Ok, where are the mistakes in my thinking here?
I figure our trip budget can be broken down into 5 parts....
I went through quite a few scenarios at Kayak.com for RT flights between San Francisco & Dublin for the time period of mid-May to mid-June 2007(were targeting 2008, but i can't put dates in that far in the future) and it looks like the average was around $775-$800 per person. I'm going to call it $1000 per person because I would rather budget it high & be happy if it actually ends up being less than under budget & deal with a $$ shortage in saved funds.
For Lodging I checked Eurocheapo.com, All-hotels.com, & viamichelin.com, again for a variety of dates and for 5 "major" cities (Dublin, Cork, Edinburgh, York, & London) to get a decent average cost. My thinking here is any stays in smaller cities or just outside the "major" ones should run a little cheaper. I did 8-10 hotels from each site & came up with averages (per night) of $130 (Dublin), $126 (Cork), $147 (Edinburgh), $101 (York), $160 (London). Averaging all of them together over 30 nights would be about $3984. I did this in a really round about way, but if anyone knows a better way to calculate an average Lodging cost for 30 nights in Ireland/UK, please feel free to share it with me.
For meals I figure about $10/$12/$20 average for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner so about $42 per person, per day. That works out to $1260 per person, for 30 days.
Transportation costs I figured to be around $700 for rental car costs, but this is a very raw estimate as i've only done a little research and I know i may be figuring in more days (22) in a rental than we might actually need. As far as rail passes go, at this point I havn't a clue when it might be adventagious to have one & when it wouldn't be. I see there are different kinds too. They look alot more expensive than i remember from the last time i rode the rails in Europe (1993).
As far as spending money goes, i'm not really big into buying alot of stuff I would have to mail or carry home, but a few things will be bought and there is the cost of getting into various places so i'm figuring $25 per person, per day. That totals out to be $750 each, which (not speaking for my wife of course) I can't even imagine spending, but who knows.
Whew!!! I know you HAVE to be tired after reading this, but i appriciate anyone who takes the time to do so, and then tells me where i'm way off base on my estimates.
So for a total per person we've got........
Lodging: $1992 (figuring 2 people per room)
Grand Total of $5302 per person for 30 day trip.
And finally, 2 wildcards that MIGHT drop the Lodging & transportaion costs significantly. I work for both Embassy Suites (part of the Hilton family) & Avis rental cars. Both of which have employee discounts overseas, but theres a catch. Each Hilton family hotel & each Avis rental car office can honor the employee rate at thier discretion, and I wouldn't know if a particular hotel & Avis office would do so until i contacted them at the point when i was ready to make the reservations, which i'm certainly not ready to do yet. So I've got to calculate my budget based on the possibility that i'll get no discounts at all.
[ Edit: Edited at Nov 6, 2006 12:09 AM by TahoeGuy ]