Our budget consists of four categories: lodging, transportation, food, and activities. It is incredibly tedious to keep track of how much money you spend on food each day. But, in order to track our budget, we have kept records of how much we spend each day on lodging and transportation. Looking at bank statements, we were able to calculate a daily average for each country.

Lodging: We stay in hostels and cheap hotels, with shared bathrooms. We try to find good deals, as long as they are in a safe section of the city.  Our lodging costs for Guatemala are very low because we spent 3 weeks at a homestay where our combined room and food was $9 per day. To calculate our average, I arbitrarily split this in half and said that $4.50 went to lodging.

Transport: We generally take the economy class. However, in Mexico and Guatemala, we took first class busses for safety reasons. (This generally meant being crammed on an old US school bus with 50 of your newest friends, with no air conditioning).

Our final spending for Central America came out to be $35 dollars per day. This includes a four week language school and home stay, all activities, meals, ATM bank fees, stuff shipped home, Christmas presents, Chris´s guitar… everything. This average does NOT include our plane flight into Mexico or out of Panama. We are posting our budget to help other travelers plan for their trips. Since flight costs can be drasticaly different, we thought it would be more helpful to see just what we spent each day once we arrived. The daily avg breakdown for each country follows (all amounts are in US dollars).:

Country Avg Lodging Avg Transport
Mexico $ 9.20 $ 12.20
Belize $ 8.10 $ 11.00
Guatemala $ 4.60 $ 7.90
El Salvador $ 6.90 $ 2.01
Nicaragua $ 5.60 $ 2.67
Costa Rica $ 7.96 $ 3.15

(I accidently mailed my journal home before I wrote down the totals for Panama. They will come).





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