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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



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  #1  
Old 20 Nov 2020
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This is how much it cost us to travel around South America for 1024 days

Are you wondering how much it’s going to cost you to travel around South America with your own vehicle?
Here’s what we paid…


As we've told many times in the past, our lifestyle is not a luxury but a choice. Of course, some preparation is needed – if you want – and some money too – at least in the beginning – but there's no need to be a millionaire or a pensioner(!) in order to ride your scooter around the world.

The most important part is to make the decision. Then, it's good to have the will to continue and not give up at the first hardship – and when I talk about hardship, I mean hard hardship...such as eating rice and legumes for days in order to keep the budget low. Oh, and you'll be pleased to know that if there's two of you in the equation, not only will you be able to share the unique experience of the trip, but also the expenses!

After 1024 days of everyday, meticulous record keeping, we patiently gathered all our expenses and made some very detailed charts and pies. You'll see information about the scooter's fuel consumption as well as its 2T-oil consumption and the costs (psychological ones, too) we paid at various technicians. You'll find out how many kilometers we rode on paved and on dirt roads, how many nights we spent wild camping, couchsurfing etc. You'll also see how much we spent on tolls, insurances, food, medicines... Everything!

I hope you'll find this post interesting and useful. And most importantly, I hope that it will give you one good motive to make the decision yourselves and take the first step towards a simple and beautiful life on the road. Or at least, to take the leap and set off on a big ride around the world.

If reading is not your thing, you can watch the video I made just for you:



Days on the road¹: 1024
Days spent at one place (not riding): 821 (80.2%)
Days on the road (riding): 203 (19.8%)

Countries visited: 7 (Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Chile)

Number of days in each country


Argentina: 528 (51.6%)
Paraguay: 210 (20.5%)
Chile: 102 (10%)
Bolivia: 72 (7%)
Brazil: 54 (5.3%)
Peru: 41 (4%)
Uruguay: 13 (1.3%)
Airports / Airplanes: 4 (0.4%)

Total distance traveled² : 45,099 km (28,023 mi)
2,600 km (5.8%) on friends' cars or taxis (1,615 mi)
390 km (0.9%) on friends' motorcycles (242 mi)
42,109 km (93.4%) on the Vespa (26,165 mi), from which:
37,871 km (89.9%) on paved roads (23,531 mi)
4,238 km (10.1%) on dirt roads (2,633 mi)

Average distance per day: 41 km (25.4 mi)
Average distance per day counting only the days we were actually traveling: 207 km (128.6 mi)

Average fuel consumption: 4,9 l/100km (48 mpg)

Petrol: 2,059 litres (543.9 gal)

2T Oil: 43 litres (11.3 gal)

Type of accommodation

Apartments, hostels, hotels etc: 688 nights (67.2%)
Campsites: 133 nights (13%)
Wild camping: 100 nights (9.8%)
Staying at friends' houses: 83 nights (8.1%)
Couchsurfing: 16 nights (1.6%)
Airplanes: 4 nights (0.4%)

Average accommodation cost 2.94€ ($3.46) per person per night
Average campsite cost: 3.65€ ($4.30) per person per night
Average hostel/hotel/apartment cost: 3.60€ ($4.24) per person per night

The total of our expenses per category per person


Accommodation: 3,005.50€ ($3,546) (30.8%)
Supermarket³ : 2,510.10€ ($2,961) (25.8%)
Eat out (street food, restaurants etc)⁴ : 1,362.50€ ($1,607) (14%)
Maintenance, spare parts etc⁵ : 1,154.25€ ($1,362) (11.9%)
Petrol: 763.35€ ($900) (7.8%)
Tolls, insurances, paperwork etc⁶ : 242.75€ ($286) (2.5%)
Sightseeing & transportation⁷ : 227.25€ ($268) (2.3%)
Misc⁸ : 121.75€ ($143) (1.3%)
Meds & doctors: 98.25€ ($115) (1%)
2T Oil: 96.75€ ($114) (1%)
Internet / Telephony⁹ : 91.25€ ($107) (0.9%)
Clothing¹º : 69.25€ ($81) (0.7%)

Daily expenses per country per person

Uruguay: 17.12€ ($20.20)
Chile: 14.59€ ($17.21)
Brazil: 14.45€ ($17.05)
Peru: 9.85€ ($11.62)
Argentina: 8.57€ ($10.11)
Bolivia: 8.45€ ($9.97)
Paraguay: 7.29€ ($8.60)



Expenses per country per person
Argentina: 4,525€ ($5,339)
Paraguay: 1,530€ ($1,805)
Chile: 1,488.5€ ($1,756)
Brazil: 780.5€ ($920)
Bolivia: 608.5€ ($718)
Peru: 403.9€ ($476)
Uruguay: 222.5€ ($262)

Grand total¹¹

So, the total amount after 1024 days on the roads of South America (from which the 180 “trapped” in Argentina under the covid-19 lockdown) is 9,742.9€ ($11,496) per person or 9.51€ ($11.22) per person per day or 19,485.9€ ($22,993) for the two of us or 19€ ($22) for the two of us per day! Not that much, huh? Keep in mind that these numbers are based on our needs and habits. The text you just read is not a guide and its purpose is not to teach or give any advice – but now you know how little money it can cost. Maybe it gives you the “push” you need to start preparing your own trip and stop using the “but I'm not as rich as they are” excuse!


Notes

¹ This is the sum of our travels in South America from January 2015 to August 2020.

² Airplanes not included

³ “Supermarket” category includes everything we buy from supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores etc. Food in general, that we don't intent to consume right away. If for example we stop by at a supermarket and share a sandwich, this cost will fall into the “Eat out” category.

⁴ “Eat out” category includes the money we spend in street food, restaurants, food in general that we consume but not prepare ourselves.

⁵ “Maintenance, spare parts etc” category includes the money we spend for maintaining our Vespa scooter in good shape.

⁶ “Tolls, insurances, paperwork etc” category includes the money we spend in toll roads, insurance for our vehicle, plus any costs related to bureaucratic procedures, like extending our visas or our Vespa's TIP or our own passports. In this category we've even included 351.1€ for the obligatory insurance and the road / registration taxes in order to have a Greek license plate.

⁷ “Sightseeing & transportation” category includes the money we spend on visiting national parks, museums etc. as well as on excursions, taxis, buses and all kinds of transportation without our Vespa.

⁸ “Misc” category includes the money we spend on anything that doesn't fall into any of the other categories. Few examples: haircuts, parking lots, gifts etc.

⁹ “Internet / Telephony” category includes the money we spend on buying local SIM cards and credit. The total amount in this category is relatively high, because we had to upload huge videos and many photos on our social media and keep our blog updated. Under “normal” internet use, we don't think we'd need more than ¼ of what we've spent.

¹º “Clothing” category includes the money we spend for buying or repairing clothes.

¹¹ The grand total differs from the total of the “Cost per country per person” because here we've included 351.1€ for the obligatory insurance and the road / registration taxes we pay in Greece in order to have our Greek license plate. The grand total doesn't include the Vespa's shipping costs from Africa to South America, our airplane tickets, nor any costs related to our blog (maintaining our website, buying hard drives, cameras, laptops etc).

PS Our trip isn't over. We're just waiting in Argentina for the situation with the pandemic to get better and to be able to hit the road again!
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Last edited by s_gogos; 30 Nov 2020 at 01:36.
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  #2  
Old 20 Nov 2020
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Now that's ALL the detail you could ever want, well done!
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  #3  
Old 20 Nov 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant Johnson View Post
Now that's ALL the detail you could ever want, well done!
Thank you Grant!
Very glad you liked it!
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Old 20 Nov 2020
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Great

Great with real numbers from real travelling.
Facts and not opinions.


Very usefull
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  #5  
Old 20 Nov 2020
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camping vs hostel

If I read your numbers correct:


Cost for camping on a campsite vs cost for hostel were very similar.
So when I comes to cost, there is no saving to bring camping equipment.
Given those conditions that were for your trip.

Correct ?

=
I will go there ½ year during European winter, if and when the situation allows. Probably more than one winter. It is a huge area.
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Old 21 Nov 2020
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Wow! So often people just guesstimate a few lame general amounts. This is the kind of detail that helps others with planning.
Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 21 Nov 2020
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Truly impressive. My own records show how much I had when I turned on the bike, and how much ($0.00) I had when I got back. For sure, a great guide for anyone looking for info.
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Old 24 Nov 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik_G View Post
If I read your numbers correct:





Cost for camping on a campsite vs cost for hostel were very similar.

So when I comes to cost, there is no saving to bring camping equipment.

Given those conditions that were for your trip.



Correct ?



=

I will go there ½ year during European winter, if and when the situation allows. Probably more than one winter. It is a huge area.
Hello Erik_G!

Unfortunately, it's not correct.
Perhaps I wasn't very clear or my bad English don't help a lot

The costs were very similar at the end, yes, but that's because we chose to stay at hotels only when they were cheaper than campsites. For example in Paraguay we almost exclusively stayed at "hotels" (let's call the small rooms - they weren't really hotels) because campsites basically don't exist and the rooms cost less than 6 dollars per night! At the same time in Argentina, Chile & Brazil we almost exclusively stayed at campsites because we couldn't afford staying at rooms.

So it really depends on the region / country you're going to visit. We met people from Europe, who had bought local motorcycles in Paraguay and they'd been traveling around the country for months, with nothing more than a backpack and a raincoat!

Good luck with your plans!
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Old 25 Nov 2020
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Thanks for that, brilliant info.
Have you got a rough idea of costs through Africa?
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Old 25 Nov 2020
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Originally Posted by Flipflop View Post
Thanks for that, brilliant info.

Have you got a rough idea of costs through Africa?

Yes, I did calculate the costs for Africa too.
I was spending (I was solo) about $13.5 per day for everything.
I will share all the numbers and details in the HUBB asap.
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Old 25 Nov 2020
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You’re a star - great adventures
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Old 25 Nov 2020
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Originally Posted by Cholo View Post
Just for comparison sake, 2 years ago I did a round S. America trip, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia; with the wife. I averaged 10 times more. Only good hotels and food (say 3 star).

I mean this as a help for those perhaps older folks that don't want to camp/cook.
Thanks for the comment!
I think it would be very helpful if you could share some more information. Like how much did you stay in each country, did you travel on one or two bikes and how long did your trip last?
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Old 25 Nov 2020
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Originally Posted by Cholo View Post
Thanks for the comment!

I think it would be very helpful if you could share some more information. Like how much did you stay in each country, did you travel on one or two bikes and how long did your trip last?



Im not much of a record keeper, but we spent about a 20 days in each country (bar Bolivia, strikes and stuff), 5 months on the road, never spent more than 4 days in one spot, about 35000kms.

Biggest item on budget: ! I think we spent more on than petrol.

I did this trip on 1 bike
Excellent!
It's always nice to be able to fill up with the appropriate amount of !
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Old 27 Nov 2020
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For me: A dollar spent is a dollar forgotten

I traveled in SA frugaly but I dont keep track of every dollar.
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Old 18 Apr 2021
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Great info!

Awesome job keeping track of all your expenses. So the 180 days “trapped” in Argentina weren't completely wasted. Good luck with the rest of your travels.

Last edited by Sealpup; 18 Apr 2021 at 18:57. Reason: Not all text appeared
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