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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
1,724 days a wanderin'

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Expenses: Alaska

Oct 30, 2015
by John

In total we spent $6,073.80, $134.97 per day, during the 45 days we were in Alaska. We rightly expected to be well above the $60-$80 per day estimate considering the high cost of goods and the number of miles it would take to explore the largest US state. What we didn't expect was the failure of our front passenger hub. Replacing it and a leaking shock set us back $1,148.36. Removing those expenses reduces the daily average to just under $110.

 

We splurged on a glacier cruise which set us back $395.28, it was totally worth it. Leaving the state, we opted for the Alaska Marine Ferry from Haines to Juneau, Sitka, Wrangell, then Prince Rupert. The total cost of the ferry was $1,214.00 which includes a $73.00 room for the longest overnight stretch from Sitka to Wrangell. These costs are optional but well worth the experience in our opinion.

Our fuel expenditure was a staggering $773.29. The van averaged roughly 15.5 miles per gallon for the 3,300 miles of roads we traveled. Diesel averaged out to be $3.67 per gallon.

Once again, food was the budget buster at $1,703.26, $37.85 per day. We did eat out considerably during our unexpected stay in Anchorage awaiting the hub repair, perhaps a little stress eating since we were worried about our home on wheels. We also couldn't resist getting snacks at the movie theaters, cha-ching.

Our living expenses were really low since it's easy to free camp in Alaska. The majority of our campground cost was for the three days we stayed in Denali National Park. We did use really inexpensive campgrounds for a single night each on three other occasions. That means we spent 44 out of the 45 nights in the van, 38 of those free camping. We decided to leave the cost of the room we rented on the ferry under transportation and not move it to living expenses.

The one anomaly is the credit under gifts. We sold back the unused portion of a roll of 100 stamps to the postal service. The rate had changed so they traded us a new book of 20 forever stamps and cash for the difference. There was no way we would send that many postcards from the US anyway.

 

The pie chart and expenses table are programmatically added to this page. Meaning, if we update our expense information then those will automatically reflect the change possibly creating a disparity between the textual breakout and the actual expenditures. This information has been provided to assist others in planning a long-term trip so use accordingly, by all means contact us to ask any questions or to point out any errors so we can remediate them.


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