In just over a week we’ll be off!
Since Addam told me that we’ll be going on our dream vacation I’ve been busy trawling through travel books, googling, planning and spreadsheeting. Today I’m excited to present my crazy spreadsheet and Tripomatic (Sygic Travel) itinerary!
This is not a budget trip!
No, this isn’t a budget vacation. We chose to drive so we could see as much as we can in three weeks. Traveling via campervan might save us a bit of money in hotels but with gas costs, and other expenses, it’s probably not as cheap as staying in hostels and using public transport.
Ireland & UK Road Trip Planning
With that said, I’m still trying to make the most of our money. Creating a spreadsheet helped me identify passes and pre-booking savings that I could take advantage of by knowing where we will be going in advance.
Interactive Holiday Planner With Sygic Travel
But before I started budgeting I used Tripomatic to search for, and save, the places that we wanted to see. The reason I really liked using Tripomatic is because it gives you automatic estimates for how long you will spend at each location, adds travel time in between destinations, and visually shows you just how “full” your day is.
I have my days set up so that a full day is “8 hours” worth of traveling and sightseeing. As you can see some days are less busy than others. I scheduled what we would do during the daytime but after 5pm we have no plans. (We want to keep some things spontaneous!)
You can play with an interactive map of our trip here. There’s about 60 places on this map and we’re hoping to see them all in 21 days. On average that’s only about 3 places per day. I’m sure there’s people looking at this thinking it’s an impossible itinerary. Maybe it is! This is our first time doing this so I’m fully expecting that everything won’t go smoothly.
International Road Trip Budget & Spreadsheet
Once we picked the places we wanted to go and put them on our Tripomatic plan I started the following spreadsheet. It was very tedious to go to every single website and identify the costs of each location. But I think it’s worth doing this if you want to get passes and prebook places that require advance ticketing.
PRO TIP: Don’t assume every location will be open even if Google says it is! I discovered some places only open a few days a month, and others don’t even open until July. I found this information from websites so this was a big win for spreadsheet planning!
You can get a better look at my plan by clicking on this link: Full Size PDF – Ireland/UK Expenses. (The links to the website should work too.) I also have spreadsheets for Passes, Camping Grounds, and Transportation.
We booked our car, our ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan, and tours that were likely to sell out if we waited until the last minute. We also purchased the Historic Houses Association membership because it’s the ONLY way to get into Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey). The tickets for the seasons have all sold out and HHA members can get in at any time without tickets. This pass was also great value for money. I highly recommend it.Our final step will be to put the information from Tripomatic and my spreadsheet together into one printed itinerary!If anybody has any advice I would love to hear it!