We have some weird taboos about discussing money in the US, but I personally think we’d all be a lot better of if we shared more. Like the politics or not, you can’t argue with the effectiveness of collective bargaining – from unions to Groupon, there’s a reason sharing knowledge of money is all over the news during a critical time in our economy.
Going forward, I will try to summarize my expenses on a weekly basis where possible to give you guys an idea of how much a trip like this costs. One critical thing to note: I am not “traveling on a budget” like most people, but rather the inverse – I have a certain amount of money and plan to spend it. Instead of trying to make it stretch to a certain amount of time, I’m trying to get as much enjoyment out of it and will simply end the trip when it runs out (and slink back home to get a job). Novel, eh?
As of April 2, here is my current general expense data (all amounts are USD, I arrived in Peru on March 14):
One way ticket to Lima: $520
Mototaxi Purchase: $2200
Hostel, 13 nights in Lima: $250*
Food Tour, Lima, One Time Expense: $175**
Food, Shopping, Movie Tickets, etc. around Lima over 14 days: ~$300***
Hostel, Food, Surfing Lessons, Surf Rental in Punta Hermosa for 7 nights: $560
Beer, Sodas, Snacks in Punta Hermosa over a week: ~$30
Total Spend to Date (w/o Mototaxi): $1,835
(with Mototaxi: $4,335)
I’ve also purchased round trip business class airfare to Easter Island for $650, but I’ll tie that in with next week’s expenses when I hit the island – gonna be a doozy out there!
* I switched from a $22/night private room (paying for both beds) for security to a $10/night shared room once I got comfortable with the hostel. It’s not very busy right now so I’m not worried about a bunch of strangers in my room stealing stuff.
** The food tour was a decadent expense but it was awesome to spend time with Adam & Debbie and I did learn a lot about local fruits that I didn’t know – plus I found out I could actually stomach good ceviche. Most importantly I learned the trick to making Peruvian style onion garnishes which is probably worth $175 alone (even though I probably could have googled it, I always thought it was different onion types down here, never realized they just soak them in water )
*** Most food expense is eating out, I only get a few snacks for back in my room (and have spent maybe $30 on beers to bring back). I eat out two meals a day with most meals falling in the $5 range. I’ve also been to see three movies including snacks but it’s cheap here, $3 tickets and less for popcorn and soda. I have, however, purchased minimal tourist stuff – aside from a hat and a tape measure I haven’t really bought any “things.”
It's worth trying, though I believe now that "surfers are born, not made" - physically I didn't find it very hard, but I am nowhere near patient enough to sit around doing nothing for so long just to catch a short ride.