How much did we spend in Indonesia?

Indonesia Spending Summary

Overall score (Dan) = B
Overall score (Jocelyn) = B

Total days = 7 nights,7 days
Total cost = $825
Cost per day = $118 / day
Flight costs = $913 for two flights from Brisbane


Indonesia was our first dip into our three month journey of Southeastern Asia. We had mixed feelings after our time in French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Australia because we knew things were going to be quite different, but we were excited about what was to come.

Our flight landed late in Bali and it was about 11pm as we rode in our hotel shuttle from the airport. The city was surprisingly alive for that time of night and surprisingly big as we passed nonstop building and people on our way to the hotel. We quickly learned this wouldn’t be the same experience as Julia Roberts had in Eat, Pray, Love! The next morning we headed out to start our journeys in Indonesia. We quickly learned why our friend called Bali the “Cancun” for Australia – as most Aussies use it as a cheap party town, much the same as many Americans do in Cancun.

However, as we ventured away from the beaches and beyond the beaten path on Bali, we started to see much more of sites we expected. The “cultural capital” of Bali is Ubud and is filled with local crafts, culture, and cuisine. If you’ve ever wondered where Pier One buys their wood carved giraffes and other handicrafts – look no further than Bali! The streets were lined with small shops selling their handicrafts made locally.

How Much Did We Spend in Australia?

Australia spending summary

Overall score (Dan) = B-
Overall score (Jocelyn) = B

Total days = 25 nights, 26 days
Total cost = $5,270
Cost per day = $203 / day
Flight costs = $470 for two flights from Christchurch


Our expectations for Australia were surprisingly low after the great time we had in New Zealand because we didn’t see Australia as having the “highlights” around every corner like New Zealand did, and we weren’t convinced the cities would be that much different than anything in the US.

We were only partially right and as we spent four weeks exploring Australia, our sentiments certainly changed. We were correct in the thought that the big cities weren’t that much different than you’d find in the US, but we were highly impressed with everything else that comes with Australia. From the incredible rain forests and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland near the city of Cairns to the barren and beautiful Outback, Australia’s sites won us over.

As you’ll see in the details, we got very lucky in Melbourne as we stayed 6 free days at my friend’s apartment near the beach – definitely a big money saver. Outside of Melbourne, we spent 6 days in a camper van in the “Red Center” (or the Outback), 3 days in an Air BnB apartment, and then 11 days in another camper van between Cairns and Brisbane.

How to travel cheap: Steak Smuggling

In the past, I’ve discussed how we’re saving money on our round the world trip by cooking our own food.  Sure, it’s easier since we have our own camper van with a partial kitchen, but it still takes a lot of discipline to actually cook your own food.

Today was one of the hardest tests yet. We’re currently living out of a camper van as we drive the down the east coast of Australia from Cairns to Brisbane for 11 days and it’s become routine as we pull up to a grocery store and load up on food for the next 5-6 days.  We have a steady diet of fruit and cereal for breakfast, lunch consists of sandwiches and chips, and we always manage to step up with a nicer dinner of steak, chicken, or some mix with pasta.

It’s easy to stick to our normal routine as we’re still in the camper van, but today was a little different as we checked into a hotel for a much needed pick-me-up and rest.  As mentioned previously, I can occasionally pull from a stash of Starwood hotel points to get a cheap hotel night so that helps.

Our resort tonight is quite nice and we were upgraded to a corner suite overlooking the ocean.  It’s only possible because I traveled almost nonstop for eight years and gained status with the hotel chain. So here we are, relaxing in our plush digs while still in our camper van mindset of looking for free cold showers and clean bathrooms to make our next stop.  Oh, how nice it would be to embrace the entire situation and order some delicious room service!  Or we could walk down to the restaurant and join the rest of the tourists in the seafood buffet… but no, we must stick to the plan!  Here’s the view from our room:

How Rich People Buy Cars

I hate new cars – at least for people who can’t afford then, and think that you shouldn’t spend more than 20% of your income on a new car.  The reason I say these things is because I want you to be rich and the easiest way to stay broke is to continue to purchasing cars with car payments.  This is how most rich people buy cars.

Let me tell you about a rich reader who recently sent me his family’s story.  First, a little background.  The couple is in their late 30’s/early 40’s and they don’t have kids.  They are both professionals in their field and have done a great job of handling their money.  Their combined income is $300k+ and he recently purchased a new car.

What kind of car would you guess they purchased?  Mercedes?  BMW?  Ferrari?  If you said Mercedes, you were right.  However, there’s a catch.  When I say he purchased a new car, what I really mean is he purchased a car that was new to his family – his “new” car is 7 years old.