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July 1, 2010

What My Trip Costs


I’ve talked a little bit about costs in two previous posts; Budget Lodging Options and Fuel Costs.  My other primary cost is food.  I’ve kept even worse track of this expense than the other two.  Originally I estimated $10/day, but feel comfortable saying I’m at $8/day, possibly less for it.

Lodging has the greatest variation.  After leaving Utah I only paid to sleep 10 of the next 26 nights all of which were in national parks totaling $133.  This was done through a mix of national forests, two nights in a city park, 2 recreation areas, and 5 nights with friends.  $10/night is what I’m aiming for now after expecting $15 when I left.  I’m staying away from hotels as I use libraries for wifi and find other shower alternatives along the road.  Quite frankly I’ve found I prefer camping and am not missing the hotels at all.

$1,000,000 Kip = $105 US


$1,000,000 Kip = $105 US


After thinking about my fuel post more I think I’m good on the fuel part at $6/day, but think $6/day on maintenance is better than $4 making a total of $12/day on transportation.  That gets me to $30/day to eat, sleep, and move.

I’m adding $5/day for entertainment/gear/other, or $1,000 for 200 days.  So far the main expenses here have been $80 for my annual park pass and $40 to try to keep my tent dry.  I’m probably around $200-$250 in this category through 60 days.

That’s it – $35/day for what it takes for me to live and travel on the road.  Just over $1,000 per month, about the same as where I was for SE Asia in 2006.

There are other costs I’m not factoring in to this though.  Motorcycle insurance is about $1/day for the year and my phone plan is $2.50.  Don’t get me going on AT&T and their crap coverage either.  2/3 of the time on this trip I may as well not have had a phone.  I’m also paying for Cobra health coverage which is a biggie, about $500/month.  Given my past history and ulcerative colitis it’s an expense I’m willing to take on for now.

For the record I’m not independently wealthy.  All of this is coming from having a good job, living below my means, and saving.  I didn’t have cable tv, rarely ate out,and am wearing the same clothes as my last trip.  Basically I prioritized what I wanted to do (this trip) versus filling my house and life with things I could forgo to make it happen.

Eventually I will need to find a way to generate some income to allow me to continue my travels.  I hope for this website to be able to help at some point, but don’t expect it to be able to do it all.  For now, my priority is on enjoying this part of the trip and keep my mind, eyes, and ears open for ways to allow me to continue living my dream.  It may be crazy to some to leave everything behind and get rid of 95% of what I had, but as you can see this can be cheaper than chasing the standard American dream in many ways.

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