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 $996.50 on living expenses and $480.51 on one-time expenses. We spent 23-nights in Laos and drove 738 miles. We spent 78% of our time in hotels (18-nights) and 22% of our time being hosted by Shannon’s parents in really nice hotels (5-nights).
|Total – US$||Daily Average*||Percent of total|
|Fuel price per gallon||$3.81|
|*Camping and hotel average is per night based on number of nights camping or hotel.|
The average exchange rate we received was 8,168.38 Laotian Kip 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 $43.33 ($21.66 per person) that was below our $55 ($27.50 per person) daily budget. When you look at all our expenses (daily and one time) we actually came in at $64.22 a day. There is a caveat – my parents hosted us for five nights in Luang Prabang and Nong Khiaw so we didn’t pay for lodging or food. Our expenses during those nights were incidentals for taxi (to/from airport), postcards with postage, and some snack food. Our hotel rates ranged from a low of $6.12 in Tha Lang to a high of $24.48 in Champasak (we splurged for a pretty nice place). Most nights were between $12-14. Incidentals included bicycle rentals (twice), postcards/postage, haircuts, laundry, and entry fees.
Our food and sundries expenses comprised the bulk of our spending; we almost exclusively ate out.
Our one-time expenses
Border: We paid $144 in visa fees as we entered the country twice and the visas were $36 per person per entry. We spent $2 to exit the country at the land crossing and then an additional $29.72 for motorcycle entry fees and insurance.
Other: We spent $297.29 for two round-trip tickets from Bangkok to Luang Prabang and $7.50 for our monthly subscription to the New York Times.
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. We received an average of 51.01 miles per gallon per bike. Average cost was $3.81/gallon or $1.01/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.