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Old 11-26-2012, 01:51 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,333,374 times
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This is a place to discuss HOW MUCH you spent on certain elements of your trips to different places, so other people can get an idea of how much things cost in their potential travel destinations, or for curiosity's sake.

When I went to Southern Mexico in March 2011, the exchange rate was approximately 12 pesos to the dollar. Apparently the peso has devalued to around 13.3 today, but inflation probably balances things out. Part of my trip was generously covered by a local family, who took me on a road trip around Chiapas state. Anyway, here are some things that I spent money on, and the USD equivalent....

R/T airfare from Duluth, MN to Cancun: $450
Soft drinks (vary by estado, Pepsi and Coke available everywhere)......7 MXP or approximately $0.60 for a 500 ml (a little smaller than 20 oz) bottle.
Sandwiches with such ingredients as octopus from street vendors....about $1.50
Full meals (fish in garlic sauce, etc.) at mid-scale restaurants in Merida....$4-$7
Midrange hotel in Merida with private bathroom, cable TV, and A/C, as well as large pool and room service...$45 (web deal that I begged them for at front desk)
Gigantic meal delivered to my room in Merida including order of pancackes, huevos motulenhos (eggs in tomato sauce with tortillas), and fruit juice, and tip...100 MXP or about $8
Admission to Ek Balam (recently-restored archaeological site where you can still climb up the ruins)...81 MXP or $7
Complete day out to Uxmal and Kaba ruins from Merida with group of 4, including transportation, tour guide, restaurant meal, tips....~600 MXP or $50
Day excursion to Cenotes de Cuzama (group of sinkholes where you can swim), including guide and transportation, 4 other people went...~500 MXP or $42 (the guide spent a brief stint in Minnesota working in the Mall of America, went scuba diving outside of Duluth, and is now my friend on Facebook)
Meat and seafood fest for 7 people...$50
Ziplining over a giant waterfall at Cascadas de Chiflon...$15
Two sushi rolls and Fanta (not kidding) at upscale mall in Villahermosa...$18
Movie admission...$4
Non-A/C bed in hostel in Merida with pool, hammocks, live music, breakfast, etc...$8
Crappy hotel room with broken A/C but beautiful view right on beach in Cancun's hotel zone, last night (so post-Spring Break pre-Holy Week)...$60
Taxi from bus station to hostel in Merida....$5
Shave and massage in Merida barber shop...$3.50
Taxi from hostel to hotel in Merida....$4
Share-taxi from Valladolid to Ek Balam (about 17 miles) - with lessons in Mayan from fellow passengers...$2
Personal taxi from Ek Balam to Valladolid (17 miles)....$10
First-class bus fare from Cardenas, Tabasco to Cancun (about 14 hours)...$60 ($100 with bed-seat and personal TV)
Laundry service, full load of clothes, Merida....$15 (best guestimate from memory)
Hand-woven matrimonial hammock, Merida (the guy tugged at my heartstrings saying that the weavers have to feed their families)....$28
Admission to the ruins of Palenque....$11, I think
Admission to Amber Museum in San Cristobal...like $4
Internet cafe....$0.90 per hour
Queso napolitano (a slice of a popular dessert cake) in Merida...$1.50
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:25 PM
Location: City of Angels
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wtf, you remember all this from a trip you made over a year ago? i just got back from a 2 1/2 night stay in tijuana a few hours ago and i have no idea what i spent my money on, just know i spent around US$600 all in.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:05 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,333,374 times
Reputation: 6670
Originally Posted by foadi View Post
wtf, you remember all this from a trip you made over a year ago? i just got back from a 2 1/2 night stay in tijuana a few hours ago and i have no idea what i spent my money on, just know i spent around US$600 all in.
Yes, I have a good memory for prices.

Now Spain + Morocco in May / June 2008...let's see...

The exchange rate between the EUR and USD was at its most unfavorable then (EUR 1 = USD $1.60!).

Except in Barcelona and Tarifa, I stayed at hostales in Spain, cheap hotels run out of apartment buildings. I never had my own bathroom except overnight in Algeciras. I did have my own TV in all hostales except in Algeciras, and an impressive balcony in Madrid.

They were a minimum of 15 EUR ($25) and a maximum of 41 EUR ($65) a night. The one on a busy central Madrid street was a particular bargain at 23 EUR ($35) a night.

For the main meal of the day (2-4 pm), I usually ordered off the menu del dia, which includes 2 courses, a dessert, and your choice of drink. They ranged from 7 euros in Granada (about $11) to about 10 euros ($16). For other meals I often ate snacks in bares, for example bocadillos at about 2-3 euros ($4.50).

Unlike in the U.S., virtually every museum or tourist site cost money, although I don't recall any particularly expensive attractions, and was able to use my student ID card from a small private Midwestern college to get the student discount.

Morocco was more affordable. Taxis there were extremely cheap, and I used them when my GPS battery was dead or the maze of streets made things confusing. Midrange restaurants were few and far apart, and the one I encountered in the Meknes medina (Restaurant Oumnia) I ate at for $8. A very delicious sandwich from a "snack" with such ingredients as fries, hot sauce, and fish was about $1-2 (can't remember).

I was tricked into staying in a desert auberge (inn), which actually turned out to be quite nice, with a pool, four-wheeler rental (the ATVs were broken during the time I was there), and Western-style bathroom. The inn was half-board, so I ate my hearty dish of kaliyah, a greasy lamb dish scooped up with bread (cutlery was offered, but I naturally ate it as I would a North Indian dish; the waiter was astonished that I ate like a Moroccan) before the generator was turned off. I think it cost like $60 / night.

The taxi ride back to Rissani over tracks in the desert was an outlandish $35. The twelve-hour ride in the ghetto bus (unbearably hot in Rissani, chillingly cold in the Atlas) was about $20. I was paid some hospitality by a newly-met friend on the bus when he invited me over to his uncle's mansion, where I slept and ate an exquisite meal. Later we parted and I stayed at a "hotel" near the Djemaa el-Fna for about $15 / night (they claimed they had no single beds available). The hotel was plain and had shared Turkish-style toilets. Despite having to empty myself badly, I waited until I was at the Marrakesh airport where I availed myself of an impeccably clean Western-style toilet. The flight back to Barcelona was on Clickair, now defunct, and was, if I remember correctly, about $100.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:54 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,241,442 times
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I generally drive when I go to Mexico. Gas is a little cheaper than in the USA. I stick to hotels in smaller cities or large towns, it is easy to find one near the city center for less than $10-12 USD per night for a double, clean and safe and well-maintained. AC is rarely necessary, you'll just have ceiling fans, except in sweltering coastal places during the hot season. If there is only on-street parking, the hotel staff will watch your car, and it is safe. But most small hotels have off-street parking. The word Motel usually lets rooms by the hour, involving ladies of negotiable affection.

You can eat a nice meal of Mexican food (rice, beans, tortillas, roast meat, salad) for about two bucks in the daytime, three at night, there are plenty of places everywhere, eat where working class Mexicans eat. Fresh fruit is very, very cheap and easily found everywhere, you can fill up on that all day. When on the road, just pull off the highway where you see a lot of truck parked, there will be several outdoor restaurants. As I recall, cold beer is about 40-cents a can, sold out of store fronts everywhere that are gaudily emblazoned with the beer brand. Corona is the worst beer in Mexico, try something else.

Toll roads in Mexico are horrendously expensive, and can cost about 200-dollars to drive through the country,. Take the "libre" roads, most of them are pretty good, you can make fairly decent time on them, and lots of chances to see the real Mexico. Be constantly on the lookout for speed humps, which are everywhere that there is any habitation. Car mechanics in Mexico are cheap, inventive, reliable, know how to find spare parts if they can't fix broken ones, and will quickly get you back on the road again. You're never far from a tire repair shop, where the man will get up in the middle of the night and cheerfully fix your flat for two bucks. Still, don't drive after dark.

Last edited by jtur88; 11-30-2012 at 04:05 PM..
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