After reading a lot of first person experiences on long term traveling we tried to decide a figure of what would be our budget for Central and South America travels. There are big differences between countries as everybody knows how expensive is Costa Rica comparable with less wealthie countries like El Salvador or Nicaragua. We knew that our average in some countries would be much higher than others but our ultimate goal is to reach an average number so our time-frame of travels could be reached. Meaning a loooooong term travel. 🙂
For a single person 50US dollars is the most common figure (based on many different sources), and this number must include everything, from lodging, food, transportation and any activities paid for. Typically hotels and transportation are the big spenders, so it’s on those one needs to focus to get a low budget travel. That’s why doing Couchsurfing or Volunteering work helps to keep the costs down, and of course brings all the other unmeasurable advantages that we also want in our trip experience.
Being a couple means we had to adjust the figure, not a plain double number but to a number that accommodate the sharing of expenses, as double room is cheaper than two single rooms, and a lot of meals we would share food. Also, not so frequent but it happens doing an activity with two gives a better discount for both than just one traveler. Having all of this in consideration we decided for the magic number of 75US per day spent in both Central and South America.
It will be tough as this means in many occasions keeping the comfort level very low, but if we want to make it all the way sacrifices need to be made. With this number in mind we will track all our expenses cent by cent and categorise it so we know where is our money going and if we are above our budget level where we need to tackle.
We also want to do this to help other travellers like you thinking on doing the same, so they can plan a trip with the same level of comfort and activities we are going to do. We knew even before hand that this type of budget is not compatible with full throttle entertainment of doing activities every day and travel from place to place at the first opportunity. No, this is a long term budget target that requires periods of more inactivity, either to enjoy some relaxation or in our case to read and write to our pleasure.
We will be tracking all our expenses here :