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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
7 yrs and 6 days - end of the road

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Expenses: Belize Revisited

Oct 3, 2016
by John

During our second foray to Belize, precipitated by the need for four new tires, we managed to spend $2,777.65, $102.88 per day, over 27 days. Ironically, these numbers are eerily close to our previous visit, being inflated this time due to the purchase of said tires which cost about $1,000. Removing that expense would reduce our overall total to $1,775.15, or $65.84 per day. It could be argued that our overall expenditures are lower because of the free accommodation at a house sit, but we would have alternatively free camped at Rio on Pools (one of our favorite places of the trip to date).

For those of you paying way too much attention... nope, we haven't forgotten about the two and a half months we spent in Guatemala between our visits to Belize, we decided to record all of our expenditures for Guatemala in one expense report. We considered updating our existing Belize expense report but feel our back track and tire purchase warrants its own entry as it is an anomaly. In the case of Guatemala, we needed to extend our visa anyway and have subsequently decided to spend more time at Lake Atitlan, making one full report the logical choice. All amounts are reported in US dollars for ease of understanding.


There is nothing special about our border fees, $59.00 in total. Just a slight difference in the fumigation cost, $1 cheaper, between the Mexican and Guatemalan borders, and the exit fee increased to an even $20.00 per person. We aren't fans of exit fees, what choice do we really have.

Since being terminated by T-Mobile, our communication costs have gone down significantly. We capitalized on already having a BTL SIM, from the first time we were in Belize, so adding 1GB of data was only $15. We haven't been using our DeLorme so we might cut the service back to save some money. While it doesn't amount to much, it alone accounts for almost $2 every day.

During our second tour of the country we only paid one entrance fee, $10, for Rio Blanco. The water level was high, making a nearby free waterfall the more ideal attraction, but we are glad we contributed just a little to the local Mayan community that manages both sites. We experienced so much during our first visit through the country, this amount comes as no surprise.

Food was our largest indulgence at $908.18, or $33.64 per day. Our dining out total is slightly skewed from the 6 nights we spent at Mariposa Beach Suites in Placencia. They allow overlanders to camp in the parking lot for free as long as they patron the restaurant. Patron we did, for a total of $342.50, 62% of our total dining out expenditures, worth every single penny. We also visited our favorite restaurants in San Ignacio, and drove back to Ixcacao to buy $60 worth of the world's best chocolate.

Our living expenses came in extremely low since we technically stayed for free at Placencia and got a house sit for 16 nights, even though we slept in the van because of less than desirable conditions. Our Trusted HouseSitters membership renewal fee happened to be due at the beginning of the month and is reported as the $95.20 under lodging. We payed to camp 5 nights for exactly $10 per night.

The amounts under miscellaneous are for a pair of safety vests, just in case we need some further south, and the shipment of a package. While visiting Punta Gorda, my ATM card was compromised even though we only used it inside a bank. We had a new one sent to my sister and she shipped it to us by USPS Priority Express, stuffing some homemade cookies in the box too. The cost was right around $72 but we gave her a little extra for going through the trouble for us. It all arrived safely in a week, Javier at Mana Kai let us use his address for delivery but we still had to pick it up from the post office.

It's no surprise that our total transportation expenditures account for 53.8% of our total expenses, $1,494.43 or $55.35 per day. Along with four new tires, we had the van serviced and picked up a set of brake pads to add to our spare parts bin. We did end up filling the van up with diesel twice while back in Belize, we opted against filling up in Guatemala just in case our fuel tank needed to be dropped if any major problems were found during our mechanical inspection. We were also considering having the fuel tank scrubbed but opted to do that further south, another reason we crossed the border low on fuel. This time we only drove 505 miles averaging 14.8 miles per gallon.


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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Say what? (2)
Douglas Packer
Oct 3, 2016 at 03:22 PM
Your reports and pictures are allways interesting. Thanks for sharing.

I'm Sheriffdoug on Sportsmobile Forum.

I think I've seen you post in Sportsmobile Owners on Facebook to occaisionally too!

My Yellow SMB is nearly finished it's right hand drive conversion in New Zealand, 2 -3 weeks.
Will be the only right hand drive in the world.
Oct 3, 2016 at 04:24 PM
Thanks Doug!

Congrats on the conversion, that is super cool.
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