I took about a week to find airfare researched it using the following websites.
http://www.airgorilla.com/ surprisingly found the cheapest airfare. Once I found the best airfare went through Delta, i went to the Delta airlines website and searched for the airfare and it was about $10-$30 cheaper then AirGorilla. The best strategy is probably to check airfare on a discounter website and then book it with the actual airline.
My total airfare with taxes (Philly-Atlanta-Quito) round trip is $638.00. I unfortunately found that the prices dropped two weeks later but there was nothing I could do.
I visited the Lonely Planet forums to research this and browsed through various threads to find anecdotal evidence about certain companies. I decided on World Nomads for $158.00 which covers three months because it seems like they offer quality customer service, have good reviews, are fair, have good policies, and when I called them to test them out they answered immediately.
It expires in late 2008 so I don’t to worry about it at all! I will also make copies of my passport before I leave.
I still need to visit a travel doctor and see if I need any shots before I go. I already got some when I went to Bolivia a few years back so I assume i’m good to go. The only thing I may need is Malaria medication (i have some left over from Bolivia) because I am probably going to the jungle at some point.
I will get the 90 day Tourist visa that they issue when I arrive in Ecuador. This will cover my time while working in Ecuador.
I still plan on traveling in Ecuador for longer than 90 days so i will try to extend my visa at a later date. If that does not work, I will stay in the country past my visa date, and when I plan on leaving the country I will have to pay a $200 fine, then they give me two days to get out of other country.
Where Will I live In Quito?
I have a list of apartments and homestays that I can do. My plan is to arrive in Quito and stay in a $5 hostel for the first week while I search for an apartment. I will then be able to see what I am getting myself into and better negotiate a price rather than renting sight unseen. I was told that its best to find one when you get there. I expect to pay between $150-$200 a month for an apartment.
How Will I Pay For Things
I plan to bring 4 different debit cards. I will need to notify each company that I will be using them in Ecuador before I go so they don’t freeze them.
3 Month Budget (I am overestimating (I think) everything to be safe,)
Airport Exit Fee= $31.60
Food= $840.00 ($10 a day)
Toiletries=$20.00 (complete guess)
Transportation in Quito=$420.00 ($5.00 a day-1 Taxi/day +bus rides)
Nights Out=$540.00 (3 days/week)
Weekend Trips=$1,440.00 ($120/weekend)
Total=$5287.60 (wow this adds up)
Packing List (Prices are for Items I need to Buy)
1x EMS Long Trail II Backpack
1x Ogio Metro Style Backpack
1x Foldup Bag (for laundry/souvenirs)
1x Sleeping Sheet (stitched together like a sleeping bag)
2x Polo Shirts
1x Khaki shorts
1x Track Jacket
1x North Face Fleece
1x Long Sleeve Button Down
1x Flip Flops
1x Umbrella (will buy there)
1x hat (will buy there)
1x Gloves (will buy there)
1x Ecuador Guidebook
1x Mp3 Player
1x Laptop, charger, mouse, connection cables, microphone
1x Glasses & case
Contacts & Solution
1x roll toilet paper 🙂
1x KATADYN Micropur Tablets
1x Bottle of Pepsid AC
1x Box of Pepto Bizmo Tabs
1x bottle suntan lotion
1x razor & extra heads +travel size shaving cream
1x Nail Clippers
1x bottle insect repellent
1x pocket phrasebook
bunch of ziplock bags
alarm clock (need to buy)
1x duct tape
1x passport & copies
Wallet w/License & debit cards
2x Personal Checks
1x memory card (need to buy)
1x small calculator
1x rubber door stop
That should do it. I am excited to look back on this post in August to rate my planning