In the end, our Summer 2013 trip to Belize and Guatemala was a success. As we anticipated, Belize was a relatively easy country to travel in: they speak English, prices are low and there is a good tourist infrastructure. We also enjoyed the ability to experience the Mayan ruins and the ocean adventures within such a short distance.
The Belizean dollar is pegged to the US dollar at an exact rate of 2 to 1, so it was pretty easy to calculate how much we spent. Guatemala was a little bit tougher – for purposes of estimation we are using the rate of 7 quetzales to 1 US dollar. The numbers below are rounded up to reflect the uncertainty.
- Lodging: $240
- Transportation: $390
- Food and Drink: $585
- Activities: $395
- Border Fees: $45
Our total for the 15 days was $1655, so our per-day average was $110. A little higher than we would have liked, but we learned some lessons about how to cut costs that could help in the future.
Some other observations from the budget:
- The transportation costs include plane flights. You may not think that’s possible, but it is! We used American Airlines miles for our flights. We got these miles by signing up for the American Airlines credit card and getting the nice sign up bonus. We will talk more about these strategies in later posts.
- Buying a bottle of rum in the store was definitely cheaper than getting drinks out at a bar. We will try to do this more often in the future. We also could have saved money by eating out at restaurants less and cooking for ourselves more.
- The most expensive activity was definitely the ATM cave tour. This was definitely worth it though!
Our cheapest days were the days in Caye Caulker where we did nothing but hang out by the beach. Goes to show you that sometimes it’s good to just do nothing for a day to recharge your spirits and your wallet.