Breaking the Budget

It’s a bit premature, though full disclosure…

I’m sad to report we’re just ten grand away from busting our target budget. You know, the one that I came up with back before we left on this trip.

$59,392 (and twenty-eight cents)

That’s what we’ve spent so far.

That’s $46,260 USD spot rate

We still have three months of travel left  of our RTW family adventure and there is no way we’re going to stay under what I initially wanted to spend on the entire year long trip. Continue reading “Breaking the Budget”

Groceries, Toiletries & Cerveza in Quito, Ecuador

Vegetable selection at SuperMaxi

I previously reported that we spent about $36 USD per day at the grocery in Quito. And that dining out probably would have been cheaper.

That’s not really accurate. I’ve updated my spread sheet and can see the real numbers with some real math.

Although we did typically spend about $36 USD at the grocery store for each shop, we didn’t shop everyday. And I wasn’t always good at breaking out the inedible items, like the toilet paper and laundry soap that we had to buy for the first time. And then there were other kitchen start up costs that weren’t already in the fridge or cupboard like condiments, cooking oil and spices.

So it was less expensive to cook for ourselves than dining out. But not by much. Dining out is worth the not so big splurge in Quito.

Unfortunately I only had one grocery receipt that was still readable. I also broke out some individual items in the notebook in which I record ALL our spending. So for those of you who love this kind of data, here are some prices for things we bought in Ecuador: Continue reading “Groceries, Toiletries & Cerveza in Quito, Ecuador”

Ecuador – Where We Stayed, What We Missed & Some Logistics

Eugenio Espejo (1747-1795), one of Quito’s most famous sons, a noted medical pioneer, lawyer and activist

Ecuador, Months ago, I had big plans for you.

The Galapagos, Quito, Cuenca, Guayaquil, the Equator, the Amazon basin.

After six months of traveling and an illness in Cusco Peru that wiped out almost all of us, we landed in Quito more than a bit tired of moving around. We settled into our hotel and almost immediately started to look for an apartment for a bit of a break. Maybe a week would be good. This was in addition to an upcoming month we already anticipated in Nicaragua
Continue reading “Ecuador – Where We Stayed, What We Missed & Some Logistics”

Peru – Where We Stayed, a Little Travel Hack, and More

Unassuming exterior of the Palacio del Inka in Cusco

Rob tells me that in his last post he didn’t go into any details about our accommodation in Cusco.

The Palacio del Inka – A Luxury Collection Hotel by Starwood was an excellent place to stay so I figured I better get on my butt and write about it.

Of course I can’t be brief, so here are all the details on where we stayed, what we ate and how we got around in and between Cusco, Aguas Caliente (Machu Picchu Puebla) and Lima during our 16 nights in Peru.

Continue reading “Peru – Where We Stayed, a Little Travel Hack, and More”

77 Nights of Hotel Stays – Hard on the Wallet?

The last couple of weeks I was getting a bit stressed about our hotel situation. Most specifically how much we were forking out per night for two rooms. ‘Stress’ may not be the right word, but I was certainly getting a little melancholy about our lack of free hotel nights and the cost of paid stays as we ventured away from major destination cities and my beloved hotel chains.

What About All Those ‘Family Friendly’ and ‘Cheap’ South East Asia Tales?

And, as I’ve quickly learned on this RTW trip, I’m a bit a lot more of a princess than I thought I was. All those $20 room nights I’ve read about on South East Asia travel blogs… ? Turns out they’re not for me.

I know, I’m ashamed of myself too.

I knew I wasn’t in the ‘budget backpack’ category. But I thought I was solidly in the ‘flashpacker’ zone for sure. Turns out my threshold seems to be at the low-end of luxury. Ah well.

Add in the lack of true ‘family friendly’ accommodations and our cost of shelter more than doubles. Yes! When we have to pay for them at the non-chain hotels, our nightly cost more than doubles. Even at the shitty end of the hotel scale.

Have a kid under two? No problem, they can stay for free. Even multiples. But when we add a third child to our mandatory two rooms (even one who is only ten) the nightly rate often goes up 50%. Trust me. I’ve spent hours on booking engines in the last few months. I’ve been caught by the great $25 entry fee for an okay room. Add in VAT and service charge, $30. Still sounds good. Two rooms $60. Still great. Add in Ben, $90. See what happened there? Countless times. How in the world!?! I’ve vowed that next time we’re going to book three rooms. Just because. And damn, that was all in US dollars. It’s somewhat painful converting to Canadian.

Oh, and for any arm-chair travellers out there, I have asked on arrival at several hotels for ‘walk in’ rates and get the same kind of thing.

What’s a Princess to Do?

So, to motivate myself to get some balls and hopefully lower my standards, this morning I tallied up our out-of-pocket costs for accommodations… Continue reading “77 Nights of Hotel Stays – Hard on the Wallet?”

11 Nights in Japan – $1,630.16

Getting close to the end of our time in Vietnam, I realized that I haven’t tallied up our expenses for Japan. The delay was initially due to waiting for charges, especially cash advances, to show up on the credit card. Then it was just lack of momentum.

All in, our 11 nights in Japan cost this family of five $1,630.16 Canadian.

That’s for everything. Flights from Boston to Tokyo, Tokyo to Kyoto round trip, all hotel fees we paid (only one night was a paid stay), all meals, currency conversion fees, activities and rail transport to get around the cities. That last one was by far our largest expense. Oh, and any miscellany as well. Check out the details below: Continue reading “11 Nights in Japan – $1,630.16”