Jul 09, 2009 | Written by Patricia Murphy

6 Days to Go

John and I like to play this game the week before a trip. It’s called, “a week from now we’ll be in . . . .” So a week from right now we will be driving up the coast from the Barcelona airport to our hotel in Mataro. The Tour pulled into Barcelona today and it was pouring rain. I totally forgot about rain! That may sound silly. But when I imagine us walking around in Spain and France I never picture it raining. I can’t remember the last time I saw real rain. It sprinkled here last month, but I haven’t seen rain since–well I can’t even remember.

I have filled in a few more items on our spreadsheet. I found a website that estimates cost for toll roads and gas while giving driving directions. According to the site we will travel about 1,922 kilometers, and spend $143.30 on toll roads and $226.96 on gas just to get from town to town. I am gussing in-town travel will add a bit on there.

Another great find was the new Schwab Visa card. We usually use our US Airways card so we get miles, but they charge a 3% foreign transation fee. I read an article in the New York Times about the Schwab Visa card, which gives 2% cash back on purchases, deposited into a Schwab One brokerage account each month, plus ZERO foreign transaction fees. So I got one of those, so it’s like we will get a 5% discount on our European purchases.  (Okay, true, 1 dollar is only worth 71 Euros, so we’re still not making out real well.)

So far, we’re looking at a cost of $400 a day for the trip. Memories of Europe: Priceless.

Airfare       $    346.00
Lodging      $ 2,188.00
Activities      $    370.00
Car Rental      $ 1,000.00
Gas      $    226.96
Parking      $      59.22
Tolls      $    143.30
Meals      $ 2,370.00
Petsitter      $    500.00
Total       $ 7,203.48
Cost per day     $400