A few years ago my boyfriend and I purchased WOW Airlines tickets to Scotland. They were super cheap and came with a 17-hour layover in Iceland. What we failed to factor in was the cost of food, drinks and transport during our stayover.
While we had paid a lot of attention to how much we were going to spend in Scotland, those 17 hours in Iceland were kind of a throwaway on our trip budget and planning. In 17 hours, we would have a couple of meals, and we bought tickets to the Blue Lagoon, which was only a few miles from the airport.
I don’t think we considered anything beyond those Blue Lagoon tickets for even a second. How much could it possibly cost? The answer is a lot.
While flying to Iceland is cheap, everything in Iceland is insanely expensive. I remember the first shock being that 15-minute cab ride to the Blue Lagoon. While I might have guessed it would have cost $30 or less, we paid $99 one way, so much that I still remember the exact dollar amount years later.
Our dinner was so expensive I’ve blacked out its cost in my mind, but I do remember the scrambled eggs and bacon that I had at the airport on the way out of town that cost roughly $44 for literally two mediocre scrambled eggs and two slices of bacon.
TripCost is a site that can help you discover those unexpected costs before you go, rather than after you’ve arrived.
With the service, you enter where you’re travelling and when, and the site will tell you what your budget should look like based on the average cost for people there.
For instance, if I made that week-long trip to Scotland's Aberdeen now, the site suggests budgeting about $160 for the week so I can have a beer a night (conservative, if you ask me), about $480 for food, for a casual two-course meal in a pub twice a day, and about $200 in travel costs if I use public transport everywhere.
Within the site, you can tweak things based on your own plans. For instance, if you plan on using a taxi or ride-sharing service rather than public transport you can switch things around, or you can say you’d rather stay in an Airbnb than a 2-star hotel.
It’s certainly not going to be able to give you the precise dollar amount you’re going to spend on your trip down to the penny, but it can give you a decent idea of what to expect, but it can help alert you to any $44 scrambled egg problems before it’s 7am and you’re hungry in a foreign country.