Counting it Up- Traveling Sabbatical Stats

There are a lot of numbers happening daily when on a 120 day traveling sabbatical.   If you are the bean-counting type, read on because you may enjoy these numbers.  If you just want to know so you can plan your travels you will love it. Counting it up and figuring our traveling sabbatical statistics.


We have been asked how many states did you go to?  I will count driving/staying overnight, so we’ve been to 20 states. We spent time in 13 states.  We have the possibility of living in 10 states that we liked.

Time spent was 1 to 21 days in each state.  The States where we spent the most time were North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, and Utah.

Miles Traveled

Miles Traveled

My husband did 99.9% of the driving because I don’t like to drive.   He calculated over 19,100 miles traveled and our gas prices ranged from $1.17 (Arkansas) to $2.89 (California) per gallon.   The good part was gas prices dropped during the last part of our trip.

Number of Airbnb’s

Every night except for three nights were at Airbnb’s. That brings the number to 117 nights in an Airbnb.   We stayed at hotels 3 nights because those areas didn’t allow Airbnb to book because of COVID or there were no Airbnb’s in the city we stayed at on the way home.  We had to sleep someplace or it would have been in our car.  

Miles Hiked

Miles Hiked

My husband calculated that he hiked over 400 miles and I probably hiked 300 miles.  There were a few days he hiked 4-12 more miles than me and he loved hiking and the scenery so much he couldn’t quit.  I for one had done my hiking that day and just needed to chill.  

Halfway through the trip we each had to buy another pair of shoes, because we had hiked/walked too many miles in them and the support wore out.  See our blog on Hiking the Southern States.

Miles Biked

Our bikes went with us from state to state on our bike rack.  It looked kind of funny leaving Minnesota with bikes on our car when it was zero degrees out.  We biked about once every couple of weeks. Sometimes the weather was too wet or cold for biking but when we were able to we really enjoyed it.

We biked in Hilton Head and Greenville, South Carolina; Albuquerque, NM; Tucson and Prescott, AZ; Athens, Alabama; Nashville, TN, Madison, MS; Boise, ID; Ogden, UT; and Bentonville, AR.  The total for biking was over 150 miles on 13 different trails.

Miles Biked

Number of National Parks and Monuments

When we started our travels, the plan was to see many National Parks and Monuments in the states we were visiting.   We started off buying a national park pass and we got our money’s worth. The national park visits were cut short when they started to close with COVID. The number of park visits was 13.  If you want to know some of the parks, we visited, see the last blog on our firsts on our traveling sabbatical.

Books in Bible Read

We read 3-4 chapters in the bible each day for a total of 19 books of the bible.  We enjoyed digging into God’s word for a longer time each day and discussing the verses that related to us or stuck out in our minds.  We loved doing this together and spending time listening to God.  

After doing this for 120 days we were able to cover these books of the bible:   Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Proverbs, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Ecclesiastes, 1 and 2 Timothy, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews.    

Gas prices


Car Maintenance

The money spent on gas and car maintenance was $2,298 for four months of travel. The car maintenance included oil changes and wiper blades. In the past, my husband changed his oil, so this was a cost we had to add to our car maintenance on the road.   It was important to maintain the car since we needed safety in our travels. 

Thankfully we had our car tuned up before we left and had no major problems with our 10-year-old vehicle.  Someone bumped into our side door on a rainy day and we didn’t notice until a few days later. Bummer, but our car is 10 years old.  


The total cost of our lodging was $6,409 for four months.   This did include the 3 nights of hotels and averaged out to $53 per day.   We owned no home, so this was our only cost.  We did not get bills for gas, electricity, or property taxes while we were on the road.

Our prices were generally lower with a range of $25 to $45 a night to stay in someone’s home.   When COVID hit we stayed by ourselves in private homes or apartments.  The prices increased to $45-$80 per night and the hotel prices for 3 nights also increased the average price.  

You could stay in a camper but watch the hook up fees. You could also camp, but the cooler weather would not be any fun.

Because we stayed in Airbnb’s we saved money, met people along the way, and had plenty of fun stories and memories.  See blogs on People Stories and People stories continued- part two.


Restaurants and Coffee Shops

Our costs added up to $958. This was for our eating out 1 to 2x/week.   We tried to limit our eating out since it was pricy.   I enjoy cooking and we had kitchens we could cook in.  We like Coffee, so a few times a week we would order a latte.  We also had gift cards for this but included the cost to be accurate.

When COVID hit, this ended any eating out except fast-food drive-through or take-out.  We were lucky if we ate out 1x/week in this stage of our travels.


The grocery bill was almost as much as car maintenance and gas.   Filler up – the car and the body.   The total was $2,220.  This averaged to $18.50 per day for both of us.  One thing to note, we were nice and made our hosts some meals. This total includes the food we shared with others.  It also includes our snacks for the road. 

When we went shopping, we made homemade foods and we had a few healthy convenience foods. Some of our food prices were higher than normal because we didn’t make everything from scratch or have a supply of food stores on hand. We also ate more because we were hiking and biking 1-5 hours a day.

See Blog on Easy Meals for Traveling and Home which includes many recipes we made in our travels.  We did shop at Costco a few times, so when we returned from our trip we were still eating some of the snack bars and simple meals we had that were extras.


Entertainment- Parks, Movies, and Attractions

Our Entertainment included national park pass, state park fees, attractions, and a couple of movies.  After COVID it was zero because everything was closed.  We spent $470 on this cost in four months.

One of my favorite experiences was the NASA space center in Huntsville, Alabama and my husband loved the Hot Springs pool in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  We also did plenty of free things in Tennessee and Arkansas and hiking and biking.  See blogs on Free things to do in Tennessee and what to see for free in Arkansas.

Personal Care- clothing/shoes and laundry

We spent $768 in this category.  We didn’t buy much in clothing.  We did buy new shoes twice for my husband and once for me.   We each wore out a pair of shoes with all our hiking.   We didn’t spend much on laundry because we were able to do our laundry at our Airbnb. This also included contact solutions, haircare, toiletries, etc.

On the Road


Our overall total for all these categories was $13,123.  This was how much the four months totaled for us to survive.  Yes, you can argue that we could probably cut $3, 000 by being super thrifty and allowing no extra shopping.

If we would have been traveling during COVID for four months instead of the six weeks we may have found some categories would have been less, but our housing would have been more since we couldn’t save money and stay with people in their homes. 

If you are planning a traveling sabbatical in the future I would suggest a budget based on these numbers.  Determine your likes and dislikes, where you can save money and what you can live without.  I think you could spend $10,000 to $15,000 to do a 120 day traveling sabbatical. 

Keep in mind our other expenses like health insurance and car insurance were not included in these costs.  If traveling for a 2-6-month time frame sounds great to you, start saving your money and it is possible.

We counted up our traveling sabbatical stats and shared them with you. If traveling is in your future, you now have some idea about the things you can plan for and what you can look forward to as you travel.    Counting it up- Traveling Sabbatical Stats.

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counting it up