Africa Travel Budget

Africa Travel Budget
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 8, 2007

I live on a backpackers budget, I fortunately earn enough from the website to live on a tourist budget when needed.

These phrases or terms mean little because what a person needs to live on is their personal budget.

There are four major parts to a budget.
1. Rooms
2. Transportation
3. Daily cost of food, taxis, beer, internet and purchases of supplies.
4. Souvenirs which does not apply to me, I cannot buy souvenirs because I do not go home for 10-20 months sometimes. I am a traveler, not a tourist.

I can live in these regions easily for these amounts always staying in the backpacker type of accommodations, Living in a dorm bed only in Europe where the cost or outrageously expensive, all other location a private room. In Thailand I can live in a four star room compared to the rest of the world.

1. Southeast Asia - 10 Dollars per day.
2. Mexico - 15 Dollars per day.
3. South America - 10 Dollars per day.
4. Brazil - 15 Dollars per day
5. USA and Canada - 50 Dollars per day.
6. Caribbean - 75 Dollars per day
7. Europe - 50-75 Dollars per day
8. Middle East - I am guessing at about 20 Dollars per day.
9. West Africa - 20 Dollars per day.
10. India for 5-10 Dollars per day.

A person who wishes to use their credit card should add 20 dollars per day to the cost.

A person who drinks beer should add 10-20 dollars per day to their cost.

Now, a person may get extremely anal about these budgets, most will plan a budget, then add double to the cost of travel by using their credit area and really not having any restraint or budget. My guess is 95 percent of travelers have a budget like one of these.

When I run out of money I go home.
I spend my parents money until I go home.
I put all the extra cost on the credit card and no restraint.
I live in a resort, then add the extra cost to a credit card.

99 percent of traveler do not go home early, because they somehow use credit from parents or bank to travel until they are finished. Tourist know when they are going home.

They have said to someone, I am traveling for this long and I will go to these countries. They return when they accomplish this or after a big love affair and abort all their plans. An around the world ticket is a budget for a small maybe 2 percent crowd.

After all these considerations, obsessions, the reality of a budget is something of a joke. If I only have 5 dollars, I can only spend 5 dollars. If I have 10 dollars I can only spend 10 dollars. If I have unlimited line of credit I can spend an unlimited line of credit.

People are for the most part unrestrained gluttons and must work for someone 8 hours per day for 5 days per week because otherwise they would spend the whole day, of every day spending money. They go shopping on the weekends and spend money or shop till they drop.

I think this is the reason people get fat, they just eat what they want. Then according to the continent and the genetics they get as fat as the genetics dictates and in accordance with the required walking. Europe requires a lot of walking, therefore some persons are thin. The USA requires zero walking so people become Fat. Asians are genetically thin by nature, takes work to get fat. Africans seem to be genetically fat, and get fat unless they have small amounts of money. I do not think they need to walk a lot. I am not sure Europeans can afford to eat.

But this is the how to stay thin, by not having a lot of money, then it become easy to stay thin and not get fat.

The same is true for a travel budget, however this can apply in the home country also. If you do not have money, then you do not spend it. In the USA, I would go to the bank and get 100 US dollars in ones. I would put ten of them in my pocket, and live on the 10 per day. If I would put a 20 in my pocket, I would spend the 20.

How do I budget, truthfully I do not have a problem with budgeting money. I have a severe ability to say no to spending, maybe I am cheap, no I am not cheap, I am massively logical and common sense orientated, and nobody can induce me to spend money when I do not wish to spend money. I make the choice completely, I do not bend to pressure from peers, friends and even the woman trying to convince me it is good for me to spend money on her.

Last year my guesstimate of daily budget was more than I wished, I did not save money. The simple solution is to slow down on airplane flights and pay attention to daily cost. I really do not need to budget or pay much attention, because I by nature live within a budget or limit. I am not gluttonous with money.

I am gluttonous, genetically guaranteed, and a binge eater, I can gain weight at a drop of coin. This is where I budget daily, when with other person they are enablers and complicate the issue.

Africa is easy to not eat, the cost of food is 2 time more than the USA and about the same as Europe. I do not like to eat the local foods, therefore I am sunk, I cannot gain weight here in Africa because my natural budgeting personality refuses to buy western foods that are extremely bad values. I have lived in the Galien Hotel two times here in Lome, Togo and never once eaten a dinner there. The Peace Corps sort of reserve a table for 8-10 in the corner every night and eat and drink their meals there every night. The place is full of old French smokers and drinkers and NGO or ONG paid to work project persons. I guess really there is no volunteers in Togo as they are all paid including the Peace Corps persons.

The longer I stay in a specific location, the more I find cheap local foods that I like, and the more I start to eat. I have a problem with the Fanyogo frozen Yogurt here, and can eat 5 per day at 100 CFA or 20 Cents per pop US. I want to cut weight, I have taken them off list of foods for scavenging until I am down to weight.

The bottom line on dieting is I do not put food in my mouth.
The bottom line on a travel budget is I do put money in my pocket.

I take 10,000 CFA out daily, that is my simple budget.

This is 10,000 CFA, the currency and money of many West African Countries, including Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Niger, and Burkina Faso and I am not sure what others. I have no idea why Ghana wishes to use their money, surrounded by intelligence.

I keep all my money locked up in the bag during the day, sometimes I lock up the bag and put the money in a different location…. Hehehe
- Hiding in plain sight -

However, the way I budget is this, I removed daily the money I see as fit to spend daily. I then go and pay for my Hotel room, I have the remainder to live on in this day. To check my budget, I count the money my pocket. A budget is about one day, not a whole trip, the summation of all the days is the whole budget.

I go to the bank and extract money from my ATM debit card when I am down to about 100 USA in CFA money. I also carry about 300 to 1000 USA in 100 Dollar bills, and maybe 100 to 300 Euros and other assorted could not dump currencies. In Africa I am carrying 1000 US Dollars and I am glad nobody knows this, I tell no one.

One big budget cost is to go with an African person to any restaurant or bar, they will order anything they wish and expect I pay for the whole group. If they come over and sit with me, they will also expect this, if I am walking with them, they will also expect this. Any time I get near an African person they somehow normally want money. A great way to separate though the good from the bad, if they do not want money, they are good.

Note, I have a Western Union safety measure, I can go to any internet café and send money to myself with no special knowledge. If I was robbed, I would instantly send money to myself, then go to the internet and send money to myself, then cancel any card stolen. This should be set up and ready to go.

But in addiction logic and dysfunctional undersstanding of life, I know that a budget is not what people wish to live in, or have, they really wish and will take any excuse to not have a budget, or a real working budget. A person can only spend what they have, the normal budget of a person is to spend their paycheck, and wait for pay day to come.

If I put 10,000 CFA in my pocket daily, extra money will accumulate and be saved then allots itself for the days where I need strangely more money. The big way to cut cost for me it to get cheaper rooms, my goal on this trip to Africa is for 3000 CFA rooms, I need to speak good French to find them. I spend 2 hours per day studying, this is the budget.

Budget Africa, Budget Togo, Budget, Togo, Western Union


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Your on the edge Andy, and thats whats great. Everyone else is a fool. You have laid out things in a manner that can be followed by anyone.

A budget, ha, most lack the discipline for it for sure. 20 bucks a day in Africa might be a reason to avoid it personally. I sure appreciate the input you present in a place where no travelers roam. Except YOU! thanks for the summary.

Africa, never been, I figured it the dark continent and so, forget it. But your there, and you paint it in a way that makes it real. Screw the news. Thanks for your candid posts more than anything.

2 hours a day trying to learn french, not sure I'd do that. More inclined to immerse in a culture and see what sticks.


In both camps, we saw impala, red lechwe, bushbuck, water buck, steenbok, giraffe, tsessebe, kudu, warthog, zebra, wildebeest, buffalo (lots), monitor lizards, hornbills, guinea fowl, rollers, starlings, bee-eaters, birds of prey, giant eagle owls, secretary birds and elephants.

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