We have on been on the road for one year, and want to share our expenses as a follow up to our first 6 months of travel, which we posted here. Read on for a total sum of every single penny we spent between 30 April 2010 and 30 April 2011. We decided to provide our spending summary for two reasons. Firstly, we would like to compare with other long-term travelers and see if we are in the same range of spending. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we would like to show our readers who don’t travel long-term just how affordable and realistic this experience really is.
Note: Expenses are stated in both USD and GBP since we both earn money in GBP, but did most of our spending comparing various currencies to US Dollars.
In Total – How much did we spend?
Average expenses: Per Month
Our expenses include all every flight we took, our pricey Corn Islands vacation, every hostel / hotel / motel / apartment that we slept in, every bus / boat / tuktuk / taxi / train we took, every car we rented, every meal we ate, every beer we drank, various medications, every donation we gave, plus everything else we spent our money on.
Latin America vs Europe and North America
We spent two thirds of the time (8 months) in Mexico and Central America, and one third (4 months, 2.5 / 1.5) in the US and Europe, but over half of our expenses come from our time in Europe/US: $13,232.24 / £8494.41! Had we traveled only in Latin America, we would have probably spent a lot less.
We have to admit that this budget was a bit higher than we expected, but we never really tried to keep our expenses down. Unlike other travelers, we are technically digital nomads and earn money as we go, so we never have to worry (knock on wood) about scraping the bottom of the money barrel. We rented cars in the U.S. and Europe (not cheap!) we ate out a lot, we didn’t always stay in the cheapest hostels, and we recently booked a rather expensive flight to Europe.
Housesits save money
Thanks to the various housesits during this past year, we saved more than 10 weeks accommodation. This free lodging helped us cut down this part of our budget!
Average Daily Expense: Per Country
This is our average daily spend breakdown per country – both for us as a couple and what that averages out to per person.
|El Salvador||Per Couple||$48.10||£29.58|
|Costa Rica||Per Couple||$53.24||£32.97|
A few notes on these daily averages:
1. Belize was so high because the amazing tours available- snorkeling and caving – are quite costly, but very worth it. Food and hotels can be very cheap if you do your research.
2. Nicaragua was only so expensive because of our trip to the Corn Islands. Without that, our time there would have been dirt cheap.
3. Honduras would have been cheaper, but we were there over Christmas and New Years, so we had lots of justifications for splurging.
4. Costa Rica is really not as expensive as everyone thinks!
5. Renting a car in Italy makes it expensive – the car ($35 a day at the cheapest rate), the gas (avg. of $9 per gallon!) and the tolls on the Autostrada (roughly $6.50 for a 45 minute drive, $35 for a three hour drive from Milan to Lucca).
Have you traveled long-term? How did our budget compare to yours? Have you ever considered travelling long-term but thought you don’t have the budget? Did our budget help push you in the direction of long-term travel? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.