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 $1,985.26 on living expenses and $1,641.09 for one-time expenses. We spent 44-nights in Bolivia and drove 1,139 miles. We camped 20% (9-nights) and stayed in a hotel 80% (35-nights) of the time.
|Total – US$||Daily Average*||Percent of total|
|*Camping and hotel average is per night based on number of nights camping or hotel|
The average exchange rate we received was 6.86 Bolivianos per US dollar. We use ATMs to retrieve our funds and we do not have ATM fees as they are reimbursed to us (Charles Schwab checking account).
The average daily spend was $45.12 that was below our goal of $55 ($27.50 per person). Remember this is for two people so if divided by two that is about $22.56/day/person. Our food expenses comprise about 49% of our spending and housing whether hotel room or tent was 34%. Overall Bolivia was very inexpensive especially considering that we were in Sucre for a month with a broken down motorcycle. We prepared most of our food at the hostel.
Our one-time expenses
Border: : Photocopies totaled $2.71 and insurance for Bolivia was $117.33. 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. The largest expense was our Bolivia visa fees ($160 each) which is based on reciprocity with the U.S.
Repairs/maintenance/parts: We purchased (and had sent) a pulse coil and gasket from the U.S. to Sucre for Zippy and since we had time to wait for the part we also purchased chains and for both bikes, one rear sprocket (we already had one rear and two fronts), and a set of tires for Donkey. We also purchased another pulse coil that friends are bringing to us in Ushuaia.
Other: We spent $213.13 in total for to ship the pulse coil from the U.S. to Bolivia. Other items were $60 for website, $140 for contact lenses, $142.75 for licensing Mike’s motorcycle in Washington State (we keep both motorcycles registration up-to-date which will be a requirement for our carnets), and $138.98 for annual credit card fee and GoPro spare battery and charger.
Fuel consumption: We did not track fuel consumption in Bolivia because just purchasing fuel was difficult. There is a two-tired fuel pricing system in Bolivia – local price (3.85 per liter) and foreign price (8.85 per liter). One time we negotiated 7.5 per liter and then we were able to pay the local price for all other fill-ups because we bought a 20-litre vegetable oil container that Mike would take to the station and ask to be filled. This generally took two trips to two gas stations to fill both our tanks plus my spare 1.5-gallon container.
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.