what we spent: month fifteen

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budget: £30 GBP / $47 USD per day 

total budget: £900 / $1410

total spent: £845.7 / $1327.7

avg. daily spend : £28.2 / $44.2

all costs are for two people in $USD and £GBP. Conversions correct at time of publication.

days on budget: 3%

days under budget: 67%

days over budget: 30%

where were we? 

The Quilotoa Loop, Latacunga, Baños, Cuenca (Ecuador) | Huanchaco, Huaraz, Lima (Peru)

In comparison to our usual slow travel speed, this month had a much quicker pace and felt more like a one month backpacking holiday. 

We packed a lot in - hiking in both countries, cycling 60km to the Amazon on our own, a little bit of beach time and night life, and enjoying the luxuries only a capital city can give us in Lima. Given the size of Peru, and the necessity to reach Cusco by a certain date on the last day this budget month, it also meant we covered a lot of ground by bus. 

We're actually pretty surprised that we came in under budget! And whilst we only saved around £50, we've proved yet again that having to stick to a small budget needn't mean you can't see the world!

total: £228.7 / $359

Between taking several night buses with varying levels of comfort and working with a number of hostels (in the spirit of full disclosure, we had eight nights free) we managed to keep our accommodation costs down this month.

The average cost for the hostels beds we paid for ourselves was £12 / $18.


accommodation: 27%

total: £187 / $293

Transport hasn't composed such a huge chunk of our budget for a while. The biggest expense was a 22-hour night bus from Lima to Cusco. Although most buses were around 150 soles, we spent that little bit extra to ensure a good night's sleep and make the journey pass quicker.

A nightmare border crossing with relatively expensive transport plus taking a night bus to Lima from Huaraz on a national holiday with prices increased by 40% also contributed. 

transport: 22%

total: £94 / $147

After five day hiking the Quilotoa Loop, we originally planned a night in Latacunga to recover. 

That turned in to four nights and multiple visits to the local Chinese and pizza place. We should have been a bit more sensible but decided to treat ourselves quite a bit!

eating out: 11%

total: £113 / $178

Whilst the quality varied considerably, for the bulk of this month we had access to a kitchen so took full advantage of it. In Lima, we both fell in love with the supermarket 'Wongs' which had very single treat and ingredient we'd been craving for months.

groceries: 13.4%

total: £89 / $140

As we were doing a lot of hiking and cycling, our alcohol consumption wasn't too bad. However, we did cut loose in Cuenca, where a live music festival was happening that weekend, and Lima. Andrew also drank quite a lot of beer whilst watching the Copa America (in which Ecuador failed miserably but Peru unexpectedly came third!)

alcohol: 10.5%

total: £72.5 / $114

Given the amount that we did, it's incredible that this figure isn't higher.

If we didn't do all these trips to ruins, glacier lakes, the Amazon on a bike, discovering cities with just a camera and map in hand, on our own and without tours, then you could double or triple this amount. 

This was probably our most active month, but it just shows that you can do it cheaply if you do your research.

activities: 8.6%

total: £43.5 / $68

Were pretty certain that the bulk of this can be explained with one word: Lima. 

Goat's cheese and crusty bread picnics, decadent gelato, fancy coffees and proper sweeties.

sweets & treats: 5%

total: £18 / $28

Another month without the ability to wash and dry our own clothes equates to a lot of laundry fees!

toiletries: 2.1%

total: £0 / $0

The clothes, they keep on going!

clothes: 0%

total: £0 / $0

Aside from it being one of our longest travel days and, by far, the worst crossing we've done on this trip, thankfully there were no fees involved for either country.

crossing borders: 0%

interested in seeing how far our budget stretched during the rest of our trip?