instagram: @johnandmandifacebook: johnandmandiRss FeedContact Us

John and Mandi

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

HD Off

Expenses: Florida Visit

Jun 19, 2017
by John

Parking the van in Costa Rica and returning to Florida to visit friends and family was always part of our itinerary. While we didn't know when or for how long, the flexibility proved useful when our steering pump decided it had endured enough abuse and started to spew fluid again while we were exploring the Nicoya Peninsula. After receiving an absurd quote for a genuine Ford rebuilt pump, we knew it was the right time to park the van and fly to the States for 7 weeks since we needed a lot more than a few auto parts. The two years of living in the van, practically in the same clothes, wore the majority our shoes to the point of holes and we had several outstanding underperforming or broken items to replace. When we returned to Costa Rica our bank account was deficient $4,464.46 from the 48 days we spent stateside, an average of $93.01 per day.

We debated on reporting our expenses for our US side trip, ultimately deciding they were pertinent since the majority of the expenditures are directly related to our Pan-American journey. That being said, we did perform a little accounting mumbo jumbo to move some expenses between Costa Rica and our US visit. While the difference in what was swapped is negligible, we feel it was important to place all of the vehicle parts under Costa Rica in the event someone uses our information in planning their own budget and decides to omit the expenses of our US visit.


It dawned on us that relying solely on WiFi was probably not going to fulfill our US communication needs so my sister kindly let us add a temporary line to her plan. The 8GB per month we received, at blazing speeds, was worth the $79.27 it cost for the almost two months we used it. We paid for our Delorme twice, even though it was turned off and stored in the van. Barely breaking $2 per day for communication costs in a first world country seems to be a modern day miracle.

We're sure everyone expected our dining out expenditures to be astronomical but we managed to contain ourselves and friends & family picked up the bill half of the times we ate out. That being said, we just couldn't resist all the organic produce and grass fed meats we missed so much. At $32.36 per day, $1,553.14 in total, food accounted for 34.8% of our total expenses.

Our living expenses are a little deceiving since we stayed with family & friends the entire time we were in the States. We decided that the hotel we booked the two nights before we departed Costa Rica and the two nights after returning should be attributed to our US visit as it was necessary for storing and retrieving the van, so it is reported under lodging. Our medical expenditures include hard contact lens solution, more Ibuprofen and the like. The $425.30 equates to $8.86 per day.

The bulk of our expenses was for all of the replacement and additional gear we picked up along with a couple donations we reported under gifts. At $42.25 per day, $2,027.82 or 45.4% of total expenses, it is quite sizeable. We've already broken in our new shoes, boots, Omnia stove top oven, and pickle pipes. Our camera had its mirror cleaned and we replaced most of our phone/tablet cables and failing cases. The vast majority of these expenses were the direct result of the abuse two years on the road has on gear. Our new GoPro Hero 5 Session will hopefully improve our underwater photography and encourage us to make more time lapse videos.

The cost of our flights was lovingly covered by a dear family member, an amount that would have added almost $18 to our daily average. Our one giant checked bag of goodies cost $25 and we bought my sister a tank of gas for chauffeuring us around. All of the Mass Transit, Tolls & Parking, and Vehicle Insurance expenditures are from storing and retrieving our van. The total amount under Tolls & Parking, $195.74, was what we paid the parking facility for the 50 days the van was there. We decided to record the amount for our new insurance policy, necessary for getting the remaining days on our temporary import permit (TIP), under our US visit as it was only necessary since we left Costa Rica and wanted the maximum time allowed.


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.

Say what? (2)
Jun 19, 2017 at 01:47 PM
glad you made it in...........I saw Lee before we headed back to NC for the summer- and the heat relief is great!
Jun 22, 2017 at 03:33 PM
Thanks George! Glad you got to see mom. We love NC, have a great summer.
Leave a comment:

Notify me of follow-up comments and new posts by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.

© 2001 - 2023