The RTW trip we are currently on can be done for less money but we are choosing to take the middle road. We offer these expense reports as a baseline for others to plan with.
We spent a total of $2,704.12 on living expenses and $433.48 for one-time expenses. We spent 38-nights in Argentina and drove 5,703 miles each. We camped 74% (28-nights) and stayed in hotels 26% (10-nights) of the time.
|Total – US$||Daily Average*||Percent of total|
|Fuel price per gallon||$3.45|
|*Camping and hotel average is per night based on number of nights camping or hotel less free, wild camping.|
Because we exchanged our US dollars (cash) on the Blue Market (Argentina no longer has this as of late December 2015 and money can now be pulled from an ATM for a fair exchange rate) we received an inconsistent exchange rate so instead of averaging across all our spending I tracked the actual rate per items spent. We received a low of 9.74 Pesos to the Dollar when we had to get an additional US$100 from a cash machine and a high of 15.4 Pesos to the Dollar for funds exchanged on the street in Salta.
The average daily spend was $71.16 ($35.58 per person) that was above our goal of $55 ($27.50 per person). We lowered our goal budget as we entered our second year of travel without any additional research but just the thought that we want to spend less so that our funds go further. This didn’t end up being realistic for Argentina and this was primarily due to the speed (few days in-country but lots of miles) with which we drove and expensive fuel (average of $.91/liter or $3.45/gallon), and we had reduced miles/gallon because of high driving speed and wind conditions. Between both bikes we drove 11,400 miles. Interestingly, if you take out the cost of fuel then our average daily expense was $46.32 (23.16 per person). We also splurged on a cabin with friends in Ushuaia for 4-nights.
Our food and sundries expenses comprise about 34% of our spending and housing whether hotel room or tent was 23%. On the average price for camping we did not include the wild camping (4-nights) so that average is only based on the number of nights that we paid to camp. We didn’t purchase a SIM card for our phone but relied on wifi at campgrounds and hostels or gas stations. Incidentals include park entrance fees as well as postcard/postage.
Our one-time expenses
Border: Motorcycle insurance for two motorcycles was $57.31. We purchased insurance in Bolivia for the remainder of our time in South America and it includes Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. We figured the cost per day for our time in South America and allocated it to each country based on time in that country. As US-citizens we were required to pay a reciprocity fee for Argentina 10-year visas at a cost of $160 per person for a total of $320.
Repairs/maintenance/parts: Unfortunately we absolutely had to buy one rear tire in Bariloche, Argentina for $228. The other bits were for chain and air filter lube and oil.
Other: Our only other expense was for Mike to visit the public hospital and fees for laboratory tests. He had a really bad belly.
Fuel consumption: These numbers are estimates, as we don’t track per motorcycle but a mixture of both and not every fuel purchase did we have full information on mileage/liters purchased though we always had amount spent. On the tracking sheet we have 231.71 gallons of fuel and drove 9,690 miles for both bikes. This means we have an average of 41.82 miles per gallon per bike. Average cost was $3.45/gallon or $.91/liter.
Miles driven: this is based on Zippy’s odometer and not the total miles of both bikes. Occasionally we ride two-up or Mike may take Donkey to do some errands and these additional miles are not accounted for. When providing miles per gallon averages this is an important caveat as we are not tracking both motorcycles odometers.
Fuel: petrol for two motorcycles and minor use of gas for our MSR camp stove
Grocery: food and incidentals purchased at grocery stores/markets/butcher that may include batteries, toiletries, etc. as well as food.
Prepared Food: anything that we haven’t made ourselves such as meals purchased at restaurants, food stalls, or prepared food from local stores.
Camp: camp ground fees
Hotel: hotel fee
Communications: local SIM cards, Skype credit, USB modems, recharging for minutes and data, internet cafes, etc.
Incidental: anything that doesn’t fit into other categories with notes made as to the actual expenses but anticipated as park fees, other fees, postcards, shopping, etc.
Border: border fees for people, motorcycles, and pet as well as insurance required, and any other border expenses.
Parts/maintenance: anything purchased for the maintenance or repair of the motorcycles.
Shipping: expenses for moving ourselves and motorcycles between continents
Other: gear replacement, excursions, and other one-time expenses.