Well this month was crazy. I flew to South Africa to start what was supposed to be a 3 month house sit. It ended up not working out for various reasons, so now I’m on a road trip through SA. My expenses were already high given the flight down here, food/lodging in expensive transit cities, etc. But now I also have a rental car, gas, hotels, eating out a lot, etc. This is definitely one of my most expensive months and is going to blow my average out of the water. However, I’ve decided I’m not going to let budget worries impact me doing amazing things on this trip. I don’t try to keep my spending to $1k/month because I have to, it’s because that’s what fits my financial goals and generally it works for me with no problems. But during this trip I’m going to splash out a bit and do some of the more expensive items as they’ll likely be once in a lifetime chances.

This summary covers nomad living expenses for 1-30 September 2018.

Location(s) Visited This Month

  • Bansko, Bulgaria
  • Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Addo, South Africa (Addo Elephant Nature Park)
  • East London, South Africa
  • Mthatha, South Africa
  • Sani Valley, South Africa (Sani Pass/Lesotho)

Transportation – $955.62

  • This covered planes, trains, buses, etc between and within all of the above locations. It also covers my rental car and gas while road tripping (everything after Johannesburg I had a car for).

Lodging – $654.65

  • I did have a few days house sitting, but I also had a mix of hostels, hotels, and apartment time. During in my road trip I’m staying in a mix of hotels, airbnb, cheap caravan parks, and fancy lodges.
  • Breakdown *
    • House Sitting – 8
    • Hostel – 3
      • City Hostel – Felt a bit like a prison. Would not stay again. There are other, better, options. I was in a private, the dorms might be better.
      • 5 Vintage – 100% recommended. I stayed in the hotel side last time and this time I was in the hostel. All lovely privates but with a shared bathroom and common space. Comfortable, well decorated, well located. It’ll be my default now when passing through Sofia. And the internet on the hostel side is 1000% better than on the hotel side.
    • Hotel – 8
      • Hotel Savoy – Not really recommended but if you need a place to stop, it’s an option.
      • Sani Valley Lodge – Highly recommended for a little splurge. Amazing views and very chill.
      • Homestead BnB – Cheap, decent rooms very near Addo Elephant Nature Park
      • 84 on 4th – Lovely guest house in the Melville area of Joburg. Definitely recommended.
    • Apartment – 11
      • Most of the time was in an apartment in Bansko that I got through a FB group. No link.
      • East London, SA – Would 100% recommend.

Food & Entertainment – $590.16

  • Since I’m hopping around a lot, I’ve been eating out pretty much every meal. I need to be better about actually using the self catering facilities.

Miscellaneous & Tours/Activities – $184.18

  • This covers mostly expenses related to tours and that kind of thing. There is also some random cash for food and buses that I didn’t track under those categories because I’m lazy. The two biggest expenses were my trips to Addo Elephant Nature Park and the tour up the Sani Pass to Lesotho.

Monthly Total:  $2384.60
Daily Average: $79.49

Average monthly spend: $1139.16 ($139.16)**
Average daily spend: $37.55

* When I published my summary in 2015 I had more than one person accuse me of always Couch Surfing or always staying in 30+ person dorms in order to keep my costs low. So this year I’m tracking my lodging type as an extra data point.

** My average monthly spending target is $1k/mo. This number is the average for the months I’ve been working remotely since January 2018.  The amount in parentheses is the amount I’m over or under my goal.

At reader request, I’m adding a link to a google doc with all of the monthly data at a glance: