Before we left we put together a cash budget for each of the four sections of our trip. We carried cash with us this time as credit cards are not widely accepted in Myanmar and we did not want to spend time in Bangkok and Narita changing money. The Maldives accepted either credit cards or US cash, we chose to pay in US cash to avoid credit card charges.
Here is a basic breakdown of what we budgeted for cash and the totals we spent:
- Lunch ($20), supper ($30) and snacks ($5) = $690
- Tips = $182
- Shopping Money = $200
- Departure Tax = $ 20
- TOTAL BUDGET = $1,092 rounded to $1,200
- Total Spent = $ 401
We over estimated the cost of food. We were eating lunch/supper for about $10 for the two of us. Our shopping cost quite abit less than the $200 budgeted. There was no departure tax.
- Drinks = $100
- Tips = $300
- WIFI and Shopping = $ 70
- Fuel Surcharge = $140
- TOTAL BUDGET = $610
- Total Spent = $391
The website had indicated that there might be a fuel surcharge depending on the price of oil so we budgeted for it. We did not pay the surcharge. The combined cost of drinks, WIFI and shopping was $91 not the budgeted $170. Tips were exactly $300. We did not spend $291 of the budget.
- Breakfast (20), lunch ($20), supper ($30) and snacks ($10) = $ 425
- Transport = $ 100
- Shopping Money = $ 100
- Entrance Fees = $ 80
- TOTAL BUDGET = $ 705
- Total Spent = $ 419
Generally we spent less on meals than we estimated. Some lunches and suppers were had for $10. Trains, taxis, tuk tuks and buses cost much less than than $100 total. We hardly shopped in Bangkok and paid only a few entrance type fees. Again, we overbudgeted.
- Food and Transport = $100
- TOTAL BUDGET = $100
- Total Spent = $ 44
We had taken a wild stab at the amount of Yen we should take with us and obviously over estimated. I think it is sometimes better to do that than run out of cash. Although, in Japan, credit cards are widely accepted. Credit card charges are sometimes what makes using them a disadvantage, that is why we sometimes carry cash, although there is a risk with that too.
Combined Cash Budget
- Myanmar = $1,200
- Maldives = $ 610
- Bangkok = $ 705
- Narita = $ 100
- SUBTOTAL BUDGET = $ 2,615
- Add 10% = $ 261
- TOTAL BUDGET (rounded) = $ 2,900
- Total Spent = $ 1,255
Trip Expenses Paid with Credit Card
We paid for the Bangkok hotel with a credit card for $233. We also incurred $147 for various luggage storage, train tickets, airport food in both directions and taxi home. We incurred $860 for flight changes when we missed our Bangkok to Tokyo flight. These total $1,240.
Note: This discussion is only the budget and costs expended during the trip. The flights, tour and live aboard dive boat costs were paid for in advance and are not included in the above.