The RTW trip we are doing 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 $2,779.85 on living expenses and $2,827.18 for one-time expenses. We spent 49-nights in Colombia and drove 2,073 miles. Part of this expense report includes a freighter to leave South America for Europe and flights for a visit home to Seattle. We camped 37% (18-nights) and stayed in a hotel 63% (31-nights) of the time.
|Total – US$||Daily Average||Percent of total|
|Shipping (SA to Europe)||1,687.24|
|Average fuel price per gallon||$3.62|
The average exchange rate for the length of our stay was COP 2,454.71 per USD 1; it ranged from a high of COP 2,548 to a low of COP 2,368. 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 $56.73 that was below our goal of $65 ($32.50 per person). Remember this is for two people so if divided by two that is about $28.37/day/person. We ate out a lot in Colombia because the food was good, relatively inexpensive, and we didn’t feel like cooking. Our food expenses comprise about 48% of our spending and housing whether hotel room or tent is 32%.
Our one-time expenses
Border: insurance for two motorcycles
Repairs/maintenance/parts: While in Colombia we purchased new tire sets for both motorcycles, 3 tire tubes, steering head bearings (ordered online and we will get them in Peru as we had carried spares that we used on Zippy), shop time, and we ordered some additional items from the US that will be sent to us in Peru.
Shipping: We decided rather than airfreight our motorcycles and ourselves from South America to Europe that we will take a Grimaldi cargo freighter. We booked passage for ourselves and the motorcycles to embark on approximately 25 December 2015 for a 3-4 week sail across the Atlantic. The cost comparison between flights and cargo were very similar though on the ship we also receive room and board and make a few ports of call. A deposit was required to secure our passage ($1,359.64). We also booked ourselves a trip home to Seattle to visit friends and family. We will fly in and out of Madrid, Spain in April/May 2016 for a 3-week visit ($327.60 for additional miles and the flights from Madrid to Seattle).
Other: This includes a monthly subscription to Amazon lending library (two months within this period), new t-shirts for Shannon, some incidentals to be sent to us in Peru (two travel books, Sena replacement speakers, bamboo underwear), and postage to ship some of Ducati’s possessions home and to receive a new inner tent from Redverz. Shannon also purchased hiking shoes as she realized that her converse sneakers are not going to cut it for Machu Picchu and other hiking plans in Argentina.
Fuel consumption: these numbers are estimates, as we don’t track per motorcycle but a mixture of both. We purchased 81.40 gallons of fuel and drove 3,932 miles for both bikes. This means we have an average of 48.30 miles per gallon per bike.
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.