Essen: a costing

18 Mar

A year or so ago.

Scene: Our living room.

Me: We totally should go to Essen Spiel! It would be OMG Teh Best!

Me: And we could go to BGG.con on the way home! Squee!

Fraser: Show me the money.

This is pretty typical for us. I am the planner, the ideas person, the person who gets excited about remote possibilities. Fraser rains on my parades. It’s quite a good balance, really. Two people like me would be scary; two people like Fraser would never do anything interesting.

From this conversation, “Essen in ’08” was born.

It’s more than Essen, of course. Europe is around 24 hours from Australia, airport-to-airport. If we go, we want to make it worth our while, because that’s not a trip we will do every year.

Being of a more practical bent than the OMG Whee above might suggest, I did the numbers. I’d figured we’d need around AU$20,000 to fund the trip (interestingly, talking with other people, this is the figure they come up with too). Ha!

The costings

(this is still a bit of a moving feast, as I sort out more & more details (slowly))

Item Cost
Airfares $11,000
(this is the really frightening part – and it gets worse as the girls get older)Reference:

Accommodation $6,500
(this based on low-end B&Bs/youth hostels – it’s hard to “just stay with friends” as a family of 4!)References:

Essen accomm. $1,000
(for accommodation, food, maybe even a bit of babysitting)

Food $4,300
(this based on $100/day & likely to be a big underestimate)
Travel (trains, car) $7,000
(rail passes for Europe & UK – possible car rental in UK)(this one may be an overestimate – eg 2 weeks’ carhire in UK should be around $1000 plus $3012 for 21 day ‘saver’ Eurail passes)References:

Sightseeing $3,000
(hard to spend less than this – this is likely to be an underestimate)
Treats $?
Kids’ spending $2,400
(notionally $200 each a week which won’t buy much – they are already saving pocket money)
Slush fund $?
Disneyland $? (ugh)
(it makes sense to give the kids a treat when the trip is really about our hobbies – although Fraser would prefer we go to Disney World in Florida)

That’s $40K, give or take. Around $28K in US Dollars.

“We should go to Essen” takes on a whole different meaning …

EDIT: A retraction (of sorts)

I inadvertently hurt Fraser’s feelings when I suggested that two of him would never do anything interesting. It was hyperbole – an intentional exaggeration. Similarly, I don’t really think that two people like me would be scary. Delightfully unpredictable, perhaps.

Fraser points out that, before he met me, he bought a house AND successfully saved for a 3 month trip through Europe. And that he would like to go to Essen too, but he has seen no evidence of me saving the money to go there next year.

I stand by “parade rainer” 🙂


Posted by on March 18, 2007 in grand plans, travel


4 responses to “Essen: a costing

  1. Linnaeus

    March 18, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Where’s the game-buying budget?

  2. melissainau

    March 18, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    You’re right. I’d included it under ‘treats’ (umm, $1000 spending money for Essen? Maybe more – there are peripherals that I’d like too, like the pottery with game pieces on it, which are just ludicrously expensive to ship). And you’ll notice I didn’t add a figure for that (or for excess baggage … *sigh* …)

    I’ve probably over-estimated the kids’ spending money, too. No idea, really. The discretionary part is guess-work, but it always seems to be more than you anticipate. Well, more than *I* anticipate, being the optimist in Fraser’s and my relationship 🙂

  3. royalflush1

    April 1, 2007 at 5:09 am

    Disney World or Disneyland. I’d go for Disney World. Lots more to do and see (and more around Orlando if you’re interested too). I’d recommend devoting at least 2 weeks if you’re coming down here to Disney World though.

  4. melissainau

    April 1, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Fraser says Disney World is way better than DL, too – but LA is on the way home, where Florida is an extra trip.


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