The main destination of the Trolltunga hike in Norway.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Albania on March 14th.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

What does it cost for a month exploring Turkey? - November Expenses

Our expense reports are always the least read blog post of the month. It seems that most people simply don't care how much or how little money we spend! But I publish them because they occasionally have a little bit of information in them that might help a fellow traveler.

And for anybody thinking of a visit to Turkey, this will be an informative post.

We arrived in Turkey mid month, and so October's expenses didn't give an accurate indication of what prices are like here. But November was a full month of exploration within the country so it tells you what it costs for a whole month if you do things the way we did.

We spent a total of $2,229 CAD ($1,719 USD) for the month of November.

Also, keep in mind that we are here during tourist low season which sort of starts towards the end of October. And of course "low season" is really low this year in particular due to Covid. Which we believe has meant that our accommodation and car rental expenses are perhaps a little bit lower than they would be in a normal low season. But, there is a little more to it...

In normal times, we would not always have stayed in private accommodation. We would have used "shared" accommodation where we have our own private room. This is always a little bit cheaper. And, we may not have rented a car for the entire time because we don't mind using public transportation if there is a cost benefit and it's not that inconvenient at the time. Due to Covid, we chose to have our own private accommodation the entire month, and we chose to rent a car for the entire time to avoid public transportation.

Let's have a closer look at the expenses. 

(The following figures are all in Canadian dollars. I use https://www.xe.com/ for foreign exchange conversion if you want to see how much it is in your local currency.)

Fuel: We had a car rental for the entire month. Our car was gasoline, but many rental cars are diesel. We have learned that gasoline rentals are cheaper than diesel rentals, but diesel fuel is cheaper than gasoline so it's a bit of a trade off. Gasoline prices are about the same as they are in Canada. We spent $125 on gasoline for the month.

Grocery: We always rent accommodation that has kitchen facilities, so we make most of our own meals. In fact, we only ate restaurant meals three times the whole month. Fruits and vegetables are very cheap in Turkey, compared to any other country we have visited. Yes, even cheaper than Mexico. Chicken is also cheap. Red meat is more, and we haven't found any pork although we have heard it is available. Fish is reasonable, although we found some fairly expensive salmon that we like and have splurged on that a couple of times! We spent a total of $292 on groceries for the two of us.

Meals out: Restaurants are reasonably priced, and during normal times we would likely have gone out more often. But due to Covid, we limited that as well. We spent a total of $90, and that includes the regular Magnum ice cream bars that we have been treating ourselves to!

Alcohol: Booze is not cheap in Turkey. Almost Canadian prices! So as a result, we have limited our consumption. We have found a 1.5 liter bottle of wine that we like for $7.00 so we've been buying a bottle of that fairly regularly. A four pack of half liter bottles of beer is about the same price so I've been buying a four pack once a week or so. We spent a total of $115 for the month.

Miscellaneous: Other than travel medical insurance at $287, we didn't spend very much in this category! I topped up the cell phone data for $8. A local SIM card and data rates are very cheap. In fact, for the $8 that I spent I thought I was getting 10 GB of data, and when the top up went through it showed that I had 20 GB of data! Ruth bought a head scarf and some socks, and I bought a cheap pair of shoes. Total came to $320.

Entertainment: It's fairly cheap to visit most ruins sites and tourist attractions. The exceptions to this rule are the three most popular ones, and I don't blame them for charging more. If the people will pay it anyhow, then why not? So the big three tourist sites in Turkey... Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia... are all more expensive than what they should be in this country. We visited both Ephesus and Pamukkale during the month of November, as well as a host of other ruins sites. Our total expense for the month in this category was $154.

Overnight: We stayed in private Airbnb accommodation the whole month. The most we paid was $30 a night, and the least we paid was $18 a night. We spent a total of $667 which is an average of $22.25 per night. 

Travel: Our car rental has been soooo convenient. It would have been quite a lot more money during busy season, and to give you an idea, we paid $500 for the first month when we arrived. As time went on, I saw car rental agencies advertising better deals, and when busy season came to an end towards the end of October, I renegotiated with our supplier for $357 a month. November included part of both rates, so the total came to $463. But December will be $357.

So, we spent a total of $2,229 CAD ($1,719 USD) living, exploring, and traveling in the country of Turkey for the month of November.

We're expecting December to be about the same possibly a little less.

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22 comments:

  1. That is interesting about how much you spend. We have a place in Green Valley,Arizona(just South of Tucson)but we want to travel to all areas around the state, and we are talking about an used one, or a new one. In Arizona there are lots of TV's, because they are dying(a lot of elderly folks live there) It's just part of the circle of life! We love watching for your posts! Rawn & Joann Stone & Peanut Joy!

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    1. We have found that traveling through Canada, Mexico and the U.S. that having an RV is the way to go! This way you have your own bed, bathroom and kitchen with you all the time. If you get it set up with solar and learn how to use your resources carefully you can boondock all over the place and that makes traveling even cheaper, plus it is a great way to travel when you have a pet.

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    2. We are sold on getting an RV! And I remember when you sold your RV, and now you have a new one, that's cool! Take care, Rawn

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    3. We love the freedom that the RV life gives us. We are so looking forward to picking up our new motorhome in March and to start exploring Europe. :-)

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  2. Contrary to others, I suppose, I read attentively your expense reports every month! And I am always amazed at how little you spend, the two of you! Especially for groceries and in general, since you're in a country you don't know! Maybe you should give a tutoral, some day, to people like me who wonder how you can make it on such a low budget! Thanks for sharing !

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    1. We are happy to hear that you find our expense reports very helpful. Some times we amaze ourselves at how little we spend, especially when we look back at the month and see all the incredible things that we saw and did.

      You say that we should give a tutoral some day but Kevin thinks that the information in our blog everyday is basically a tutorial. He usually explains how much something costs and why we did or didn't do something because of the cost. He often gives links to ways to fly cheaper, or stay places inexpensively. Different apps that we use to find the best prices of things. We show pictures of the fruits and vegetables that we buy at the markets. I guess the only thing we don't do is show you how we make our meals with the food that we buy, lol. We do find that cooking our own meals saves us a lot of money compared to buying our meals out. Plus we know that our own meals are good and healthy which isn't always the case when you eat out.

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  3. I like the expense reports. It helps me plan how much retirement savings I'll need!

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    1. We are glad that you find our expense reports informative. Just make sure that you adjust yours to take into account how your travels might be a little different to ours, such as maybe you like slightly better accommodation than us or maybe you might like to eat out more than us. Everyone's expenses are going to be different but at least we can give you an idea of the costs and a baseline to work with. :-)

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  4. Would it be more cost effective to buy a cheap car for the duration?

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    1. In this case no it would not be more cost effective because our car rental is super cheap to begin with. Plus buying and selling a car in another country isn't always that easy. First you would need an address to use as a home address and even after buying it you also have to buy the registration and the insurance. doing it for a motorhome like we did in Australia was definitely a different story because they are not cheap to rent for a long period of time.

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  5. I always read these posts because I love the insight into a different lifestyle. Plus, I am a nosy person on the inside. In fact, if I'm being honezt, I would love to know if your blogging and the ads/Amazon links ever cover a month's expenses of half, etc... I would like to think they do, but can only surmise. Please don't share anything because of my comment. I just want you to know that I enjoy the insight and would n ever not read anything you posted.

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    1. We are glad that you enjoy or expense reports. We are nosy ourselves about other people's monthly expenses, especially when we started looking into traveling fulltime because it is helpful to have an idea on what it costs. Of course, you have to take into account that not everyone travels the same way or with the same budget but at least it gives people an baseline to work with.

      From the blog with the ads, Amazon links and any sponsored posts that we might do for the month, a really good month might be around the $1,000 mark but on average it would be more around the $600-$700 mark. So it certainly does help our expenses by having these ads on our blog.

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    2. Thank you for not being offended and I'm thrilled as that's not chump change. I figure anything that comes in and allows you to keep going benefits the rest of us!

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    3. Not offended at all! Nope, it isn't chump change and we are happy for every little bit of extra cash we can get, to will help us continue with our travels. We just need to continue to work at keeping our everyday traveling/living expenses at a comfortable level for us and we seem to do well at that. :-)

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  6. New rules are coming into effect ( or maybe just Istanbul). See here for new restrictions which may effect you.

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    1. I think you forgot to put the link in! We do know about the new restrictions though and really it is only the full weekend lockdown that will affect us. The week day curfew doesn't really affect us because we are normally back in our apartment no later than 4pm most days and the curfew during the week runs from 9pm until 5am the next morning. We will just have to make sure that we get out for a really good long walk/hike on Friday and also get any food that we will need for the weekend and just stay put until after 5am Monday morning. With any luck it will rain all weekend long, just to make us feel better about having to stay inside, lol.

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  7. Kevin, Although I am no longer an RV'er or traveler as you and Ruth are, I truly enjoy your posts, including your expense reports. Love your photos and travelogs because I get to vicariously travel the world with you and Ruth! Stay Safe and God Bless, Carl

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    1. Thank you so much for following along on our journey, we are glad that enjoy our posts and pictures including our expense reports. We are happy that we can bring the world to you while comfortably sitting in your armchair at home. :-)

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  8. I love reading your expenses report. Always have some thing interesting to say like buying socks 😂

    We have a small book which we jot down our daily expenses. In the Motorhome we either wild camp or find a nice parking place. Our monthly bill would be around the €1000 but we don’t eat out.

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    1. Lol, we are happy to hear that you enjoying reading about even the most mundane shopping items we incur!

      That is how we keep track of our expenses as well, although Josee mentioned about this awesome app that she now uses and loves called Trail Wallet. We still haven't given it a try but it sounds like a much better way to keep track of our expenses opposed to the pen and paper approach.

      Hopefully when we get the motorhome we will also be able to keep our budget around the same as you. Time will tell, because that it a great monthly budget amount. Having said that, our first month or two will be expensive considering that we will have to purchase supplies and food for the motorhome.

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  9. You know I love reading your blog and I'm happy you include your expenses. When I'm working with clients who say they want to retire and hit the road in an RV I always send them the link to your blog (and tell them to start at the beginning :) ) because it's such a good resource for living full-time on the road. Like you always say it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's a great place to start when people need to know what the RV life will cost.

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    1. Thank you Judi, we are happy to get the feedback about including our expense reports. They are always our least read posts but we also think they are important for others to see that are RVing or full time traveling and want to learn how to reduce some of their expenses or for new RVers/full time travelers or want-a-be ones, so that they can have an idea of what this travel life can cost or at least give them some kind of baseline to go by. Plus, keeping track of our expenses helps us keep ourselves in check. And, thank you for sending people our way! :-)

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