$10,000, A Man In A Yellow Suit, And A Trip or Two

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The other day I was prompted with the question "What trip would you take with a $10,000 budget?" For starters, that sounded so glamorous. I thought of yachts, castles and shopping trips on cobblestone roads. I could go anywhere for $10,000! Rookie mistake. Reality slapped me in the face when I realized even $10,000 is not all that glamorous when I think of the cost of food, accommodations and every plane, train, and automobile that I would need to get to a destination. 

On a hypothetical note, let's say some guy, in a yellow suit (for no particular reason, that is just how I picture him) stops me in the street and offers me $10k large to take on my travel bucket list. On a realistic note, where could I travel to and what could I do with my time there?

Ultimately, I would like to spend some more time in Europe, but if I look at my Dream Draft, I think centering my travels down through the Caribbean into South America I would fulfill more of my life long travel goals. Specifically, going to Carnival Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, celebrate new years in Jost van Dyke in the Caribbean, and eat ceviche in Peru.
I can't make these happen all at one time since I am choosing to go for events and not just to go. The hardest justification I have done to myself when I travel is paying top dollar for high traffic phenomena, but there is no way around it. I'm hoping this guy in the yellow suit comes through.

Some people travel to see the world; I like to think I go to experience the world. I want to go somewhere to attend an event and immerse myself in the culture.

Let's start with flights.

Las Vegas to Jost Van Dyke (round trip) - $1,125

It's for New Year's and my birthday, so it's like a 2 in 1. 
Las Vegas to Peru (one way)- $300

I'll get my ceviche on and then hop on a plane to my next South American destination. This is the first week of February. After I watch green bay win the Superbowl, I'll celebrate with a nice trip to the south... WAY south. 

Peru to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil is $300

Once again, this is during peak time Feb 9-14 is prime Carnival time. I would like to point out that traveling to Peru before flying to Rio De Janeiro will be a real money saver. I saved $300 on flights alone by working smarter not harder. Now I get to enjoy two beautiful destinations. 

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil back to Las Vegas is $675.

Typical and predictable. This is me leaving two days before the Carnivale series ends. I could only imagine the airport on the last day of Rio De Janeiro Carnivale. 

Let's include some baggage fees in there because we all know to expect them by now. $250

Final Flight total: $2,650

Then there is Hotel.

Rooms in Jost Van Dyke over the Holiday weekend are on average $130. 

I was honestly thrilled when I saw that because Las Vegas would implode if they had rates for $130 on New Year's Eve. $130 x 5= $650

Average hotel rooms in Peru are $124 a night 
In Peru, I might Airbnb which will run me about $72 a night, and it will allow me to submerge myself in the Peru lifestyles. Looking at about $300 for accommodations

- Rio hotels run about $200 a night. I'll most likely be there for five nights which will total $1,000 just in accommodations 

Maybe there is a resort fee, or you tip the bell man too. $100

Final Accommodations total: $2,050

(Flights + Accommodations)=  $4,700

Food, mainly the most important part of the trip.

In Jost Van Dyke the average person will spend about $10 on breakfast, $20 on lunch, and $25-50 on dinner. Let's say about $50 on average. Maybe you splurge on snacks or only eat two meals a day. For five days that is $250 on food

In Peru, where I am LITERALLY there to eat ceviche. I would expect about the same as Jost Van Dyke except a little higher since I plan to eat seafood DAILY. $350 for my meals in Peru. 

Rio De Janeiro will be kind of different. I expect to snack all day long with some good meals here and there. The hotels I looked at also included continental breakfast, but that is not something I solely depend on. It can be a hit or miss. I think with the influx of people happy hours won't be the happy I'm familiar with. I'll still probably spend around $250 for food. 

Of course, beyond all of that, you have the bar tab which is an infinite amount of dollars if you're a sucker for mojitos like me. Quickly will spend $60 every other day on tropical intoxication. $500ish right there. 

Add in $40 for some plane & airport food.

Final Food total: $1,390ish

(Flights + Accommodations + Food)=  $6,090

Gotta hand it to myself I thought I'd be much higher by now. This is putting it into perspective for me. 

Activities are where the real money will be spent. 

Thus far you have the basics of a well-done trip. Food, travel, and accommodations are necessary but what you do is what will sell it for you. 

There is a lot of sight seeing to be done in Jost Van Dyke. Catch me sitting on the beach a majority of the time. I might do a snorkeling tour or check out Soggy Dollar Bar (it's top rated), but I am there to see the New Years eve Celebration. Foxy's Old Years Night party is one to remember (or so I hear) where I can dance the new year in. I would probably a lot about $600 for club fees, water activities, and miscellaneous shopping sprees. 

In Peru, I plan on spending a lot of time doing outdoorsy activities. Maybe some hiking or ATVing, but I just want to roam the streets where they have fresh markets, have a few drinks, and a few laughs. There is a lot of sights to see in Peru too. There is so much Inca culture throughout the country I think I could walk out with it running through my DNA. I'll allow about $500 in spending.

Rio De Janeiro Carnivale is another story. I plan to spend here. I want the full experience. If there's a party, I need to pay to get into count me in. I'll probably get ripped off somewhere along the way and learn a valuable lesson about trusting strangers. I want to financially prepare for the mistakes I will probably make here. There might be costumes to wear and props to make. Definitely, would allow closer to $800 for this trip.

Final Activities total: $1,900

(Flights + Accommodations + Food + Activities)=  $7,990

Transportation: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Honestly, this will all be the same for all three spots. Uber, taxis, shuttles, boats, and water taxis. This is just a cost you can never really know how much it will cost until it happens. It is a good idea to have a flexible budget. I give myself $300 for each landing spot. Some might be cheaper or within walking distance where as a train ticket might be close to $100 for another place. It all depends on location.

Final Transportation total: $900

(Flights + Accommodations + Food + Activities + Transportation)=  $8,890

Hmm, I still have some $$$ left over....

Preparations are just as important.

What will I need to make this trip a success?

Things like adaptors, extra cords, and out of range data plans are all important. I'll probably lose a pair of headphones or two along the way as well. Hell, maybe I'll buy a Polaroid and a go-pro so that I can film this whole trip. I wouldn't be a millennial without my trusty technology!

Final Preparations total: $900

(Flights + Accommodations + Food + Activities + Transportation+ Preparations )=  $9,790


The rest is for an emergency I suppose. I didn't leave myself with much wiggle room but it's something. 

Final Emergency Total: $210

(Flights + Accommodations + Food + Activities + Transportation + Preparations + Emergency)=  $10,000

Y'all have to understand something. I am the most frugal spender ever. When it is my own money, you better believe I will be eating two meals a day and scarfing down snacks if that means I can do another activity. The fact that some guy in a yellow suit is offering me $10,000 to go on a vacation I have a whole new perspective. I'm also planning for one here so if you're trying to follow this travel layout and go with your significant other you better double the plane tickets, food, and activities. And if you aren't lucky enough to have some guy in a yellow suit offer you $10,000 for a vacation, believe it or not. Sometimes you just can't wait long enough to save! If you are one of those people a low- interest personal loan could be a better option than putting the whole trip on a credit card. If you want more information check out how Earnest can help you here.

Now that money ain't a thing; I just have to request off from work. I wonder how many sick days I can use in a row before someone get suspicious. 

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