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One of the most popular questions about our ten week trip to the USA and Caribbean from Australia? How much did the trip cost. Here are all the answers!
To summarise our trip, we flew Melbourne – Los Angeles – Miami – Dominican Republic (about 22 – 24 hours in the air) and then all the way back again. We did an 8 day Caribbean cruise. We spent about a month in the USA, most of it on a Deep South road trip, and we spent about a month in the Dominican Republic in peak season. You can see our itinerary in USA and Caribbean family trip.
These prices are for the four of us – two adults, a 3 year old and a 1 year old. We did not buy seats for Z on the flights.
All costs below are in US dollars.
The Carnival cruise trip cost about $1900 for 4 people in an outside cabin.
We took an eight day Caribbean cruise with 4 stops. We didn’t do any of the shore excursions and explored our cruise ports independently (very possible). Our costs were minimal during the cruise thanks to this, and we didn’t go over our $220 budget for during the cruise. This also included some cocktails and some child care for Z (under 2s did not get free care).
We kept to our overall $180 per day budget. This does not include our shopping in Los Angeles at the end or getting my computer hard drive fixed. We stayed in apartments in great locations in both places.
The USA road trip cost $139 a day excluding car hire. I think this is excellent value.
We stayed in budget motels, but rarely the cheapest and they were all good. We usually ate out once a day and otherwise self catered (so we often spent a bit more on accommodation for a microwave and fridge). Our accommodation cost averaged $71 a night, so we could definitely have saved money here with some lower standards. We spent $322 on gas over the entire journey.
This price does not include all our activities. Some of these were a Christmas gift from our parents. Where this is the case, it is noted on the individual posts.
We spent about another $45 a day on car hire. I have seen so many people say they have paid far less than that so it must be possible, but it was the best price I could get. This price includes two kids’ car seats. They were $90 each. We had full insurance.
The Dominican Republic was a bargain at an average trip cost of only $79 a day. We spent $54 of that on accommodation – which was lovely 2 bedroom apartments. We generally ate out once a day and self catered the other two meals. We had beer or wine every day and when we ate out.
This does not include our time in the all inclusive resort or Santiago at the end. The resort cost us $240 a day/night and the one night Santiago stop at the end was about $150 since there was a lack of budget accommodation.
It does not include the private taxi transfers we took back from Las Terrenas, but it does include all other local transportation.
This was fabulous value as we had a nice life in the Dominican Republic. We could definitely have spent less money with cheaper accommodation, but I wouldn’t want to spend much less on food which was the bulk of the remaining cost. We did generally only eat at the cheapest places.
This was one of the biggest parts of our trip cost – $4418 in total.
We spent $2772 on our flights Melbourne – Los Angeles return on Virgin Australia and $1646 on our flights Los Angele – Miami – Santo Domingo/Santiago – Los Angeles on American Airlines booked on expedia.
Just under $15000 for 70 days!
You could also think of this as $214 a day which is actually only slightly more than what it costs us to live in Melbourne a day. Take away the big cost of the flights and it was only about $151 a day for the four of us.
We kept to our budget which seemed like an extra achievement as our budget was based on Australian dollars. When we made our budget, the Australian dollar was on par with the US dollar. Once we were there, the Australian dollar was closer to US$0.90 which made everything more expensive than planned.
You can also read out post about how we make a budget for family trips or compare this trip cost with the cost of our 7 weeks in Asia last year.
Do you think this trip cost is good value or very expensive?