Holy cow – Micronesia is expensive! We knew this was going to be the case, especially reading on Lonely Planet that a “budget” traveler should expect to spend $150 per day. Despite our expectations, we still managed to be shocked by how much we spent in Micronesia. Here is the breakdown of what we spent during our 10 nights in Micronesia: 6 nights in Palau, and 3 nights in Yap. Per usual, all our costs include both of us (2 people).
Ms. Pinetree’s Hostel: $463.50
Village View Hotel, Yap: $225
Round trip from airport to hostel, Palau: $40
Departure fee, Palau: $100
Departure fee, Yap: $40
Rental car for the day, Palau: $45
Gas for the rental car: $11.75
Waterfall, Palau: $20
Japanese lighthouse, Palau: $10
Scuba diving, 2 tanks, Palau (first time): $300
Permit for Rock Islands, Palau: $100
Scuba gear rental, Palau (first time): $70
Scuba diving, 2 tanks, Palau (second time): $300
Scuba gear rental, Palau (second time): $70
Kayaking, Palau (half-day; 4 hours): $45
Mask & snorkel rental, Palau: $10
Scuba diving, 1 tank, Yap: $116
Scuba gear rental, Yap: $90
Food & Drink
Lunch at Anthias Cafe: $30
Groceries, Palau: $78.78
Water & beer, Yap: $7.25
Breakfasts & dinners at hotel, Yap: $110
Internet, Palau (8 hours each): $20
Map of Palau: $1
Dry bag from Sam’s, Palau: $32.60
Shirt from Sam’s, Palau: $5
Total Per Day, Per Person: $130.05
Things to Note
We nicknamed these islands “The Land of Nickel and Dime-ing.” It seemed like there were unexpected costs at every turn: fees for the sights around the island, departure fees, permit fees, paying for wifi, etc. If you go to Micronesia, now you can be aware of these seemingly hidden costs.
Sometimes the incessant “nickel and dime-ing” made us consider abstaining from an activity. We ultimately decided to make the most of our trip and do the activities we wanted, because as Pete put it, why bother traveling if you’re not going to do anything once you get there?
We specifically stayed at the cheapest accommodations in Palau & Yap, and they are still double the cost of anything in Southeast Asia, and not as nice.
We saved lots of money by not eating at restaurants and cooking instead. The only time we “ate out” in Palau was the first day. We ate at Anthias cafe to use their free wifi (which didn’t actually work).
Scuba diving in Palau & Yap is, like everything else, pricey. A two-tank dive cost $150 in Palau (at Sam’s) and $125 in Yap (Manta Ray’s). You have to purchase a $50 permit to access the Rock Islands in Palau, whether you’re kayaking, snorkeling, or scuba diving. We could’ve saved some money if we had our own equipment, but we had to rent all our gear every time.
Even though this is the most we’ve spent at a place so far, I’m actually proud of our per day spend. With some careful budgeting, cheap accommodations, and cooking instead of eating at restaurants, we managed to do everything we wanted for less than we thought possible.
Have any questions about budgeting for Micronesia? Ask below!