Friends! We have now completed the South America portion of our adventures, maybe more aptly titled the Andes portion, as we only traveled up the western coast, and only through four countries.
After our last stint travelling (2 years in Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the United States, 2012-2014), many people asked me the financial details of our trip. How we managed to save, how much we spent, how many times J lost her pocketknife. Our first trip was self-financed with some supplementation along the way:
- Generous help from family and friends who offered us free accommodations and meals around the world,
- Volunteering for a couple of stints in exchange for room and board via Helpx.net,
- And in Australia, we got work-holiday visas and were able to get real jobs for real pay.
This trip was a little different – we financed a bulk of it from our Honeymoon Fund, full of generous gifts from friends and family for our wedding, added to our own savings. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed! This trip would not have been possible without you. While we have aged out of the work-holiday visa option, we again volunteered for room and board via Helpx and Workaway.
In total, we spent 3 months in Chile and Argentina (most of which was spent in Patagonia, with only 2 weeks in central and northern Chile), and one month each in Bolivia and Peru.
By the numbers, this is what it takes for two people to travel in South America for 5 months:
- Total spent: $9,857.10 ($4,928.55 each)
- This number is inclusive of all airfare/travel, initial expenses like travel vaccines, travel expenses, and souvenirs/gifts. It is not inclusive of bills like health insurance.
- Average spent per day: $50.11 ($25.06 each)
- Our estimated budget was $35/day, but this number averages in expensive days like land travel and visiting sites like Machu Picchu.
- This number also fluctuated, with us spending much more daily in Chile and Argentina and much less in Bolivia and Peru.
- Cheapest night of paid accommodation: $3.75, in Copacabana, Bolivia.
- Most Expensive night of paid accommodation: $46, in Chillan, Chile.
- Total nights spent on overnight buses: 6
- Total nights spent in our tent, the Turtle: 28
- Highest elevation reached: 5,047 m / 16,558 ft, Urus Pass, Peru.
- Total number of knives J cycled through: 4
These numbers will continue to grow as we still have a month left in our travels, but our budget and travel style is quite different for this segment of the journey. We’ll spend a week in Miami visiting the fam, then three weeks in Hawaii.