Mexi-Rica 2018 By the Numbers

Curious about how much money our trip cost? What type of places we stayed in? How many cooking classes we took? Check out this blog entry to see some interesting stats on our 2018 trip to Mexico & Costa Rica trip!

Complete Itinerary
This just lists the places we stayed; we took day trips to places outside of these cities/towns.
8 cities in Mexico: Mexico City, Merida, Valladolid, Oaxaca, Mazunte, Puerto Escondido, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
10 cities in Costa Rica: San Jose, La Fortuna/Arenal, Santa Elena/Monteverde, El Roble, Quepos/Manuel Antonio, Dominical, Talamanca Mtns outside of San Isidrio de General, San Gerardo de Dota, Orosi, Aquiares – just outside of Turrialba

Here’s a map of all the places we went…we travel slow.

Nights Spent in Mexico: 58
Nights Spent in Costa Rica: 28
Total trip length: 86 nights (~12 weeks)

Number of airports outside of US: 5
Number of flights within Mexi Rica: 5
Total amount of time spent on planes: 21 hours 12 minutes
Longest flight: 4 hours 30 minutes, Boston to Dallas
Shortest flight: 1 hour 15 minutes, Puerto Escondido to Mexico City
Cars rented: 1
Number of long-ish distance bus rides (2 hrs+): 8
Longest bus ride: 9 hours, Oaxaca to Pochutla en route to Mazunte

For flights, we had good experiences with AeroMexico, Interjet, and Volaris. For buses in Mexico, we had good experiences with ADO and PrimeraPlus. Public buses in Costa Rica were quite confusing/long/hot; we got good information on schedules/cost from CentroCoasting.

The view from our hostel roof deck in Oaxaca

Number of different places we slept: 23
Longest stay in one accommodation: 10 nights (AirBnB in Oaxaca)
Shortest stay: 1 night (3x)
Average stay in one accommodation: 3.44 nights
Number of free nights through hotel reward points: 3
Breakdown of accommodations by type:
       Number of hostels: 8 (30 nights, or 35%)
       Number of AirBnBs: 8 (27 nights, or 31%)
       Number of bed and breakfasts: 5 (19 nights, or 22%)
       Number of hotels: 4 (10 nights, or 12%)

Number of national parks visited in Costa Rica: 5 (Arenal Volcano, Irazu Volcano, La Amistad International Park, Los Quetzales, Manuel Antonio)
Number of ruins sites visited in Mexico: 6 (Tenochtitlan, Teotihuacan, Dzibilchaltun, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Monte Alban)
Yoga classes: 5
Surf classes: 3 (2 for Jenny & David together, one for David on his own)
Cooking classes: 3 (all in Mexico)
Blog entries published (while there): 16
Bikes ridden: 7 (3 each + a tandem)
Horses ridden: 4 (2 each)
Number of times we had our laundry washed professionally: 3

Throughout the trip we used a money tracking app called Trail Wallet. We put all money spent into the app then tracked what we spent by category and tried to follow a daily budget.  Note that all costs below are for 2 people, unless otherwise specified.

Number of ATM withdrawal transactions: 32
ATM fees (fully refunded, thanks to Charles Schwab!): $92.80

Transportation (18% of spending):
Flights total: $1,071
(includes: US to Mexico, 3 flights in Mexico, Mexico to Costa Rica, CR to US)
Other transportation (taxis, buses, week-long car rental, Uber etc): $1,154

Food (21.5% of spending):
Food total: $2,623
  – Restaurants: $2,146
  – Groceries: $348
  – Sweets: $129

Entertainment (19% of spending):
includes tours, shows, admission fees, etc: $2,303

Accommodations (33% of spending):
Hostels, AirBnBs, hotels, B&Bs:  $4,037

Miscellaneous (8% of spending)
Travel insurance: $487
Misc (laundry, souveniers, pharmacy, etc): $534

Total amount of money saved by using miles/reward points: $2,786
  – Saved on hotels: $786
  – Saved on flights: $2000

Total cost for 2 people: $12,209
Total cost per person: $6,105
$140 per day, or $71 per person per day

Note that Mexico was significantly less costly than Costa Rica. Spending ⅔ of the trip in Mexico instead of an even split with Costa Rica definitely helped keep costs down. This also does not include the costs we had from home (i.e. health insurance, some rent & utilities) but gives you an idea of how much a trip like this costs.

Comparing all our By the Numbers blog entries, the order of our least expensive travel location/trip to most expensive is:

  1. Southeast Asia ($55 per person/day, in 2012)
  2. Mexico/Costa Rica ($71 per person per day, in 2018)
  3. Argentina/Chile/Uruguay($76 per person/day in 2017)
  4. Portugal/Italy/Spain  ($98 per person/day in 2012)
  5. United States (data not available)

I noted last year that as we’ve gotten older, we’ve been a little less penny-pinching/more willing to go for nicer places/spend a little extra for things we want so I think these numbers are a bit skewed for direct comparison.  

See any statistics missing that you’re curious about?

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