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Posts Tagged ‘Travel and Tourism’

To get a better understanding of how much money we’re spending on the road, Lisa created a spreadsheet, breaking out our daily expenses.  We’re aiming for $100 (US) a day, ($50/person), which is very doable, especially in some countries like Bolivia & Peru.  However, there will be other countries, like Argentina & Chile, that will be more challenging if we’re not careful.  We know that at times we’ll be over budget & other times under, so things should even themselves out in the end.

Bolivia should’ve been one of our cheapest countries & we definitely would’ve been under budget, had it not been for medical expenses.  Between Corey’s visits to the clinics & hospitals, and my trip to the dentist, we spent a total of $1,607 on medical expenses alone (this includes money spent on medication).

Daily Accommodation Average: $26 per day

For the most part, we attempted to stay in hostels in an effort to save money & also meet other travelers.  However, we did end up in a hotel for 11 nights in Santa Cruz, which definitely increased the daily amount spent on accommodation.  The silver-lining, we spent nothing in this department while volunteering in Samaipata!

Manhole in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Daily Food Average: $18 per day

We found that La Paz was one of the best places for street food & it was definitely very easy to find local, cheap options close to our hostel.  There were also cheap options in Santa Cruz, but once we got closer to the city center, those became harder to hunt down.  Plus, we’d already found a few places that we really enjoyed eating & found ourselves returning often.

Lorca – Favorite Restaurant in Santa Cruz

Tasty Treats

Tasty Treats

Daily Transportation Average: $6 per day

Taxis in Bolivia are super cheap, especially considering that you get to negotiate your fare before you even get in the car.  This took a bit of practice, but once we had the layout of each city, it was easy to tell if a driver was trying to take advantage of us & then haggle our way down to a reasonable price.  One thing we never did in Bolivia was take a local bus, so I’m sure more money would’ve been saved, had we attempted to use that mode of transportation.

First Bus - La Paz to Santa Cruz

First Bus – La Paz to Santa Cruz

Daily Entertainment Average: $5 per day

The following are included in our entertainment expenses: tours, souvenirs, park/museum admissions and any items that may cause us joy, but aren’t necessities (ie: clothes, headphones, jewelery, etc.).  We only went on one tour, while in Bolivia, mainly because we know we’ll be back in the new year for the Salt Flats tour.  Also, we didn’t find anything in the cities we visited that appealed to us enough to spend a lot of money.  However, it must be said, that in comparison to tours in other parts of the world, entertainment in Bolivia was VERY cheap – the Tiwanaku tour was only $25 per person.

Tiwanaku Tour

Tiwanaku Tour

Unique Church in Santa Cruz (only thing worth photographing)

Unique Church in Santa Cruz (only thing worth photographing in this city, besides the food!)

Do you think they'd notice if we took that dollar?

Do you think they’d notice if we took that dollar?

Plaza in La Paz

Plaza in La Paz

In the end, we spent 31 days in Bolivia, with a total of $3,502, which is an average of $113 per day.  Take out the medical expenses & we would’ve spent only $61 per day & that’s if you travel like we did.  You could definitely spend less than that, by always staying at hostels & eating local food everyday.

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We originally planned to stay at our hostel for 3 nights. But, it became clear right away that we’d be extending our stay at Hostal Sol Andino, not only because we were sick, but it’s actually a really nice place. It’s located away from the city center & aside from some strange noises in the middle of the night, it’s pretty peaceful. We have nothing to compare this accommodation to since it is the first stop on the trip, but we’re pretty happy with our choice.

Welcome to our Room!

Facilities include breakfast, Wi-Fi, 24 hour hot showers (only had 1 time when the water wasn’t hot), daily room cleaning (we’ve only utilized this once), cable TV, luggage storage & a tour company that assists travelers with sightseeing. Plus, they have beautiful artwork throughout the property, which really helps the place feel very friendly. The staff has been very helpful with directions, contacting taxis and other miscellaneous matters.

Our Bathroom

The Shower

Front Lobby

So far, our only complaint is how drafty the room is, especially when the temperatures drop at night. We requested a space heater, but they’re currently out. And, after looking into some of the other accommodation options in La Paz & the reviews that they’ve received, we’re pretty lucky to only have draft issues. They claim that English is spoken, but not everyone on the staff does. With some miming & patience, communication hasn’t really been an issue.  We know that in the future, we’ll be staying in cheaper places & therefor dealing with other more unpleasant situations (ie: late night party people, smokers, bugs, smells, etc.), so it’s nice that we’re here for our first stop.

More artwork from the hostel

Hostal Sol Andino cost us about $28 a night ($14/bed) & we’ll be spending 9 nights here, before heading to our next destination.  We hope you enjoyed the tour!

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Do you want to know the first question we get asked when we tell people about our trip?  “So, where exactly do you two plan on going?”  Let me just tell you that our list has changed several times over the years.  In 2007 this was our original top 10:   

It's a bit messy, but we shared our top 7 cities & Corey's 3 favorites that didn't match up with mine are on the left. The prices were a range of what the 2 of us could end up spending at each place for 7 days.

 

After doing more research those numbers are not accurate as I didn’t comprehend hostel prices at the time (they usually charge by the bed, not by the night).  So, if you’re reading this for your own research, please don’t refer to these numbers.  You can, however, refer to the chart below (found here) which depicts how many days $1000 will give you in each of these countries.   

  

 We always go by top 10 because we know that’s the least amount of places we will visit.  Neither one of us is willing to cut the list anymore than this!  But if we can’t go to (eg: afford) all the places we want, then we will make it to the 10 we can’t live without!  Below are our top 10 lists, but the most important ones to look at are 1-5 for each of us, because those are the destinations that we most want to go to.   

Lisa’s Top 10:   

  1. Indonesia
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Japan
  4. Bolivia
  5. South Africa
  6. India
  7. Malaysia
  8. China
  9. Iceland
  10. Greece

Corey’s Top 5:   

  1. Turkey
  2. Peru
  3. Morocco
  4. India
  5. Argentina
  6. Vietnam/Cambodia
  7. Indonesia
  8. Israel
  9. Mongolia
  10.  Brazil

IF we’re able to go to more places than this we will!  Now, we’d like to know what you think. . . if we can add more destinations to the list what should they be?

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