Financing for the Drive to South America

So how much money did I spend on the trip (not including trip planning prior to)?  Well, it took a lot of money.  Here are a few numbers to help you budget your trip.  And yes, I financed college and this trip by myself.

I made the trip over 3 months (June 1, 2007 – August 15, 2007)

Necessary Expenses

$1874.01 (14143.4 miles, averaged ~ 22 miles per gallon. About $2.75 per gallon during Summer of 07).
Gas prices were fairly consistent throughout most countries. Ecuador was the cheapest for me. Venezuela obviously would have been cheapest but I never went. Prices are within 20% standard variation from the American gas prices. (if US gas is $4 a gallon, most Latin American countries would have gas between $3.20 and $4.80)

Shipping Car:
From Colon, Panama to Cartagena, Colombia – $1335
(I didn’t do this just for the hell of it.  There are no roads connecting Panama and Colombia)

$987.12 for 73 nights ($13.52 a night average)
*Please keep in mind that Hotel fees are a bit lower than what you’d expect because along the way I met some incredible people who took me in to stay with them for free.  Without those 11 free nights, the average would be $15.92)

Panama City to Cartagena, Colombia – $283
Ushuaia to Buenos Aires – $218.84
Buenos Aires to LAX – $791.25

Other expenses:
~$2000. (food, border crossing, gifts, tickets, etc.)


My Additional Expenses

New Camera:
Sony T100 – $514.44
(My Canon SD700 broke with its lens extracted in Honduras)

Car repairs:
Brake Master Cylinder – $302.40
4 Rear CV Boots – $80
New Brake Pads and Installation – $40
Turbo repair – $300 (Approximate)

Rental Car:
Finish the last 400 miles of the journey – $400


Next >> Packing List for the Drive to South America