FAQ – Does our Puerto Rico Trip Count as a Leg?

On my spreadsheets, I’ve been calling our trip to Florida and Puerto Rico to Leg 9, but at barely over six weeks long, I debated whether it really counts or is an extension of our period off from travel, or something else entirely. I’ve decided that I believe it counts as a (short) leg. We were living our nomadic-style life again (mostly) and definitely got a taste for living like a local in San Juan. 

Puerto Rico surprised us in a lot of ways. We’d heard terrible things about wifi access and ended up having fantastic wifi in San Juan and acceptable wifi in other places. We were prepared for prices to be similar to the rest of the United States, but the “island surcharge” (i.e. added costs to ship anything in) combined with inflation gave us a few instances of sticker shock. And I’d hoped to practice speaking Spanish, but there was no expectation that someone who looks like me would even try to speak the language (and when I did try I got easily flustered). 

I think I also expected we’d have a bit more time for fun in Puerto Rico, but after my birthday fun in the middle of our stay, Chad really needed to buckle down and focus on finishing the film. So, I don’t have a lot to share that is different from my San Juan: We’re Home post covering our first two weeks. Here are the highlights in photos (since it is mostly just beach trips and meals):

Since this was a greatly abbreviated leg, I won’t do a By the Numbers or What We Learned post. But, for those who are curious, we had a hefty $6,000 budget for the six week period that included our five weeks in Puerto Rico and came in just $20 under budget. It was definitely a higher than usual budget for us (usually we spend about $800 a week when we’re traveling) but lodging was more expensive and it included a five day vacation period when we arrived when we traveled to Fajardo and Ponce. 

We spent $2,400 on lodging, averaging $90/night for our Airbnb’s in Fajardo and Ponce and spending just under $2,000 (about $65/night) for our casita in San Juan. Transportation costs were right at $1,500, including gas to and from Florida, our round trip flight on Southwest, five days rental car, and lots of Uber. Gas was more expensive for our drive home, which is what everyone is experiencing in April 2022. We were $100 under budget on entertainment (tours, etc.) but that doesn’t include my birthday architectural tour and new national parks pass. The rest of the budget was spent on food and dining out. We were able to eat out twice a week most weeks and enjoyed some nice fish from the supermarket in addition to our mostly meatless diet.

Most of what we learned on this leg was Puerto Rico-specific, about the history, architecture, food, and culture, as well as other parts of the island we hope to visit in the future. I don’t think we’ll go back anytime soon – too expensive – but it was a really fun five weeks and we would really like to check out the beach towns of the west coast in the future, visit more of the museums in San Juan, and go out to the island of Culebra that everyone speaks so highly of. 

Despite being a work-heavy period (I worked my greatest number of hours in a single month since January 2021 and Chad worked at least 5x as many hours as I did), we had a good time in Puerto Rico and were really glad we went. And it definitely served its intended purpose of not requiring a COVID test, especially to come back to the mainland at the end of our stay. Until next time, we’ll enjoy our fond memories of the island of Puerto Rico.

Airbnb Review – My husband and I spent a month in this casita and it worked out great for us. The hosts communicated well with us and the wifi was excellent – maybe the best we’ve had in any Airbnb. Great location about 7 minutes walking to the beach or supermarket, and only a couple minutes walking to Calle Loiza with many restaurant options. The casita is very comfortable and bigger than the photos, especially the bedroom. With the screened windows and ceiling, we almost never needed the air conditioner the whole month, though it was nice to have on warmer nights to cool the room right before bed. The kitchen was functional for our needs and the dining table provided enough room for working and eating. I hope we can stay here again in the future. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1673640

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