I’m glad no one asked me in a comment about how I was handling the exchange rate in the US while I was traveling down last week because I didn’t want to talk about that until I was landed in Mexico. You see, the exchange rate wasn’t an issue for me because I was traveling with way more (USD) cash than I feel comfortable traveling with… One of my clients pays me through wire transfer into a USD account. For whatever reason, I’m not allowed to access that account from outside Canada.
So I crunched some numbers and made a large withdrawal that would cover all my fuel, hotel, food, and miscellaneous costs (like sandals), and leave me enough to pay cash for my vehicle deposit so that that amount, plus a little extra, would mean that I at least had fuel money in USD cash to get me back home in the spring.
So how did I handle the exchange rate? I refused to think about it. If I had, I wouldn’t have had nearly as good a time! I always plan my budget as though USD and CAD are at par and the currency difference, at least at this time, is ‘bonus’ money. So I didn’t get my ‘bonus’ for October, but I at least didn’t have to think about how much that $20 meal (or whatever) was ‘really’ costing me!
My fuel costs to come south were:
In the US: 244.35USD (about 330CAD)
In MX: 2,000MXN (about 170CAD)
Total: 500CAD. This is exactly what it cost me to go north in the spring!
My hotel costs were:
In the US: 463.35USD/66.19USD per night (about 610CAD/87.14CAD per night)
In MX: 1,200MXN/600MXN per night (about 102CAD/51CAD per night)
Total: 712CAD or 79CAD per night
My tolls in MX were:
About 445MXN, or about 38CAD.
Total in CAD to travel south: 1,250CAD
(I don’t count in food because I have to eat regardless of where I am so I don’t separate meals out from groceries.)
Of course, if I had less of a gas guzzler, the fuel costs could be reduced substantially. But my beloved gas guzzler will not be replaced until I know whether or not I’m moving permanently to Mexico. Anyway, she pays for her gluttony by being such a comfortable and reliable ride!
A flight to Maz round trip is about the same cost, but considering the hassle to get to the airport in Regina, the lost night of sleep because of the super short layover in Calgary, not being able to bring everything I need, and the fact that I love driving and took this as being a bit of a vacation, I am super glad that I don’t make decisions based strictly on my bottom line.