Travel expense report for Q2 2023

In our last report, we summarised the expenses for the first quarter of 2023 – it was also the last quarter of our journey in South East Asia before we returned home to rest and spend time with friends and family. We initially planned to spend three weeks at home, but ended up staying put for more than two months. And it so happened that we finally left again on May 27 just a year after we left home to travel full-time.

We started our journey from the Bangalore International Airport and flew to Mumbai and then to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It was our first time in this middle eastern kingdom and we arrived there in hot summer! Even at midnight, it was 35℃ and very uncomfortable with the hot-dry winds. We stayed with a couchsurfing host-turned-friend for two nights and explored the city with an old buddy!

Then we flew on Wizz Air for the first time, to Samarkand, Uzbekistan. We spent the next week exploring the beautiful city and its amazing architecture! We then took a train to Bukhara, the holiest city in central Asia before arriving in the ancient desert town of Khiva on a night train. We also got to visit the town of Muynaq, where we learnt about the Aral Sea and saw what it had turned into – barren desert. We also couchsurfed with someone here, before returning to Samarkand. Then we crossed the border into Tajikistan!

We spent the next fortnight exploring this amazing country, doing a hike in Panjakent (to the seven lakes) and then arrived int he capital Dushanbe. There we got together with. abunch of other curious travellers to set off on one of the greatest roadtrips on the planet – the Pamir Highway! It was ten days long and quite expensive – but we chose to do it because Navneeth turned 30 and we decided to do a one-time out-of-budget spend on this once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is clarified further where we talk about our expenses this quarter and why we chose to not include the excursion in our daily budget of USD 30 / day. 


In this quarter, we left India after two months of rest and visited UAE, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan over five weeks

✈️ Flights: $429 / INR 35,190

In this quarter, we took two international flights and one domestic flight:

  • Bangalore to Mumbai (India) – AirIndia
  • Mumbai (India) to Abu Dhabi (UAE) – AirIndia
  • Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Samarkand (Uzbekistan) – WizzAir
⛺️ Stay: $426 / INR 34,923

We stayed in budget hotels, homestays and hostels in nearly all places. Stays in Central Asia are no longer cheap – and we couchsurfed in Abu Dhabi (which is otherwise very expensive). These are the places we stayed in:

  • UAE (Abu Dhabi)
  • Uzbekistan (Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Nukus)
  • Tajikistan (Panjakent, Dushanbe, KalaiKhum, Khorog, Langar, Ali Chur

Earlier, I mentioned that we excluded the Pamir excursion cost – to clarify, we have included the cost of stayin in the villages and towns on the Pamir Highway (as we’d have incurred similar expenses to stay even if we chose not to go on the roadtrip. It is only the actual 4×4 car rental that we dod not include in our overall expense.

🏝️ Sightseeing: $32 / INR 2,625

We did visit many sights this quarter, but the cost was far lower than expected.

  • UAE: Corniche Marina, Grand Mosque (outside) and city walk
  • Uzbekistan: mosques, madrassahs, museums, more
  • Tajikistan: museums and Pamir Highway 
🍕 Food: $122 / INR 9,984

Breakfast (usually included in stay), somedays lunch, snacks and dinner; includes water too. We did not spend much on food as compared to the previous quarters since we began cooking some of our meals in the Hostel kitchens while in Tajikistan and breakfast is often included in home stays in Central Asia (unlike SE Asia). 

🚌 Transport: $159 / INR 13,009

Rides on the local city bus, Yandex taxis, interstate trains and marshrutkas (minivans) and metro. Taxis in Uzbekistan were very affordable!

Although not included in the above number, our share (Shish and me) of renting the 4×4 Toyota Landcruiser with a driver for the Pamir Highway roadtrip over ten days came to $509 / INR 42,050. 

🔖 Visa: $232 / INR 19,019

Permission to stay in the foreign countries (per person):

  • UAE five year multiple entry long term tourist visa – splitting the fees over five years made better sense than putting it all here: $32 or INR 3,614
  • Uzbeksitan multiple entry evisa on for 30 days: $35 or INR 2,870
  • Tajikistan single entry evisa for 60 days: $31 or INR 2,536
💊 Others: $50 / INR 4,070

Misc. items like SIM cards, photocopies, soap, laundry, medicines, gifts and more. We also bought souvenirs from the countries we were visiting for the first time which was not very cheap!

Total: $1,450 / INR 118,820

For 35 days of travel from 27-May-23 to 30-Jun-23, we spent USD 41.5 per day (INR 3,394) or USD 21 per person, per day (INR 1,697).

However, if we include the months of April and May 2023, which we spent mostly between spare rooms in our parents homes in Bangalore, that number comes down to USD 16 or INR 1,320 per day for us both – we have not really spent much at home except for transport and a couple of meals at restaurants.

How much has it cost since we left home?

The total cost of travel since May 2022 comes out to INR 909,896 or USD 11,216 for ~412 days of travel for two (including a rest stop in our home city for over two months). Across these days the average cost of travel came to INR 2,208 or USD 27 per day for both persons together.

That works out to INR 1,104 or USD 13.6 per day, per person. Thats our current cost of travelling full time (in Asia).

Or maybe a little more of Shish’s expenses as against mine – she likes to shop and hide it in the “others” category like in the last quarter’s report. 😛


    In the first quarter of 2023, we earned these incomes:

    📽️ English channel: $185 / INR 15,280
    • Subscribers: Increased from 3,400 subscribers (as on March 31) to 5,200 subscribers (as on June 30).
    • Views: 43 new travel vlogs – three videos every week. We also tried our hand at Shorts with a few small clips. In total, we have 198 videos on the channel and 485k views.
    • See more stats here: English channel
    📽️ Kannada channel: $0 / INR 0 (PAUSED in Q2 2023)
    • Subscribers: Increased from 404 subscribers (as on December 31) to 513 subscribers (as on March 31).
    • Views: 37 new travel vlogs – three videos every week. In total, we have 84 videos on the channel and 23k views.
    • Earnings: INR 0 / USD 0 as the channel has not monetised
    • See more stats here: Kannada channel
    🖥️ Travel blog: $5 / INR 420
    • Views: 24k page views
    • See the website here: Travel Blog 
    ☕️ Gifts and contributions: $0 / INR 0

    We did not receive any contributions on our Buymeacoffee page. You can see what our previous contributors bought for us and their messages on the page here.

    Total: $190 / 15,700

    This may not seem like much, but we’d like to think of this as a start and get the ball rolling! We are in the course of creating a few additional streams of income which we will share with you soon (so please stay connected on our Youtube and Instagram)


    With the new income and considering the above expenses, our net income for the quarter is -$1,260 / -INR 103,120

    To bring this into the green zone as soon as possible, you can support us here 🤓

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    Last updated on September 9, 2023

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