I remember reading on almost every long-term travel advice article that you should always budget in fortnightly or monthly treats. It had sounded like a good idea but I also thought that I didn’t need really need it. I would be fine with travelling on a budget, not a tight cant-afford-to-go-over-by-a-pound budget, but nevertheless a budget. I could survive in cheaper hostels and buying all my own food and cooking as I go and making our money go further.
However, I have noticed that as time has gone on I have relaxed our budgets per country slightly. I have not yet gone over my estimates, but I am finding myself getting closer and closer to the limits with each country. At first glance I simply thought that South America was just more expensive than Central America, and to some degree that is the case. After all the travelling distances are further and that costs more.
Yet on closer inspection I have found that my daily expenditure is slightly higher. Thinking more about it I have realised that in the last couple of months I have tended to opt more for en-suite rooms instead of being content with shared bathrooms. I have opted for the slightly nicer hostels, and at times even a hotel. This month alone I have noticed that we have even eaten out more, rather than cooking to save money. I even found myself splashing out on an expensive meal!
In perspective when I say eating out, I don’t mean spending a fortune but rather making the most of the delicious vegetarian set meals that Peru has had to offer. And at only £2 -3 per meal it hardly sounds like I’m blowing the budget, yet these things do add up.
So why has this started to happen? Why I am no longer content with the basics?
Well, as I lie on a nice orthopaedic mattress and my first non-lumpy pillow in months, I have to admit that I enjoy some creature comforts, and that maybe if you’re travelling long-term you just have to allow yourself some basic comforts to sustain yourself.
So whereas I may not be up to splashing out on a regular basis for treats, I think I may just have to come to terms to relaxing my ideals on the expenses and allow a slightly higher level of comfort during our future travels. After 7 months I feel I deserve a comfy mattress, a fluffy pillow and a few more meals out, after all it shouldn’t all be hard work, should it?