Is it Cheaper to Travel Than to Stay Home?

Here is our Ecuador Travel Expense Report for February and March 2015.

Daily I add every single expenditure to the iPhone Trail Wallet app designed by Simon Fairbairn, a young digital nomad. (www.NeverEndingVoyage.com)

February was our first 26 days on the road (2/2 – 2/28/15).  We spent $1712.02 – an average of $65.85 per day.

We spent less in March mainly because we rented one place for 31 days, and prepared our own breakfasts, but we still ate out at least once a day.  We also splurged and each had a massage plus our fabulous spa day. We spent $1555.69 or an average of $50.18 per day.

Here is  a breakdown of total expenditures by category as of March 31, 2015 – of 57 days of travel.

Accommodation: $1798.00
Food: $1045.45
Transportation: $207.44
Entertainment: $141.95
Miscellaneous: $74.87

Total: $3267.71 or $57.33 a day

Our air travel expense is not included in these figures because we used American miles for our air travel.

Accommodation is our greatest expense.  The following list is what we have spent for nightly accommodations and the number of nights.

#5             $38/night included breakfast – Hotel Andino, Quito
#10           $39.70/night AirBnB apartment – Quito
#1             $25 for 3 hours! CocoBongo Hostel, Bahia de Caraquez
#2             $40/night at Hotel Herradura, Bahia de Caraquez
#3             $42/night at Donkey Den Guesthouse, Sta Marianita
#1             $18 for a budget Hostel Machillalla, Puerto Lopez
#2             $45/night at oceanfront Chesco’s AirBnB, Salinas
#1             $20 – Blue Sky Hostel, Cuenca
#7             $35/night for an AirBnB studio suite
#31           $25.40/night for AirBnB 2 bedroom apartment

There are a few other expenses I haven’t included in my travel budget. One is our Netflix subscription of $8.99 a month and the $45+/- for our T-Mobile mobile number. (We are looking into the pros and cons of keeping our T-Mobile service versus buying local SIM cards.) Finally, in March we both had dental cleanings and one filling which was an additional $95. This $241.04 in additional expenses come out to about $4 a day.

We opened a Charles Schwab bank account for the sole purpose of being able to make no-fee ATM withdrawals. There are no monthly fees or monthly minimum requirements with Charles Schwab and any ATM fees are reimbursed.

To answer the question everyone is thinking but doesn’t know how to politely ask: How does a couple in their 50s quit their jobs and travel?

To travel and live abroad has been a goal of mine, therefore several years ago we put a plan into motion. After losing much of our mutual fund IRA retirement savings in the 1990s and 2000s we opened a self-directed IRA with which we purchased a rental condo in Sacramento which is earning funds which are not for personal use yet. Our Milwaukie home has been rented out, but we refinanced the loan and used the equity to purchase two additional condos in Sacramento. These investments are funding our travel.  When Steve turns 55 he will start collecting a small pension from his employment with State Farm Insurance.

image

8 responses to “Is it Cheaper to Travel Than to Stay Home?

    • After traveling by bus through the night we arrived really early and were so exhausted we checked in to a room and because it was before noon they were going to charge us double for the morning and again for that night. The room was small with no bedside table and lamp or place to put our stuff except the floor. It was humid and there was only a ceiling fan, then on top of everything we were disappointed not finding good coffee! Looking back, we were cranky so we went in search of a hotel.

      Like

      • i’m always cold in quito and wish for a room with a bathtub and lots of hot water!

        sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and life nudges us elsewhere! those bus rides are exhausting; i went from sea-level manabi to quito on an overnight.. lugged my andean bag around, had breakfast then saw a pulmonologist. my blood pressure was high (usually is low) and doc fussed at me – ha, going from sea level to sky high in 7 hours then having a slight altitude sickness probably factored into that!

        i’ve noticed that few places have reading lamps – i wonder if there’s a tactful way to nudge hostals to be more tourist friendly…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post. Love reading about what it takes to achieve this kind of adventure. Thanks for letting us see all the logistics.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Travel Expense Report: Scotland and England – July 2015 | Meet You In The Morning·

    • I’m glad my posts can help. I am so glad we did this when we could. I am ready to go again. Now we know where we would like to return I would Stay put longer – a few months or so – in each location! Of course, there’s always new places to explore too!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s