An American Classic

An American Classic

January was a month in motion.  We left San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for Mexico City, flew to Cuba and traversed the island, and then finally returned to Mexico City.

A lack of internet this month caused a surge in book consumption, as well as extensive self-reflection.  Life without the internet is certainly different.

With all of the travel and a series of expensive meals in Havana, despite several nights of free lodging in San Miguel and Mexico City, January comes in above average for total cost

All of the details of our expenses are shared below in various formats and depth. Questions? Please use the comments section to add to the conversation

January 2014 Monthly Expenses

  • Housing – We had free housing in Mexico this month, staying with friends in San Miguel and Mexico City.  While in Mexico City we even had a place to ourselves and a little dog to take care of us. Throughout Cuba we stayed in private rooms in homes, the so-called casa particular.  This was a great way to talk with people and learn about local life, and almost all of our adventures were planned with the help of our hosts.  Across the board rooms were 25 CUC per night (With exchange fees of upwards of 10%, this comes to about $27.50/night)
  • Healthcare – Self insuring pays off again this month, with total healthcare costs of $0
  • Transportation – Total transportation costs were $1053. Roundtrip flights to Cuba were $314/person. We took several long distance intercity buses in Cuba for a total of $249, and hired a car to drive us to Santa Clara and back for $77. Taxis to/from the airport were an additional $55. Our bus from SMA to Mexico City was $67
  • Groceries – Nearly all of our meals were prepared by someone else. Total spending on ingredients for home use was a low $34
  • Dining Out – We ate out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner most days, with a total bill of $1394. Twice we treated our host friends in Mexico for big meals out, with a total price tag of $244.  Dining in Cuba was not inexpensive, with average food cost per day of ~$43.  Our cheapest meal in Cuba was less than $1, eating some questionable substance pizza on the street.  Our most expensive meal was $48 at La Guarida, the restaurant featured in the movie Fresa y Chocolate.
  • Alcohol – Our drinking budget was a whopping $145 in January. Oddly only $100 of this happened in Cuba, where Rum was cheap
  • Entertainment – We spent $168 on entertainment.  Winnie continued jewelry class during our last few days in San Miguel.  In Havana we went to the art and rum museums.  Other adventures included a tour to Valle de los Ingenios and some horseback riding.  In Mexico City we went to the Soumaya Museum, the collection of the world’s wealthiest man, Carlos Slim.  The price was right at $0, and is worth every penny
  • Misc – Random spending was a total of $239, most of which was spent on taxes and fees related to travel.  A haircut and some laundry also added to misc expenses
DetailsJanuary 2014Notes
LocationMexico, CubaSan Miguel de Allende, Mexico City, Cuba
Housing$606Free housing in Mexico
Cuba: ~$27.50/day
Healthcare$0We are self-insured
Transportation$1053RT Airfare to Cuba: $656
Bus from SMA to Mexico City: $67
Taxi from Airport to Havana: 25 CUC ($27.50)
Bus to Trinidad: $57
Bus to Viñales: $81.50
Car hire to Santa Clara: $77
Taxi from Viñales to Havana: $33
Taxi from Havana to Airport: $27.50
Dining Out$1394Thank you dinners: $244
Cuba: $946 ($43/day)
Alcohol$145Cuba: $101
Entertainment$168Jewelry class: $46
Art Museum (Havana): $11
Rum Museum (Havana): $15.50
Train to Valle de los Ingenios: $22
Horseback riding (2 hours): $22
Misc$239Mexico exit tax: $47
Cuba tourist card: $54
Cuba airport tax: $55

In February we fly to Taiwan, with plans to stay in Taipei for a few months.  We plan to do a bit of hiking and biking, visit friends and family, and I will attempt to make improvements in my Mandarin skills.  After that?  Who knows

Our flight to Taiwan, like our flight to Mexico, is free.  Those credit card bonus miles are fantastic.

Find this information useful? Check out previous travel expenses as well.  And why not share with your friends or add us on Facebook or Twitter?

Soumaya Museum, Mexico City

Soumaya Museum, Mexico City

Retire Early.
Travel the World.

Retire Early.

Travel the World.

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