How I go about budgeting a trip

So I’ve sort of gotten now into the next category: LODGING.  


Bedouin camping at Al Areesh is an activity so I’ve already put some money towards that.


In Muscat I plan to use hotel points.  Crossing my fingers there will be a hotel on the IHG Points Break list for which I stockpiled a bunch of points last month.  If so, cost will be 5,000 points/night, roughly equal in value to $30ish.  I don’t count it since I already have the points though, but you can see it’s a good deal!

There are only IHG hotels in a few places in Oman, so what to do?  Hotels are generally rather expensive.

Here is where doing my homework has come in key: apparently locals and in-the-know tourists alike are very fond of “wild camping”. Apparently it’s completely legal in Oman to pitch a tent pretty much anywhere, as long as it isn’t on someone’s front yard or whatnot. Not what I would have expected in a somewhat conservative country like Oman. A tent can be bought in the souk or Carrefour in Muscat for $15-20, and away you go. Camping on the way to Ras al Jinz is free/cheap (note: you can’t camp AT R al J- this is illegal. But there is a hotel the next town over that lets you camp for free, and even use the facilities. I’ve read for some people this is free as well, and for some it’s 3 RO. Safer to budget $9).

Jebel Shams is known for its camping and I plan to be in place close to the trailhead so I can do the 8-9 hour hike early in the AM, and avoid some of the sun.  It’s possible to do this for free from what I have read, though I might also opt for one of the nearby campgrounds.  Still waiting for info on one of them, but the other is 16 RO a night (yikes!!).  It includes dinner and breakfast, along with pool access (ridiculous in the middle of the desert), so I may end up springing for it after all.  If I do one night at the campground, and one for free wild camping in the area (prolly the second night once I have the lay of the land), that’s 16 RO= $48.

The last day in Oman I’ll be heading to the airport for an evening flight, so nothing is required.

Final lodging cost: $80


2 thoughts on “How I go about budgeting a trip

  1. You’ve really put a lot of thought and consideration into your budget. As a frugal travel myself, I’m constantly trying to plan and anticipate my costs for each country. Do you find you tend to be over or under more often with your estimates?

    1. I usually tend to be pretty much on. In Oman I actually was under. On this current trip (South Africa/Southeast Asia) I ran into a couple unexpected expenses in South Africa. I wasn’t too worried since SEA is so cheap but I had to really manage my expenses (down to the last baht, not even joking here!).

      Because of my research I knew how much things should cost here and where deals were to be had. So I ate well (30-40 baht street food), still got to do everything (massage course, couple massages for myself, trekking with homestay, rode elephants, hot springs, boat ride down the Mekong) but I just had to be really really frugal. I’m broke again…well, until I cash my refund check in a couple days heh heh.

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