View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

October Expenses - Yikes!

We know that when we do a trip to an oddball country, it's always an expensive endeavor. But this most recent oddball trip, to Turkmenistan also involved the cost of getting there from Eastern Canada. 

And, although we use the $CAD for our expenses, most of the trip was priced out in $USD. And the $USD has been on a tear since July and now sits at over a three year high vs the $CAD. Not only due to $USD strength, but also $CAD weakness.

Anyhow, it's a good thing we paid for most of that trip back in August when the exchange was a little more favorable. 

We definitely blew the budget!

So, how much did we spend? 

We spent an astonishing $9,785 CAD, which sounds a lot better when you put it in $USD terms at $7,045. But still an awfully lot of money. Good thing it all came out over a period of time so we really didn't notice it much as a single hit.

The trip to Turkmenistan was priced at $1,700 USD per person. Which actually sounds reasonable. But then you have to remember that there are two of us, so now it's $3,400 USD. And as I mentioned, that now becomes $4,700 CAD.

But none of that includes airfare, and airfare prices to get across the ocean have skyrocketed. Good thing we still had a travel credit with Air France or it would have been even higher. Then, we had to fly into Turkmenistan which is also expensive because it's not exactly an international flight hub!

And on top of all this, we had a very expensive car rental at the beginning of the month in Canada. 

Anyhow, we totally enjoyed our trip to Turkmenistan, and in hindsight we wouldn't do very much differently. It's only money... we'll make some more tomorrow.

For the details, I tried to break out some of the Turkmenistan trip costs into hotels and transportation and flights because there was one in country flight included. The balance, I put into "Entertainment", because that's what it was.

Here's how it all broke down... (the following figures are in $CAD)...

Fuel: We spent $65 on fuel for our rental car in Nova Scotia. 

Groceries: Exceptionally low, at $187, but that is because we've essentially been eating out since we left Nova Scotia. Of course our "Meals out" category reflects that!

Meals out: We ate in some fancy restaurants in Turkmenistan, and we're still trying to find our restaurant "groove" here in Uzbekistan. It's not common in this area to find your own accommodation that would include a kitchen, so it doesn't make sense to try to cook our own meals. Anyhow, we spent $496 on meals out.

Alcohol: Not bad, at $167. Part of that was some expensive booze in Nova Scotia.

Miscellaneous: Total of $281. The main expenses were tips for our fantastic Turkmenistan guides at $110, and an international drivers permit at $53. The balance is a whole bunch of small stuff ranging from local taxis and buses to a SIM card, laundry, and local transportation.

Entertainment: $3,730, mostly related to the amount from the trip that I can't put into a logical alternate category. Like I said, these trips are pricey. Yes, we could have done it cheaper by hiring a private guide and not going with a group, but we enjoy this particular group of like minded people, and we know the trips are a lot of fun. 

Overnight: Total of $775 for the month for accommodation.

Travel: Boy, we did a lot of that! And we spent $4,064 on travel! Planes, trains, and automobiles! We had an expensive car rental in Canada ($700) and then six different airplanes throughout the month. 

That's a record high month for us, and it won't be repeated anytime soon. We've had a few other expensive months during our years of travel... last January, the month of our Mauritania trip was $8,991. And January and February of 2021 were over $13,000 combined as we did our Kilimanjaro and Meru climbs.

So, November will be much cheaper! We have a budget of about $2,900 CAD ($2,088 USD) for the month, but that's pretty much a guess since there are so many variables. We're going to do our best to come in under that though!

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Record low deal on this 200 Watt RV Solar Panel Kit.

And in Canada...

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