Now that we’re in Korea, it’s time for me to look at how our spending went during the first leg of our trip in Taiwan. We spent 30 days in Taiwan through most of March, and our final travel spending total is…
Here’s how the spending breaks down:
- Accommodations: $1,525.19
- Food: $825.42
- Transportation: $547.42
- Activities: $58.50
- Souvenirs: $0
This works out to around $100/day for 2 people travelling around Taiwan, which I think is very reasonable. Looking at the totals though, some things jumped out at me. We spent more on transportation than I expected (not sure why I thought the trains would be cheaper), and less on activities. Not too much surprise with food and accommodations.
I would put our spending on accommodations in the lower mid-range in terms of travel budgets for Taiwan. We had the benefit of family members providing accommodations, as well as splitting costs between 4 adults while Kim, Noel, and Nate were in Taiwan with us. The accommodations we booked ranged from lower end hotels to fancy beach resorts. At the end of the day, the main comparison Kait and I wanted to make with our accommodation spending during our travels was whether or not we spent more on our accommodations than we would have spent on rent back home in Vancouver. With that in mind, I consider our accommodation spending in Taiwan a success.
Food can be very inexpensive in Taiwan, particularly eating out. But at the same time, as with lots of things, you can spend as much as you want to. Unlike at home, we intended to eat out for most of our meals while in Taiwan. We had a kitchen in a lot of our accommodations, but the kitchens were only used for cutting fruit and prepping meals for Nate. If you’re not comfortable eating street food or sitting at a table with other diners, our food spending is probably on the low end of the spectrum. Otherwise, our budget is probably a pretty good estimate for dining in Taiwan… around $15/day/person.
This category really encompasses two different things, intercity and intracity transportation. We spent $478.28 travelling between cities and $69.14 moving around within cities. For a trip that involved doing a loop around Taiwan and another round trip between Taipei and Kenting, I would say this is on the low end of the spending spectrum. As mentioned in Taxis vs Transit vs Walking, our preferred modes of transportation naturally lends itself to minimizing spending. Between cities, we took trains and used regular rail instead of high speed rail down the west coast when we did our loop. This kept our intercity travel low. If you expect to take more taxis, you’ll probably spend more for intracity travel (and if you plan to make use of the great bike shares available in Taiwan, you’ll probably spend less).
This was the biggest surprise for me. We really didn’t spend as much on activities as I thought we would. Even more surprising, the spending here was dominated by 2 things: The National Palace Museum (overpriced now thanks to a large influx of mainland Chinese tourists?) and watching Batman v Superman (not even including the pop and popcorn). Those two made up over 70% of our “activity” spending. Although looking at the total surprised me at first, it really shouldn’t have. My favourite thing to do when I travel is to walk around and look at things that are out and about…. and that’s free!
So, we basically spent nothing on souvenirs. We’ve bought gifts (which I haven’t included in this total) and we’ve spent money on a few other things that are more related to life than travel, so I probably won’t include those in these summaries. When it comes to souvenirs though, I imagine Kait and I will eventually get something from our travels, but we’re packing pretty light, so we have to be picky. I like to collect coins and banknotes, so I’m sure somewhere along the line, I’ll set aside some nice coins and crisp banknotes to save. When I do, I’ll consider the money spent on souvenirs.
So that’s our spending in Taiwan. I expect our spending rate to increase in Korea, and increase again in Japan. After that will be Australia (and New Zealand?) where I expect our spending to peak, before we finish things off in South East Asia where I can (hopefully) blissfully enjoy how inexpensive everything is.