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 $978.50 on living expenses and $306.17 on one-time expenses. We spent 21-nights in Malaysia and drove 805 miles. We spent 86% of our time in hotels (18-nights) and 3% of our time camping (3-nights).
|Total – US$||Daily Average*||Percent of total|
|Fuel price per gallon||$1.95|
|*Camping and hotel average is per night based on number of nights camping or hotel.|
The average exchange rate we received was 4.42 Malaysian Ringgit 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 $46.60 ($23.30 per person) that was below our $55 ($27.50 per person) daily budget. We didn’t travel much in Malaysia because we needed to spend time fixing Mike’s bike (the frame was broken in two places and needed welding so we didn’t go on a planned excursion to Langkawi which would have increased our spending). We spent the majority of our time in Georgetown, Penang Island where we had very reasonable accommodation at the Noble Hotel ($12.91 a night) and food is very inexpensive in Georgetown. We didn’t just eat at food stalls but went to proper sit down restaurants as well.
As usual our food and sundries compromise the largest portion of our budget at 47% of spending while hotel was 25%. We finally had an opportunity to camp in the Cameron Highlands; we have missed sleeping in our tent. Communications was slightly high because we bought additional data in order to increase our download speed; our initial plan seemed to include the first data package at high speed and then it went to snail speed and we needed to do some website work. Incidentals included postcards, postage (the cheapest we have come across in all our travels – to send one international postcard cost US$0.20), haircuts, Uber (a fraction of the price to take a taxi), entrance fees to the national park, foot massages, movies (great theaters in Georgetown), laundry, market bags, and a swim shirt for Shannon (essentially a long sleeve surf shirt). I plan to wear my surf shirt in Banda Aceh when I go to the beach for swimming; this is a predominately Muslim area that is very strict and to be respectful of the local culture I feel it is inappropriate for me to just wear a bikini top.
Our one-time expenses
Repairs/maintenance/parts: We purchased oil, chain, chain lube, and Mike’s bike frame was welded.
Other: We spent $7.50 on our monthly New York Times online subscription, purchased a book, and bought two SD cards for our Sena cameras.
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 44.67 miles per gallon per bike. Average cost was $1.95/gallon or $0.51/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.