Let’s be honest. When you’re staying with family, your expenses are subsidized. We are forever grateful to our Brazilian friends and family who took care of us during our three months in-country. Similarly, when you’re in one spot for 3 months, you create time-based economies. With those two things in mind, and despite a serious 2-week splurge for New Year’s in Rio, Brazil was the least expensive country of our trip.


Also, compared to every other country we’ve visited, we had the largest amount of historical data about travel-costs. Rodrigo and I have been together since 1993, so, that’s 22 years of travel back and forth between the US and Brazil. Our estimates were pretty spot-on.


Being real, we did...

I handed our hostess two stacks of bills, one of dollars, one of Argentine pesos. We’d withdrawn money at the Buenos Aires airport to pay the remaining rent on the apartment we’d rented in the Recoleta neighborhood. She looked at the second stack disappointedly. “Oh,” she said, “I thought I told you I only take cash.”  I glanced at Rodrigo out of the corner of my eye noticing that he was looking as confused as I felt. I hesitated, “that is cash.” “No,” she said. “I don’t accept Argentine pesos.”


Thus we were introduced to Argentina’s dollar-hungry, blue-market, ever-fluid economy. We learned very quickly that expenses were sky-high unless you could pay in US or Euro cash. Food, lodging, gas, replenis...

Below are tables that detail our projected costs, actual costs, and the differences between the two. We saved on lodging by staying two full weeks in Las Cruces, a small beach town near Valparaiso. In addition to being easy on the budget, we all appreciated the time to make ourselves at home and relax.


Though it doesn’t show up as an overage in our budget, we did waste some money by checking out of our Santiago apartment early to visit the Colchagua Valley. In essence, we paid for two nights lodging twice: the two nights we lost in Santiago and the two nights added in a Colchagua BnB. We also hadn’t originally planned on renting a car in Chile, which we did, so that affected our transportation costs...

March 5, 2015

By Gretchen Richter de Medeiros


Below are tables that detail our projected costs, actual costs, and the differences between the two. We saved a ton on transportation and lodging by opting out of renting a house in the Sacred Valley and instead staying in a travelers’ lodge in Ollantaytambo. There were two interesting ruins right in town, we could walk to the train for Machupicchu, and we spent some of our savings on a guide to drive us to Chinchero and Pisac. The five of us agree that our trip just wouldn’t have been as informative and wonderful without our guide, Isaias. We’d hire him again in a heartbeat! (Note, Isaias’s fee is included in Special Activities, which is why we went a little over in t...

February 9, 2015

By Gretchen Richter de Medeiros


When we first started thinking about doing a RTW trip, the biggest question in my mind – even before “where should we go?” – was “what will it cost?” I had traveled extensively in my 20s, Rodrigo and I had done a few international trips together, and we’d just finished a 6-week family journey to Brazil, but I’d never planned any trip this scale. 11 months. 5 people. 3 continents.


Being a bit on the OCD side about money, I did have good financial records from these trips as a basis to start my budget. I spent a lot of time reading other family’s RTW sites; two that come to mind are Six in the World and The Nomadic Family (although now I’m enamored with Travel Junkies be...

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