minute Spending Before the Big Trip
After months of faithfully sticking to my budget, I was counting down the days until I set off on my six month journey to Southeast Asia. My last day of work approached quickly and my co-workers threw a surprise party to bid me farewell. Happily skipping out of that office, I refused to look back, not realizing how much I would miss that bi-weekly deposit into my bank account. With an entire month off to spend time with family and friends, time wasn’t the only thing I would be spending. Before my departure, there were a few necessary things I needed to do. Though I moved back in with my parents to save money while I was not making any, I had not factored in these other inevitable costs.
Big Trip to the Dentist
Knowing that I would be without a dentist for the next six months, I wanted to make sure everything was all good between the gums. Thanks to my addiction to chocolate, everything was not okay. Finding four cavities on all four of my wisdom teeth, my dentist suggested to have them pulled. Still able to utilize my benefits package from my previous job (I scheduled this appointment on my last day of work), the majority of the cost was covered. However, there was a significant amount I still had to pay and so, I cringed at the reception desk when I handed over my debit card.
Big Trip to the Doctor
Travelling to a developing region of the world requires a few shots and I don’t mean the good, celebratory kind the night before leaving. With a nurse, we reviewed the recommended vaccinations for Southeast Asia and which ones I was already updated on. I still had a few years on my Tetanus vaccine, but needed to receive Hepatitis A and B again. Without health insurance, each immunization cost me around $70, plus the consultation and administration fees. I could have opted for Malaria pills as well, but my penny pinching self just couldn’t do it. I’d have to rely on bug spray instead.
Big Trip to the Insurance Agency
After meeting a reckless man in Indonesia who broke his wrist from a motorcycle accident and couldn’t go to the hospital because he didn’t have travel insurance, I was thankful I forked over the money for this prior to leaving. I did not want myself or my family to be burdened by medical expenses abroad. Because I knew I would partake in recreational scuba diving, I looked into a plan that would cover any diving related injuries. Divers Alert Network (DAN) provides three types of annual travel insurance. I chose the basic at the total coverage cost of $194.
Big Trip to the Shopping Mall
Backpacking requires a backpack; I was not going to be that traveller dragging a rolling suitcase across the beach. After scouring every outdoor recreation store in my city, I was too appalled by the high price tags to complete a purchase. Instead, I found a $50 backpack at Costco. As long as it could hold my belongings, I didn’t care about the brand name. To fill that backpack, I needed a few health care essentials, a couple swimsuits, summer clothes and quality walking shoes. Some of these items I already owned, others I needed to buy.
Overall, I spent around $1000 before I even started travelling. This figure was shocking and cut into the length of my big trip. Knowing about these costs now, I am able to factor them into my budget prior to leaving.