Sunrise from where we were parked this morning near Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Montenegro.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December Expenses

We had a fairly subdued New Year's Eve just hanging out at the backpacker place that we're staying at. Six other people here, and we had a little dinner party and a couple of drinks and rang in the new year at midnight, then off to bed shortly after that.

We've got a long travel day to Cape Town today, so we're not sure when you'll hear from us again!

When we posted our November expenses, we asked if you'd like us to continue to post our expenses and the answer was mostly "yes". So here you are...

At the end of last month, we said that we expected December to be higher than normal.

Boy, were we right. We did a lot of driving in December, and gasoline isn't really cheap in Nambia. About comparable to Canada. And, we stayed 25 nights at the Gondwana Lodges courtesy of our facebook fans. Which was really nice except that we were responsible for lunches and dinners. And while lunches are reasonably priced, dinners are a bit on the expensive side. And most of the lodges are in the middle of nowhere so they kind of have you locked in to eating there.

We spent a total of $2,440 in December. Here's how it all broke down....

Fuel: We drove 6,000 kms (3,700 miles) in December. It was an ambitious plan to visit all of the different Gondwana lodges in Namibia, and we got it done. But it was at a high cost. Gasoline is around N$12 ($1.29) per litre (US$4.80 per gallon). We spent a total of $685.60 in fuel.

Groceries: Because we knew we would be eating two meals per day at the lodges, we expected our grocery bill to be on the low side, and it was. But it was still higher than we expected.

Breakfasts were included with our accommodation at the lodges. So we figured we would alternate days with the restaurant meals, having as late a lunch as possible, or as early a dinner as possible, and that's what we did. We had a refrigerator cool box with us, so that allowed us to have enough food for snacks and lunchable type items in between breakfast and dinner, or later in the day depending on which restaurant meal we did that particular day.

But we still spent $180.34 on groceries for the month. Just on lunches and snacks. Not quite sure how it added up to that much, but it did.

Alcohol: Not bad, at $103.46. But still not great when you consider that some of our restaurant meals also included a beer or a glass of wine. Going to try and cut back a little in January.

Miscellaneous: We had actually done pretty well in this category this month, and then Christmas came along! Some expenses towards grandkids and a nephew in that regard, plus our Namibian cellular internet bill and a new daypack, and a new power supply for Ruth's laptop. We came through the month at $189.51.

Entertainment: Ouch. We have always grouped restaurant meals into this category because they're essentially a discretionary thing and so we consider it as much entertainment as we do food. So while staying at these lodges was nice, it was also much more expensive for us. The dinners averaged N$220 ($24.00) each per person, and lunches maybe $N80 ($8.75) per person.

Add that up over the 25 days that we stayed at the lodges, and add in some other touristy things like our Himba visit and it comes to $1,139.52. Yikes.

Overnight: Our lodge accommodation was supplied by Gondwana. But we still had four nights that we ended up paying for ourselves. This came to a total of $141.94.

So, our total expenses for the month came to $2,440.

Good thing we don't do that every month or we'd be heading back to work early! We totally enjoyed our Namibia experience though and we did everything we wanted to do.

We're expecting January and February to come in quite a bit less than that, so we should be back on track to start off the new year.

Next update coming from Cape Town, South Africa!

Oh, I wanted to mention a travel deal for our Canadian readers. Early January is one of the cheapest times to head south. And our partner at Air Canada Vacations has some fantastic deals for this time period. Either check out the widget on the right side, or visit this link to see the deals form your nearest Canadian city...


  1. Considering you're traveling I think you did well on expenses!

  2. Congratulations on touristing very inexpensively and on another year of adventure, experience and fun completed. Have the happiest new year - yet!

  3. Like so many other readers, we enjoy these monthly recaps on what you spend while traveling. And like you, we include eating out as entertainment. Still, a month in Africa for $2440. Not bad at all!

  4. Well you are sort of on "vacation" so spending over half your money on entertainment doesn't seem so unusual. Even this monthly expenses total is still less than many many full timers spend every month. Small price to pay for such a great trip. Imagine the cost to those less amazingly able to put together free portions.

  5. Regardless of some of the budget busting expenses, that still is money very well spent. Happy New Year!

  6. You done good (as our local Dutchmen would say)!

  7. Well done! I thought gas would have been even higher. While your food expenses were higher you got to stay in extremely wonderful places - I would say money well spent!

  8. amazing that your four days of actually paying for hotel was $140 total, divided by 4 is 35 a day... but the meals at the same time can run $24 per person for dinner... costing more to eat there than stay overnight! LOL

    But all worth it for the wonderful adventure you are having....

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  9. Hi Kevin and Ruth

    It's great to see the breakdown of your expenses. I love to compare living and travelling costs :)

    In case you are thinking of heading to my part of the world - here's my latest Cost of Living in Spain post:


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