We found it very helpful to look at the budget reports of other travelers, and this helped us plan our trip. We also realized that this is very individualized–some people like to spend lots on eating out or fancy guided tours. Our style is to keep it simple and on budget, all while having the time of our lives. Also, we want to show people that travel can be affordable and can be cheaper than living in the US. So here it is… a breakdown of our travel budget in Lima, Peru, for our first month (30 nights) of our trip!
We stayed in a nice (but pricey) one-bedroom AirBnb apartment in the Miraflores district of Lima. This is actually a more expensive area and our costs would have been lower if we stayed in another district. For starting our trip, we wanted to stay in a safe area and near all the attractions. Check out AirBnb for your next travel adventure! If you use this code when you sign up, you get $25 off your first stay (and we get a small credit, too!)
Food (Groceries and Restaurants): $305
Our AirBnb had a great kitchen, and we cooked most of our meals at home with food from the grocery store. We only ate out about once every week or so.
Our main activity in Lima was an overnight trip to the Huacahina desert that we arranged ourselves. It included a night in a private room in a hostel, a dunebuggy excursion, and a winery tour. Check out our blog post about it here. We also spent money on tickets to a church with a cool catacombs and a night-time fountain show. Click here to learn more (and see the cool picture with all the bones!).
This total includes 11 buses, 1 taxi, 2 airplanes, and 1 dunebuggy ride! We got around mostly by walking, and we walked a total of 114 miles during this month. This included one epic day when we walked 9.3 miles through Lima. Our one-way flights from Florida to Lima cost us a grand total of $13! The cost would have been $413 for both tickets, but we used $400 in credit card rewards (thanks to travel hacking!) to help pay the fare.
The shoes Ryan brought from the US fell apart when we were on the desert tour. Fortunately, we had some duct tape that held the shoes together until we could get to a store in Lima. The new pair of shoes turned out to be a little uncomfortable, so we donated those. The second pair was much better and still holding up! Our other miscellaneous expenses include some medicine, toilet paper, bathroom fees (you have to pay about 30 cents to use the public restrooms) and a few other minor expenses.
This is for the entire month! We would guess that many people spend this much after only a few days when they go on a vacation. In addition to this amount, we pay $175 per month for a global health insurance policy that covers both of us (our coverage is better than our previous policy in the US and at a fraction of the price!). To us, tithing is important, and we were happy to donate to a local church in Lima, and this is also not included in the total above.
We knew that Lima would be an expensive city for housing, but we balanced that with not eating out as much and planning our own activities. This strategy allowed us to easily stick to our travel budget while in Lima. We strongly believe that living within a budget actually gives you freedom to do the things you love. We hope you are encouraged to set aside some money to travel and see the world.
Thanks for following along! And get ready for our next stop–Cusco–the gateway to Machu Picchu!