Our family of four spent the fall of 2017 in the beautiful city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We scrapped our original plan of spending four weeks there, as we fell in love with the city and ended up extending our trip to nine weeks. We would have stayed longer if we did not already have other plans for winter!
Some people track their time, some people track their calories, some people track their steps…I track our money. Call it an obsession, but one of the reasons we are able to live this lifestyle of extended travel and have a home base is because we are always aware of where our money is going. Knowing how much you spend and what you are spending it on is, in my opinion, the easiest way to start spending less on things that don’t really matter. I use an app called Trail Wallet to track our travel spending and I highly recommend it to other travelers.
Our trip started in Las Vegas. We drove to Vegas from our home in British Columbia in order to have a visit with family who live there. We booked one-way flights from Vegas to Mexico City for a total of $800 CAD for four people. Once in Mexico City, we spent one night at an overpriced airport hotel, before catching a prearranged shuttle to San Miguel. The shuttle was awesome and took a little less than four hours.
Our first month was spent at a simple Airbnb, that was large, clean and in a fantastic location. The going rental rate for the month was $1900 CAD but I negotiated that down before we booked to $1300. (Always ask for a discount!) After that first month, we spent just under a week at a friend’s house where our accommodation costs were nothing. We then returned to the same Airbnb, except this time we rented it directly from the landlord for one more month for a total of $1100 CAD. If you have never used Airbnb before, sign up using this link and we’ll both get a credit on our accounts!
We spent a total of 68 days in Mexico. The following numbers apply only to our San Miguel portion of the trip (not Las Vegas or the road trip there and back.) I have also excluded things we purchased as gifts for Christmas. All prices are in CAD. Subtract about 25% for USD prices.
So, how much did we spend in 68 days? Here are our totals:
Grand Totals in CAD (check xe.com for exchange rates)
Eating Out: $1623.72 (We ate out at least once per day. Nice meals at a sit-down restaurant cost between $25-40 while street or market food cost between $10-$15 for four people. Keep in mind my boys eat adult-sized portions!)
Accommodation: $2648.78 (An average per night of $42.72)
Entertainment: $266.84 (Tickets to see a wrestling match, A Day of the Dead Tour, entrance to the Botanical Gardens, tickets to the movie theater, etc)
Transport: $1985.77 (Includes two one-way flights for 4 at a total of $1608, our shuttle from MEX to SMA, our shuttle from SMA to Leon, and all of our Uber and Taxi rides within the city.)
Health Insurance: $297.92
Phone and Internet: $105 (Local sim cards with data for two phones.)
Grand Total: $8054.94
Average Per Day: $118.45 CAD ($94.74 USD)
This price includes EVERYTHING we spent. If we bought an ice cream, caught a taxi, or had a cappuccino, it is accounted for! Could we have spent less? Definitely! While San Miguel de Allende is one of the more expensive spots in Mexico, we could have reduced our bill substantially by cooking in more often…but if you follow my social media you will have seen some of the fantastic meals we ate and you won’t blame us for spending Mucho Denaro on delicious food! Also, because we only spent nine weeks in SMA, our flight and transportation costs were high in comparison to days spent (well, high if you are a long-term traveler, not if you are a two-week vacationer!)
And guess what? We’ll be there again next year for the Family Adventure Summit…but this time our trip will be WAY MORE EPIC. Stay tuned for an update on our 2018/2019 travel plans!
Our final cost of this trip, INCLUDING our stay in Las Vegas, and road trip from BC actually worked out to be cheaper on a per day basis with a daily average of $96 CAD. Mostly due to the fact that we did not have to pay for accommodation while we were in Vegas.
And if you are curious about how we fund this lifestyle, read this post on our multiple income streams, and living with less philosophy.