I’ve tried different ways of documenting our travel expenses over the past 3 years with differing levels of success. So I’ve and decided that the best way forward is to produce a quarterly summary every 3 months.
Here’s what we did, where we went and our expenses for the first 3 months of 2019.
These are real world costs and show just how inexpensive it can be to travel full time.
NOTE: all costs are in Australian Dollars
We started the year continuing a two week Christmas and New Year house sit in Ajijic on Lake Chapala about 1 hour south of Guadalajara in Mexico. This was a modern, comfortable home in a local area and a short walk from both the Lake and the town square. From there we took a five and a half hour bus ride to Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast for a 3 week sit for two small dogs. We stayed in a beautiful apartment high on a hill with sweeping views of the seaside resort town and Banderas Bay.
Our next house sitting assignment wasn’t scheduled for another 2 weeks so we decided to stay in the area and explore the nearby coast. We were very grateful when our home owners kindly allowed us to stay with them for an extra week.
For the second week of our ‘break’ we took a 5-hour bus ride South to the coastal town of Manzanillo. We spent a relaxing 6 days here before heading back to the ‘big smoke’ of Guadalajara. We’d spent two days in Guadalajara in December 2018 (here’s a post describing this trip) so decided to spend 1 day in the nearby arts and crafts town of Tlaquepaque.
Another lengthy bus trip took us to the extremely Mexican town of Patzcuaro. We spent the next 16 days pet sitting a large and lazy cat named Frisco. Patzcuaro has quite a small ex-pat population in comparison with Lake Chapala and Puerto Vallarta so it was nice to spend time in a more traditional Mexican location.
From Patzcuaro we made our way (by bus as usual!!) to the Mexican pyramids at Teotihuacan (read about our great day here). We had an awesome experience and an unforgettable day. Our next 10 amazing days were spent in Mexico City and that was nowhere near long enough to see all this immense city has to offer. We thoroughly enjoyed this interesting city and we’ll definitely be back to see more of what it has to offer.
Our final sit in Mexico was for 11 days in San Miguel de Allende looking after a Bernese Mountain dog, a rescue dog and 2 cats. We returned to Mexico City for an overnight stay before taking an early morning flight to Fort Lauderdale in Florida. The next day we took a taxi ride to the Port of Miami (after a quick overnight Airbnb stay) to join our 2 week re-positioning cruise sailing from Miami to Rome.
The cruise commenced on 29th March so our last 3 days of the quarter were on the cruise. As such, I apportioned 3 days of the cruise cost to our April expenses.
So what did our first three months cost?
During this period our accommodation was split as follows:
66 days (73%) house sitting (on 4 house sits)
21 days (23%) in paid accommodation and
3 days (3%) on the cruise.
Our total travel expenses for the quarter were $6,159.61
General expenses – $2941.75
Paid accommodation (Airbnb and hotels) cost $1,426.80 – (an average $67.94 per night)
Cruise (3 nights) – $458.64
Bus travel (9 journeys) – $510.19
Flights (Mexico City – Fort Lauderdale, USA) – $460.75
Phone plans – $44.24
Health (hospital/specialist/etc) – $180.30
Taxi/Uber/etc – $77.24
Replacement camera battery – $60
*General expenses include anything not already allocated eg. food, drink, alcohol, entertainment, eating out, entrance fees to attractions, etc
Here’s the breakdown by month
We’re pretty happy with the total of $6,159.91 .
It’s well under our notional budget of $9,000 per quarter ($3,000 per month).
March was our most expensive month for the quarter as it included 14 nights paid accommodation and 3 nights on the cruise (totalling $1,351.06).
But it’s all swings and roundabouts. Less expensive months allow us to spend more in other months and plan more extravagant activities or tours.
We’ll see how we go in April, May and June with our travel expenses as this will include the balance of the trans-Atlantic cruise plus house sitting in the UK and France plus some free time.
UPDATE: read about our costs for April, May & June here.
We did a post in August 2018 that covered our first full year of travelling for the period April 2017 to April 2018.
If you’re interested in reading it then click here – Travel the World full time for less than $100 per day
If you’re retired (or not) there is a way to have an exciting life with the world as your oyster. We’re proof that it can be done.
If you want to learn more about how we achieve this feel free to contact us or take a look at our Introduction to House Sitting page.
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