Tagged by: cost of living

Freelance Writing from Paradise

Date Posted: May 12, 2015
Posted in: All About Roatan, Freelance Writing

Amanda Walkins writer

In an effort to offer some inspiration to other aspiring freelance writers out there, I wanted to share an update on my writing career since announcing that I’d left a salaried job and gone full-time as a freelancer. As scary as it can be to venture out on your own, I live in a place with a great cost of living that allowed me to quite easily take this chance. Worst case scenario: it doesn’t work and I need to find another job. No big deal!

In an effort to offer some inspiration to other aspiring freelance writers out there, I wanted to share an update on my...

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How Much Does it Cost to Live in Roatan (2014 update)

Date Posted: December 4, 2014
Posted in: All About Roatan

Roatan expat Amanda Walkins

My most popular post is “How much does it cost to live in Roatan” from 2013 where I explained our basic expenses to offer a general idea. While our expenses haven’t drastically changed, there are still plenty of updates I can now provide a year later for any of you considering moving here soon. These costs per month are for our household (2 adults), and we share expenses equally.

How much does it cost to live in Roatan in 2014?

My most popular post is "How much does it cost to live in Roatan" from 2013 where I explained our basic expenses to offe...

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2014 cost of living in Roatan: One year

Date Posted: March 28, 2014
Posted in: All About Roatan

Part three in this mini-series of vacationing and/or living in Roatan. Here’s part one (one week) and part two (one month) in case you missed them. And here’s my post from last year with a general cost of living breakdown. Also, as previously stated, please don’t take this as exact payments and then get mad at me if you under-budget. I’m just trying to offer a guide to help you guys out.

Part three in this mini-series of vacationing and/or living in Roatan. Here's part one (one week) and part two (one mont...

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2014 cost of living in Roatan: One month

Date Posted: March 25, 2014
Posted in: All About Roatan

In case you missed it, I’m breaking down what it (approximately) costs to come to Roatan for a week, a month, and a year. Check out the weekly estimate in my previous post and stay tuned for my yearly estimate. Here’s my cost of living estimate from 2013 for more info. Keep in mind your costs can vary GREATLY depending on the depth of your wallet. These are averages, but I’ve seen people blow an incredible amount of cash here and I’ve seen others skate by spending only the bare minimum. You can have fun and enjoy your vacation either way so just do what works for you! Without further ado –

Here’s what you should expect to pay…

if you’re coming to Roatan for a month:

Housing: Rent a house! It’ll save you tons over a hotel. $500-$6000, depending on how fancy schmancy you want to get.

Food: This goes with the rent a house thing – it’ll save you tons over eating out every single meal for a month. Let’s not even address what that would do to your arteries and just talk about your wallet. Go grocery shopping, cook some dinners for yourself, and eat breakfast at home. It’s so worth it. Keep in mind the groceries cost the same as or more than they do back home. It’s easy to drop $200 on a cart of normal (not crazy super healthy hard-to-find organic stuff) food. Whatever you spend back home on a monthly basis, estimate the same here.

Transportation: If you’re staying in West End or West Bay, no need for a car and you’ll be fine spending the $5 roundtrip for groceries every once in a while. If you’re renting a place slightly outside of town, you may want to consider renting a car while you’re here. Keeping in mind what you’ll save renting a house over staying in a hotel, renting a car would certainly make your stay more convenient. Again, not at all a necessity, but a convenience. You can probably work out a good deal for a month-long rental, but estimate around $1000-1500 depending on the size of vehicle you need for your group.

Activities: If you’re diving the whole time you’re here, it’s best to stick with one dive shop to get a killer deal on dive packages. A month of diving? Let’s say you end up doing about 25 dives during your stay, you’re looking at about $1000 once you factor in gear rental, Roatan Marine Park fees, and TIPS!!! Did I mention tipping your divemaster/instructor yet? Because it’s important. And managing a dive shop has made me even more sensitive than I was as a waitress because at least Americans and Canadians acknowledge that tipping your waitress/bartender is just part of going out. However, apparently people just completely brain fart when they dive and it blows my mind how many people walk out the door after absolutely raving about how wonderful their dives were and how grateful they were with the extra time and attention they received and the incredible customer service they experienced. Amazing. Just gone. No second thought. PLEASE TIP THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP YOU ALIVE AND SHOW YOU AN AWESOME TIME. /end rant. (Also, sidenote, I don’t receive any tips for what I do nor should I. I’m just ranting on behalf of my divers and boat captains who don’t have their own blogs to be able to rant.)

Other expenses: A month’s worth of expenses could include utility bills, drinking water, cleaning supplies, fuel, you name it. This should be the same as your random expenses back home based on your family/group size so plan accordingly. (ie I live with a walking talking garbage disposal so our grocery bill is astronomical, but on the flip-side it costs us only a few bucks to get to and from work each week together.) Plan accordingly based on your vacation style – are you coming here to relax and lay on the beach every day? Your expenses will be minimal beyond rent and food. But if you’re coming here to partake in any and all fun island activities available, bust out the Benjamins. (Speaking of which, in case you didn’t know the U.S. Dollar is accepted everywhere here. The basic exchange rate is 20:1 but some places change theirs based on the actual daily bank rates. Super important: lots of places do not accept credit cards and the power goes out frequently so ATMs may or may not be your friend. Bring cash. And make sure that your U.S. cash is not ripped/taped together/written on as nobody here will take it. I know that sounds silly but it’s for serious. You’ve been warned!)

Maybe that wasn’t very helpful for planning your trip because I can’t give actual numbers since you could be traveling solo or with a giant posse. Lo siento. But I promise to keep providing more info on my lovely home and all the cool things you can do and see here. In the meantime, stop worrying so much about budgeting and just come visit already!

In case you missed it, I'm breaking down what it (approximately) costs to come to Roatan for a week, a month, and a year...

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2014 cost of living in Roatan: One week

Date Posted: March 21, 2014
Posted in: All About Roatan

I get lots of emails about cost of living here, so beyond my initial post about the cost of living in Roatan I thought I’d offer some more updated information. Part one is cost of living for a week. Stay tuned for a month and a year. You’ve asked, so here you go, people!

Here’s what you should expect to pay…

if you’re coming to Roatan for a week:

Housing: $10/night for a shared room in a hostel, $45/night for a basic room with a fan, $175/night for a resort room, $450/night for a house. The options are endless so do some research or just wing it if you’re into that sort of thing. If you have a big group, rent a house and share it – it’s worth it!

Food: Assuming you’re eating out all the time because a) you’re on vacation, b) you don’t have a full kitchen in your hotel room, and/or c) you’re super lazy interested in local cuisine, expect to pay $5 for breakfast, $12 for lunch, and $20 for dinner. That’s if you get a baleada and coffee for breakfast, a sandwich and a drink for lunch, and an entree with a drink for dinner at most casual places. Let’s be serious, though: you will have more than one drink. You are on an island. So budget for that, too. Beers are usually $3-6 each, mixed drinks $5-10 each. And for the love of all things holy, people, TIP YOUR SERVERS. That’s waiters/waitresses, bartenders, housekeepers, divemasters, everyone who has every option to ruin your vacation but instead makes it awesome. They work for tips. Budget accordingly.

Transportation: You can get cabs very cheaply here, so unless you’re planning to drive all over the island on your own every day, renting a car really isn’t necessary for your whole trip. That’s assuming you’re staying in West End or West Bay or staying at a resort where you’ll also be doing most of your activities. My recommendation: rent a car for one day to drive around and check out the awesome views and the rest of our beautiful island. Otherwise, $2.25 for a cab from West End to Coxen Hole (grocery stores, banks, and other random things you can’t buy in West End or West Bay), $5 for a cab between West End and West Bay or $3 for a water taxi during daylight hours. $10 cab from West End to the airport or ferry. As a tourist, you will likely be charged more initially for all of these things, but you can negotiate. I still get charged more fairly often, until I tell them that I live here, know the prices, and won’t pay more than I need to. Then we smile and chat for the whole cab ride instead. Also note that cab prices are per person so sharing doesn’t save you anything here – you will likely share your cab with many others on your journey so make friends!

Activities: $40 for a single scuba dive in most shops, estimate around $300 for a week of diving, add gear rental if you don’t have your own, add Roatan Marine Park fees, and DON’T FORGET TO TIP! Ziplining, paddleboarding, kayaking, sunset cruising, you name it the list is endless. You could spend $1000 in a week, or only $100 and still do a few fun things. After all, the ocean is free 🙂

Other expenses: Keep in mind if you’re renting a house they may charge you for your electricity use. Electricity in Roatan is 4x what it costs in the States. That’s $0.48/kw. What you pay in a month at home you will pay in a week here if you use your A/C all day and leave lights on and watch TV and sit on your computer. But wait, you’re not at home, so why would you do that?! Go outside, get some fresh air, and keep the A/C off while you’re gone. You’ll thank me later.

Please don’t write this down as exact payments and then get mad at me for being off – these are merely estimates to help you plan your trip. I seriously cannot be considered an expert on household budgeting. I’m totally cool with eating pasta every day and never using an A/C despite the fact that it feels like 120 degrees with the humidity. I don’t expect that of everyone and realize that some people may not enjoy sweating as much as I do. But you know what? It’s true that salt water cures everything. Tears, sweat, and the sea. That’s all we need!

Hope this helps you guys plan your trips better! Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 as I break down cost of living by month and year as well.

I get lots of emails about cost of living here, so beyond my initial post about the cost of living in Roatan I thought I...

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How much does it cost to live in Roatan?

Date Posted: June 25, 2013
Posted in: All About Roatan

Roatan expat Amanda Walkins

I get this question a lot from tourists, especially those who are considering giving in to the vortex and staying here forever. People assume that because Roatan is part of Honduras the cost of living should be super cheap. But it’s still an island and it costs money to import necessities. So how does it actually break down? I’ll try to help you out a bit with that…Here is how much it cost to live in Roatan for 2013. (You can find more information on how much it cost to live in Roatan in 2014 here.)

I get this question a lot from tourists, especially those who are considering giving in to the vortex and staying here f...

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