Once I had the route planned, I needed to work on my WESN Epic Hana Chase Budget. I wasn’t quite sure in the beginning how much to budget for the trip. Though I had an idea that it wasn’t going to be cheap, so I just started saving for it.
I researched on the type of lodging available in the places I planned to visit and built up a list of places I could stay. That gave me a better idea of how much I needed to spend on lodging. I was also able to plan out the transport costs required for air and land travel. Looking back on my previous Japan travel budget planning and actual spent, I worked out the budget for food, sightseeing, etc. I also checked online the cost for luggage delivery, a service definitely required for the long WESN Epic Hana Chase trip. A little buffer was added to each Category for unexpected situations just in case.
WESN Epic Hana Chase Budget
With the research done, I came up with a budget of SGD20,000 for the 3 months trip. This SGD20k was to cover all international and domestic transport, food, lodgings, sightseeing/entrance fees, miscellaneous expenses and a shopping budget of SGD200. Such a small shopping budget you might say. Well, I couldn’t afford to buy too many things and lug them with me across Japan for 3 months. So the small budget kept me in line.
It was possible to squeeze the budget further but I just wanted to reward myself for working so hard the past years. To ensure I enjoy some niceties on the trip, I balanced the type of lodgings and meals on the trip. I combined some budget lodgings/meals with a few splashes of indulgence once a week. As my trip came up to 13 weeks, it meant I had at least 13 indulgence. Not too bad a plan. Of course I ended up with more than 13 indulgence! 😂🤣
Actual spent for my WESN Epic Hana Chase across Japan 2018
Overall, I did quite well on the budget, coming in under SGD20,000 with a few hundred SGD to spare. There were a few categories where I went over budget, such as for Car Rental as I’d made some last minute decisions to take a road trip to Oga Peninsula and to drive from Tokyo to Nikko and Kawaguchiko. However, I was way under budget on my food expenses, having spent SGD4,079.10 out of a SGD6,000 budget. I was more thrifty at the beginning of the trip as I was afraid of running out of cash. Guess it was just a fear of ‘what if’.
The Sightseeing budget was set quite low as I didn’t have time to research on all the places I could visit at each location I was going to stop at. Overall, the Sightseeing expenses were still quite low for a 3 months trip for places where I had to pay entrance fees or when I joined sightseeing tours. Most nature spots were free and walking around the town didn’t cost a cent. I also did more shopping during the last week of my trip. By then I knew I had spare cash and luggage space, so got more gifts for family and a new pair of shoes to replace the one I threw away in Yakushima.
A quick view of my WESN Epic Hana Chase across Japan’s budget and actual spent
International & Domestic Airfares
JR Train Passes
- Tours & Entrance Fees
- Bus, Trains, Taxis & Ferries
- Luggage Delivery & Laundry
Okay, you might be wondering if I’d calculated wrongly to arrive at SGD20,000 as the budget. As adding up the budget plus the actual expenses for flights and train passes, the total is higher than SGD20k. I’d built in quite a bit of buffer in some category and even set aside another SGD1,000 as contingency fund (which I didn’t use!). During the trip, I also kept a spreadsheet and pivot table of my expenses. That provided an overview on my expenses and I could make adjustments along the trip as I travelled. Thus, I was still able to come under budget for my WESN Epic Hana Chase across Japan 2018 trip.
It would take awhile to have the whole trip written down as I’m still thinking of how to structure it. So hang in there and check back occasionally as my trip details unfold.