One of the best parts about traveling to places that may not be on the typical tourist path, is you score great deals, and it becomes extremely easy to have an adventurous vacation on a budget.
For my Guatemala trip back in November, we didn’t set out with a budget, but like any trip, we wanted to make sure we didn’t blow all our life savings.
I should mention that there are always cheaper ways to do a trip. On this trip for example, we opted for more expensive options for things like accommodations because we weren’t doing the whole grungy backpacker type trip where we stay in 24-bed dorms. We wanted it to be somewhat relaxing and comfortable. Plus, my friend hadn’t traveled much before, at least not outside of first-world countries, so I wanted to make sure she was comfortable too.
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As you probably know, there is ALWAYS a cheaper or more expensive way to see every country. If you are looking for more of a budget trip than what we did on our Guatemala trip, you can opt for public transit versus tourist shuttles like we took, you can also opt for cooking your food in a hostel kitchen when available, and staying in shared dorm rooms versus private rooms at hotels. Whatever your budget, there’s always a way to make it work. However, if you’re thinking of a trip to Guatemala and want to get an idea of how much it cost me to travel there for about 8 days, I hope this helps.
A few things to note:
– All costs below are in USD
– These costs are for one person
We flew from Toronto to Houston to Guatemala City. There were little to no direct flights from Toronto to Guatemala.
Like I said above, you can do transportation on a budget by taking the local chicken buses versus tourist shuttles. However, the shuttles are relatively inexpensive and made our Guatemala trip a little less stressful. The biggest expense we had in terms of transportation was our private shuttle from El Paredon to Guatemala City airport. The reason we did this was that we wanted a full day in El Paredon and didn’t want to have to build our day around limited shuttle times.
We opted for boutique hotels on our Guatemala trip. Not too fancy, but not dorm rooms. We stayed at Maya Papaya in Antigua, Lush in Lake Atitlan, and Swell in El Paredon.
It’s always easy to cut costs on food, but we ate out for almost every lunch and dinner on our Guatemala trip. We didn’t drink a ton of alcohol while there, and breakfasts were included in all of our hotels. Touristy areas were pricier than other parts of the country, also, local restaurants were significantly cheaper than the ones where all the tourists were eating.
This included four tours that we did while on our Guatemala trip… our volcano trek to Pacaya near Antigua, our hike up Indian Nose in Lake Atitlan, a tour of the turtle feeding grounds in El Paredon, plus a cooking class in El Paredon with a local.
I didn’t do a ton of shopping while in Guatemala since I always pack light and have limited space for packing souvenirs. However, this included a few things to take back and remember my trip by.
Overall my trip to Guatemala for 8 days for one person from Toronto cost around $1,218 USD.
…. and people say you have to be rich to travel. *eye roll*
Albert JohnsonJanuary 31, 2022 at 11:26 am
1218 USD is a lot of money. Yes you have to be rich… I am too, but stop trying to sound like you want to give lessons… This is clearly disrespectful to those who can’t afford it..
LaurenFebruary 9, 2022 at 10:31 am
Hi Albert, As I mentioned in the article there are several ways to do a similar trip MUCH cheaper or MUCH more expensive. This was just sharing how much I spent on this trip. $1K IS a lot of money for sure, and I recognize this is still TOO much for a lot of people. As we all know, travel may (unfortunately) never be an option for many people because of cost barriers. But for people that do have the privilege of disposable income to travel, there are so many ways they can make it work within their own budget. This article is meant to provide a perspective/baseline for those that may want to do a similar style trip as I did. Of course, it may not be for everyone. Thanks for your note!