Destinations,  Europe,  Travel Budgets,  United Kingdom

A month in Aberdeen | June 2022 Travel budget breakdown

I spent the month of June 2022 in Aberdeen, Scotland– and of course I kept track of my expenses! I thought it’d be interesting to share what I spent in each category, so here’s my budget breakdown.

My travel budget for 2022 was $2,000 USD/month, with the hopes of staying closer to $1,500. That basically never happened, and my average spend was closer to $1,700/month. Traveling in Europe is very expensive compared to other regions of the world! That said, I was worried about COVID at the time so I deliberately spent more on things like private accommodation where now I would stay in hostels and shared spaces.

Aberdeen, Scotland travel budget

Plus one night in Glasgow at the end of the month. All prices are in USD.

Total: $1,852.20 or $61.74/day

Accommodation: $1,528

I booked a one bedroom apartment near the center of Aberdeen on AirBNB, getting a bit of a discount since I stayed over 28 days. Note that I booked it several months in advance; by the time I got there, every other AirBNB in the area was nearly double the price. As for this one, I really liked the kitchen, as it was well-stocked and fairly big! The apartment also came with a washer/dryer, dishwasher, a small TV, nice bathroom and a big kitchen table to do work at.

It was absolutely FREEZING, at least by my Southern California standards, so I spent most of the time trying to heat up the place. This was before the energy costs went way up in the UK and EU; nowadays I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get away with that. ;P

Here’s an apartment tour video I took:

I also stayed one night in a miserable hotel in Glasgow at the end of the month, which I didn’t like and don’t recommend. That cost me $69 for my one night stay, which just compounds the irritation I feel towards that place.

Groceries: $202

I barely ate out at all this month, and did all my cooking at home. I was closest to a Co-Op, so I did most of my shopping there with the occasional foray to an Aldi or Lidl. Co-Op was fab because they would have discounted fresh veg and cooked foods, and Aldi/Lidl are two of the biggest discounted grocery stores in the UK. I also visited a place called FarmFoods, which had some interesting frozen things for sale.

The nice thing about the UK is that they have similar foods to what I was craving from home, so I ate a lot of potatoes and pot pies. The snacks were very different, though! I remember finding Cool Ranch Doritos, but they were called [] and tasted much less intense than our American version.

The other weird thing was that I couldn’t find flavored coffee creamer. Turns out it’s not a thing in the UK or much of Europe, and everyone just uses half & half or milk. That took some getting used to!

It’s little things like that which make traveling and living in other countries fun, imo. Getting out of your comfort zone, even by a little thing like not having flavored creamer, is a good thing! Helps stretch the mind and keep life fresh.

Food: $15

There’s a fun app called Too Good To Go where you buy a mystery bag of food from a restaurant. The food’s about to go off, so they sell it at a discount, and occasionally you can get really good deals on things. I used it once in Aberdeen for a Starbucks and got several pastries for under $5: a very good deal considering how expensive Starbucks normally is.

This also covers my day in Glasgow at the end of the month, where I ate at Burger King and Greggs. Otherwise, I just at at home the whole time! I’m not a foodie so that was perfectly fine for me, but Aberdeen DOES have some cute cafes and small restaurants that would be good to try out if I ever go back.

Tourism: $0

My favorite sightseeing thing to do is just walk around the city and look at stuff, and that’s what I did. There’s a really cute shopping street full of small shops and boutique restaurants, and lots of historical buildings. See the photo gallery below for some images of that! I also went Geocaching, which is a fun (and free) treasure hunt kind of game that often brings me to unusual and offbeat places in a town.

Also, Aberdeen is a good location for doing day trips to nearby areas, as it’s a train hub with connections north and south. If I go back, and if I plan better (and don’t have a lot of digital nomad work to do), then I’ll for sure take advantage of its location.

The actual town of Aberdeen is fairly small, and you can do all your sightseeing in one day if you’re ambitious. And now that we’re so much further from COVID in 2024 than we were in 2022, there’s more events and meetups happening as well.

Transit: $49

The train ticket from Glasgow to Aberdeen cost only $11.96, but the ticket from Aberdeen to Glasgow was $37.22. Why the massive difference I have NO idea, and it was really annoying to discover.

Shopping: $17

Aberdeen has the typical Scottish souvenirs (wool items, plaid things, postcards, etc.) but I didn’t buy any of them. Instead, I went to WH Smith and bought some things for my travel journal, such as a set of pens and a gluestick.

Medical: $42

I have a monthly insurance policy with SafetyWing. I haven’t had to actually use them so I can’t vouch for anything other than affordability, but I prefer having it just in case I need it.

Other: $0

At the time I was using my American SIM card which had free data roaming. It was super slow and frustrating, but I was too cheap to buy something so I just made do.

Aberdeen Photo Gallery

Click a photo to enlarge it!

Thanks for reading! Here’s some more posts about budget travel you may be interested in:

Anastasia is a former librarian turned digital nomad. She's been traveling the world full time for two years and has visited 18 countries so far! Just Gone Wandering is a travel resource for solo female travelers on a backpacker's budget-- or slightly more-- and highlights amazing places to visit as well as providing tips and tricks for traveling smart and frugal. Read more...

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