SXSW free parties

What we spent in month #1 USA + Peru

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Craig and I (Gemma) took an 18-month career break to travel the Americas and Europe. This budget guide is for our first month where we spent just under two weeks in New Orleans and Austin attending SXSW music festival. After the USA we flew to Lima in Peru to start our South America tour of Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. Each month we share our expenditure for accommodation, food, transport, tours and socialising to help you plan your long-term travel trips.

Countries Visited: Two
Flights: Five

How much does it cost to travel in USA and Peru?


Naturally, we need somewhere to live. We’ve had a mix of dorm slumming and private room glam in hostels. We even stayed in an airstream in Austin (which was actually free after a mix up in bookings).

Total: £530.59 / $778

Monthly Travel Round Up

Trips and excursions

Although this amount seems high you need to take in to consideration what the tour offers – you are most likely going to be staying over (like the Colca Canyon trip we did recently) so your accommodation is covered and meals are often provided too (like our lunch stop with Bike Tours of Lima). This total also includes the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, which has been our biggest splurge at £379 per person plus tips (more on that soon).

Total: £768.50 / $1126


This was the second largest spend of our total. We haven’t been great at eating in (we’ve only done it once in all honesty). The supermarket food in Peru’s cities have been like for like with the UK which was a surprise. America was cheaper at times. We have now moved to the ‘bohemian’ area of Cusco, San Blas and have found shop food much cheaper. *Update* we are now living with a home stay 15 minute walk from San Blas area and we bought two bread rolls and two bananas for 1 sole = 20 flippin’ pence!

Total: £585.72 / $859

Monthly Travel Round Up


Yes, we like to party but we have now reduced our partying to once a week after our holiday blow out in America.

Total: £257.00/ $377

Colca Canyon hike


We’ve not really used transport in Peru, the cities are great for walking around. Taxis to and from airports have probably been our biggest spend in this category. Peru Hop has saved us a lot of hassle getting around Peru too.

Total: £91.00 / $133

Peru Hop On Hop Off Bus | Peru

Luxuries / Toiletries

Toiletries are so expensive in Peru. You can’t buy second skin either so stack ‘em up off Ebay before you come to do some trekking. Luxuries include a new bag for me (25 soles) and some other things like winter accessories! Sorry Craig, nothing for you.

Total: £44.90 / $66

Total: £2,277.71 / $3,399.88


Can you trust a travel blogger? They get lots of free shizzle, right? Nothing is free dahl’ing but here is the low down on who we have worked with (honestly reviewed their service / product for a discounted rate or for free use) to keep Two Scots Abroad transparent:

  • RSVPster (SXSW service): $80 / £53.57 (2 x music passes)
  • Peru Hop: $400 (two passes) / £273.00
  • Bike Tours of Lima: $70 / £46.87 (2 x Bohemian ride)
  • Sandboarding Peru: Alejo offered us a day out for 40 soles / £8.85 each but we paid extra as we loved it! We paid 100 soles / £22 in total
  • Flying Dog Arequipa: Gemma’s stay for three nights 75 soles / £17
  • Kokopelli Hostels: Discounted rate for three nights 212 soles / £47
  • Alpaca Expeditions: Air mattresses; sleeping bags and walking sticks price waived $100 / £68


Craig, the numbers, is not including the America stint in our average daily budget as it was very much the ‘holiday’ part of the 18 month career break plus lots of our family; friends and colleagues gave us a ridiculous amount of dollars to play with which pretty much covered the week and a half (thanks to all!) Craig has taken away £1K and believes our realistic budget averages out at £45 per day (for both of us). Although we have about £2K worth of flights to purchase coming up which will make a dent in our month round up #2.

Gemma and Craig are full-time workers with a life-long travel habit. Flirting with 30 and let loose on the world! Gemma writes, Craig looks good in the photos.

Comments 2

  1. Hi Guys,

    Good stuff! Gemma and Craig, the way I see it, it makes sense to spend what helps you enjoy a trip. I love my stay here in Bali because we’re house sitting at a spacious, football-field sized villa for 6 months. This saves us some $50,000 or more, easy. Yet we do spend – not much hahaha, but we do – on good food, and little trips and all that stuff, because we want to enjoy our journey. I hear ya on those Peru supermarkets; loved ’em in Cusco and Lima.

    Tweeting from Bali.


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