Financial Friday 14

Week 14 has come and gone, and so has the month of April. Here we go…


On Monday, I went from Marmaris to Muğla: $3.04. And Muğla to Bodrum: $5.71. The route covered 186 kilometers (115.5 miles). The buses were tiny (think large van), and picked people up even if they were standing on the side of the road. This was also their drop off policy; if you wanted to get off at any point, just let the driver know to stop. The driver on one of the routes even stopped to let someone puke real fast, and jump back on the bus! That has to have been the most considerate thing I’ve seen from a public transportation service. I can’t say it was the best bus experience I’ve ever had, but for that price, I’m not complaining.

On Thursday, I went from Bodrum to Söke: $5.14. And Söke to Kuşadası: $1.49. The second bus was like the others, but the first one was nice. There were comfortable seats, LCD screens on the seat backs, power outlets (both European and USB), and they even gave out free snacks and drinks! I chose a bread thing with a cheesy surprise inside over the energy bars, and I had my own water so I didn’t take the water or tea they were offering. Hell considering it was only a little over $5, I’m tempted to take that route going back the other way…just kidding, but it was a very pleasant journey.


Friday to Sunday was at the Maltepe Pansiyon which is by far the best deal I’ve gotten on a hostel. I wrote a little about it in the previous blog post. If you’re ever in Marmaris, I highly recommend it.

Monday to Wednesday was at Bodrum Backpackers. It was a good deal price wise, but I don’t recommend it. There was no official staff, and the place was falling apart. The rooftop ‘bar’ (which was not open) had an excellent view though. I enjoyed chilling out there in the shade watching the world pass by while ‘working’ on my laptop. Or at least, as close to working as I get these days.

Thursday, I arrived at a BnB. It’s a bit more expensive than the other places, but there’s free breakfast. And it’s still far cheaper than my accommodation in Greece so…winning.


Food usually involved going out once a day, and buying some fruit to hold me over for brunch. There are also bread circles with sesame seeds they’ll sell for roughly $0.30 a piece. Once I even got 2 scoops of ice cream (good ice cream) for $1.50. Money goes a lot further here to say the least.


So, I jacked up my travel insurance royally. I figured I could just go in and add countries as I went. This assumption was incorrect. So I went in and bought a second policy for the world (since I don’t know where I’m going to be a year from now). Both policies come out to $8.64 per day, and I’m stuck with both policies for another 9 months. It seems they won’t cancel active policies. So in summary, I’m an idiot. Hopefully, others can learn from this and ensure they either purchase a world-wide policy or list every country they’re going to for the duration of the policy.

On Saturday, I went to Marmaris Castle and Archeological Museum: $1.99. It was OK for two bucks. I think I’m becoming a snob though. 5000 year old relics just don’t impress me as much as they did a couple months ago. Sorry history.


Week 14
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 0 0 8.75 0 0 6.63 15.38
Lodging 9.98 9.98 9.98 9.62 9.62 9.62 13.29 72.09
Food 7.69 10.52 0 6.76 6.81 6.76 12.17 50.71
Other 8.64 10.63 8.64 8.64 8.64 8.64 8.64 62.47
Total 26.31 31.13 18.62 33.77 25.07 25.02 40.73 200.65

So cheapest week yet thanks to Turkey being an extremely affordable place. I estimate it’s at least half the price of Greece (which was already a lot cheaper than western Europe). And for April:

Apr 18
Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Total
Travel 30.96 33.5 82.31 249.74 8.75 405.26
Lodging 65.5 131.45 137.34 104.74 39.56 478.59
Food 42.65 76.17 129.45 65.82 24.97 339.06
Other 19.68 57.5 26.43 89.01 36.55 229.17
Total 158.79 298.62 375.53 509.31 109.83 1452.08

Even after The Ferry Fiasco, I managed to stay under $1,500 so win! Until next Friday….

Financial Friday 13

Week 13 on the road. This one includes the Ferry Fiasco (see my previous post if you want to see how that went down), and changing countries so there are a few more expenses than normal. Let’s go.


On Friday, I took a bus from Χάνια (Chania/Hania) to Ηράκλειο (Heraklion): $18.72. And I took a local bus in Heraklion to get to my hostel/hotel: $3.09.

On Saturday, I missed the ferry to Ρόδος (Rhodes): $35.52. And took a ferry to Αθήνα (Athens): $56.79. Oh, and I took a bus from the hostel in Heraklion to the port: $2.10.

On Sunday, I took a ferry from Athens to Rhodes.

On Monday, I took a ‘local’ bus from the port in Rhodes to Ιαλυσός (Ialysos, where the hostel was).

On Thursday, I took a bus from the hostel to Rhodes city: $2.84. And took a ferry to Marmaris, Turkey: $49.56.


On Friday, I stayed at a hostel in Heraklion.

On Saturday, I missed my hostel in Rhodes so I was just out the deposit. I also spent the evening trying to sleep on a ferry which is no easy task.

Sunday through Wednesday, I stayed at a hostel in Ialysos. Wednesday’s was slightly cheaper as I extended and payed in cash. Online bookings are great, but they’re slightly more expensive than just walking up to a place and handing them some paper.

Thursday was my first night in Turkey. I’m not sure of the exact price as I haven’t officially payed yet, but it’s something like $10 per night.


Saturday and Sunday were spent trying to find cheap food on ferries (hint: it doesn’t exist).

On Monday, I went grocery shopping so that reduced by food bill quite significantly on the following days.

The rest was random eating out. Nothing too exciting.


Travel insurance: $3.07 per day.

On Saturday, I bought an e-book. The first in ‘the expanse’ series. I figure if it’s good enough for a Sci-Fi series, it’s good enough to buy and read. Plus, it came in useful on those long ferry rides.

On Tuesday, I did laundry…exciting, right?

On Thursday, I bought some data from GigSky since the European plan doesn’t work in Turkey: $25.00.

I also put the cost of my Turkish visa on Thursday: $20.55. I also noticed that Canadians get charged twice as much as most other countries for their Turkish visas. I don’t know what they did to piss off Turkey, but it’s enough to make me feel sorry for them.

Quick travel hack: if a country offers an e-visa, use it! The charge to buy a visa at the port was €25 ($30.89). So I saved over $10.


Week 13
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 21.81 94.41 78.4 2.72 0 0 52.4 249.74
Lodging 18.21 5.58 17.89 17.89 17.89 17.3 10 104.76
Food 11.11 11.11 13.46 17.15 3.83 0.62 8.54 65.82
Other 3.07 13.76 3.07 3.07 6.78 3.07 50.62 83.44
Total 54.2 124.86 112.82 40.83 28.5 20.99 121.56 503.76

So yeah, expensive. But, I’m in Turkey now so next week’s should be a lot cheaper. See you next week for another edition of Financial Friday. I think I’m the only one excited for it….

Financial Friday 12

Week 12 has come and gone, and all I have to say is ‘ouch’! To explain why….


On Friday, I took the night ferry from Αθήνα (Athens) to Χάνια (Chania if you believe Google; Hania according to me). There were a lot of options, but I settled for the ‘airplane’ style seats. I figured it was a good compromise between the cabins and the deck seats. I got some sleep so I guess I was right. I think next time, I’ll look for a cheap flight though.

On Saturday morning, I bought a bus ticket from the new harbor to town. It’s more than I’m used to spending on bus tickets, but there’s no way I’d have had fun trying to walk so….

On Monday, I hitched a ride with someone staying at the hostel that rented a car. We ended up in Ρέρυμνο (Rethimno), and had a great time. The expense is for gas money.

On Wednesday, I rented a bicycle. I’d forgotten how fun bikes are to ride, and it made the trip to the beach far more enjoyable.


Friday was free! Taking that overnight ferry had at least one benefit.

The rest of the week was spent at a hostel in Hania. It’s a bit more than I’m used to spending, but that seems to be the story for this whole island.


This is a disaster. Most of the week was spent with vacationers that wanted to go out for every meal. This is not the place to do that (at least for long-term travelers). The vacationers all went home toward the end of the week which made my wallet happy, but made my social side a little sad…which is odd because I didn’t know I had a social side.

On Thursday, I finally used the groceries I’d bought earlier in the week. Normally, I space the groceries out, but I’d eaten almost none of them so I pigged out trying to finish them all off before my bus today. Traveling with groceries doesn’t work for my tiny backpack.


Travel insurance: $3.07 per day.

On Monday, one of the guys that was with us payed for our Go Karts! It was crazy fun, and I probably wouldn’t have done it otherwise because…budgets. You know, that thing that I’ve completely killed this week.

On Tuesday, I went to the local archeological museum: $4.94. It was ok, but I’ve been in Greece for 2 1/2 months now so it seemed a bit much for more 5000 year old artifacts. And now I sound like a total snob. I wonder if that’s how Greeks sound.


Week 12
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 55.49 2.1 0 12.36 0 12.36 0 82.31
Lodging 0 22.89 22.89 22.89 22.89 22.89 22.89 137.34
Food 16.57 15.71 24.47 27.78 24.15 20.77 0 129.45
Other 3.07 3.07 3.07 3.07 8.01 3.07 3.07 26.43
Total 75.13 43.77 50.43 66.1 55.05 59.09 25.96 375.53

So yeah, it’s not Iceland bad, but it’s certainly not good. Hopefully, next week will be better. We’ll see….

Financial Friday 11

Week 11 on the road.


On Friday, I went to Πάτρα (Patras), and came back on Monday. I saved a couple euro because I could book it round trip. It was a pretty good trip. You can read the post on it if you’re interested.


Friday to Sunday were at an AirBnB in Patras. It was a really good rate considering I had the place to myself plus access to a pretty sweet roof…and the hosts were amazing too.

Monday to Thursday was at a hostel in Αθήνα (Athens). The rate varied by day, but I was too lazy to calculate that and just divided the total by the number of nights.


On Friday, I made a grocery run, because I wasn’t sure how getting food during Easter would work: $15.13. I’m glad I did too, because it lowered the rest of my food bill for Patras. I was also able to make some of the best tea I’ve had since…I can’t remember. Fruity tea with a side of cinnamon swirly crackers/cookies…so good!

Monday to Wednesday were a little higher than normal due to going out to eat with friends at least once a day. Though I did manage to keep it pretty low even for going out.

Thursday was ridiculous due to drinking at karaoke night. Not that I need alcohol to sing in front of a bunch of strangers, but it certainly helps.


Travel insurance: $3.07 per day.

On Monday, I did laundry. The laundromat is expensive.

On Wednesday, I went to the Museum of Cycladic Art, and saw a bunch of stone figures. Museums in Athens are considerably more expensive than the ones in Θεσσαλονίκη (Thessaloniki)…or anywhere else in Greece that I’ve been when I think about it.

On Thursday, I bought more data for my phone. As awesome as GigSky is, it is mildly annoying that their plans only last for 15 days at most. I didn’t really need more data yet; I needed to stretch my time out to ensure coverage for my remaining time in Greece.


Week 11
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 16.75 0 0 16.75 0 0 0 33.5
Lodging 20.67 20.67 20.67 17.36 17.36 17.36 17.36 131.45
Food 20.69 2.47 2.47 12.98 10.61 9.89 17.06 76.17
Other 3.07 3.07 3.07 9.25 3.07 17.9 18.07 57.5
Total 61.18 26.21 26.21 56.34 31.04 45.15 52.49 298.62

So, not great, but not terrible either. Considering I changed cities, it was actually decent. Remember, fast travel is almost always more expensive than slow travel.

Until next week….

Financial Friday 10

Week 10 of travel has come and gone. Let’s break down some expenses.


On Tuesday/Wednesday, I took the night train from Θεσσαλονίκη (Thessaloniki) to Αθήνα (Athens): $30.96. It was a very crowded six hour ride. To make things worse, a family of 4 decided to only buy 2 tickets, and felt the need to put their two little kids in my seat. So every time someone new would get on to claim whatever seat I found open, the guy would point me to any open seat he could find. I ended up spending a good portion of the trip changing seats, because this asshole thought it would be a great idea to just take a seat he didn’t pay for. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep. I think I would have actually been better off if I’d bought a day train even though those cost almost twice as much.


Little Big House in Thessaloniki Friday to Monday. I can’t say enough good things about that place. See my Thessaloniki review post for details.

Zero on Tuesday, because of the aforementioned night train. I’m still trying to decide if it was worth it.

Wednesday and Thursday were at a really cheap hostel in Athens. Did I save a bunch of money? Yes. But there’s definitely something to be said for finding a slightly more expensive place in a good location. Always check where a hostel’s located before booking. It’s totally worth the extra time.


I went out to eat with some friends I made at the hostel on Friday and Sunday. There we go with friends costing me money again (just kidding, they’re pretty cool).

On Wednesday, I went out drinking. This alcohol thing isn’t good for the budget. I should really stop that.


Travel insurance: $3.07 per day.

On Saturday, I purchased a mobile data plan from GigSky: $20 for 1G. I haven’t used them for long, but so far, I would 100% recommend them if you’re based in the US. It’s so much easier to purchase a data plan online for whatever region of the world you’re in than going through the process of buying a local SIM. It’s probably a little more expensive this way, but the saved time and effort is totally worth it.

I did laundry on Monday: $4.33. That’s also the day the water came back. I’ve never appreciated running water as much as I did then.


Week 10 1st
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 0 0 0 30.96 0 0 30.96
Lodging 19.31 19.31 21.81 21.81 0 10.94 10.94 104.12
Food 21.27 1.48 13.6 5.81 3.71 14.09 5.44 65.4
Other 3.07 23.07 3.07 7.4 3.07 3.07 3.07 45.82
Total 43.65 43.86 38.48 35.02 37.74 28.1 19.45 246.3

So that looks decent. The month of March was also wrapped up this week so let’s take a look at that.

Mar 18
Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Total
Travel 0 0 0 17.62 0 0 17.62
Lodging 19.22 132.94 133.3 154.33 142.1 38.62 620.51
Food 7.32 39.87 56.75 101.97 56.47 22.75 285.13
Other 5.55 82.99 50.2 30.17 85.2 26.14 280.25
Total 32.09 255.8 240.25 304.09 283.77 87.51 1203.51

This is fantastic, and almost makes up for the month of February. If I can keep every month’s spending at about this level, I’ll be pretty happy.

See you all next week for another financial break-down.