EXPENSES: July 2017, South Africa and Namibia ($399)


Before leaving on our trip, we committed to posting the nitty-gritty details of our spending on the road, however uninteresting those details may be. This felt important for a few reasons:

First, as mundane as expense reports might seem, a little routine for our wandering selves isn't exactly unwelcome.

Second, we're commonly told that travel is expensive. We're made to believe that vacations and trips and journeys are really costly excursions in which thousands of dollars must be exchanged for a few days or weeks of fun. If physical comfort is key, perhaps. But travel need not be cost-prohibitive. The adventure of a lifetime can be had for cheap. We're not aiming to travel as frugally as humanly possible, but we are hoping to have a great time without going broke in the process. So in the interest of complete (and perhaps tedious) transparency, this is exactly how much we're spending.

Third, it can be tough to figure out the logistics of bike travel. If you're someone planning a bike trip to somewhere we've been (in the case below, South Africa), maybe this information will give a little context to (a) how much one might spend and (b) how long it might take to get from place to place. Of course, your mileage may vary considerably. 

Fourth, we're budgeting carefully and tracking all this anyway, so it's not too much work to just paste it here. 

All that said, here are our costs for our first (partial) month cycling the world (beginning our first full day after landing): 

(As of August 2017, 1 US Dollar [USD] = 13.5 South African Rand [ZAR]).  

From July 8 (when we began our trip) until the end of the month, we spent 2,301 ZAR on food, 2,959 ZAR on accommodations, and 120 ZAR on everything else. In total, we spent 5,380 ZAR (399 USD) in 24 days, at an average of 224 ZAR per day (112 ZAR, or 8 USD, per person).

We slept 11 nights wild camping, 5 nights in a campground, 4 nights in a guesthouse or hotel, 2 nights with Warmshowers hosts (excluding our first night), and 2 nights with Couchsurfing hosts. Almost all of our food expenses were groceries (we'd typically stock up for a few days at a time). We started off with some dried goods we brought from home, and our super-kind hosts in the Cape kept us well-fed before we set off. Generally, this level of spending kept us alive and nourished but not terribly comfortable, and we remained very conscious when spending money. We did splurge a little, relatively, toward the end of the month.

Here are our day-to-day expenses (and where we stayed), in ZAR (starting on the 8th): 

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  8. 112 food. Warmshowers in Smitswinkelbaii.
  9. Warmshowers in Muizenberg. 
  10. Couchsurfing in Cape Town. 
  11. 374 food, 120 sightseeing. Couchsurfing in Cape Town.
  12. 13 food, 160 accommodations. Campground in Melkbosstrand. 
  13. 246 food. Permission to camp behind petrol station. 
  14. 175 food, 175 accommodations. Campground in Elannsbaii. 
  15. 100 food, 175 accommodations. Campground in Elannsbaii.
  16. 17 food, 100 accommodations. Campground in Clanwilliam. 
  17. 165 food, 100 accommodations. Campground in Clanwilliam.
  18. Wild camping en route to Doringbos. 
  19. 50 food. Wild camping en route to Nieuwoudtville.
  20. Wild camping en route to Nieuwoudtville. 
  21. 54 food, 400 accommodations.  Guesthouse in Loeriesfontein.
  22. 33 food, 400 accommodations. Guesthouse in Loeriesfontein.
  23. 293 food. Wild camping en route to Pofadder. 
  24. Wild camping en route to Pofadder.
  25. Wild camping en route to Pofadder.  
  26. Wild camping en route to Pofadder.  
  27. 239 food, 720 accommodations. Hotel in Pofadder. 
  28. 430 food, 729 accommodations. Hotel in Pofadder. 
  29. Wild camping en route to Onseepkans. 
  30. ENTERED NAMIBIA. Wild camping en route to Karasburg. 
  31. Wild camping en route to Karasburg.

Questions? Let us know!