Madeira, A Portuguese Island
May/June 2018
* Money Matters * issues a weekly "Top 20 Travel Destinations" newsletter and back in September 2017 this one popped up. 

The travel package was being offered by Azores Getaways and was to the island of Madeira which is in the Atlantic about 500 miles off the coast of North Africa.  The package included r/t air for two + 6 nights hotel + breakfast + airport/hotel transportation for an amazingly cost effective price of $950/person.   We elected to stick with the included hotel, Savoy Gardens, which is within walking distance of downtown Funchal.  The hotel was EXCELLENT.  Everything of interest was downhill from the hotel and a short taxi ride back.  Taxis were plentiful and, to us, seemed reasonably priced.  We elected NOT to rent a car because of the mountainous terrain.   Instead, we took taxis and a public bus within Funchal and went on 3 jeep safaris into the countryside. 

Before departure, we booked TWO all day Jeep Safris for a total $250US, a couple r/t air tickets from Philadelphia to/from Boston ($250 total for BOTH), and a night in Boston when we returned (~$300 with dinner).

Bear in mind that all of this is at 2018 prices.  Currently, the exchange rate is about $1.33US per Euro.  We got some Euros at the airport in Boston and ended up with 400 Euros for $532US.  Coinage was in .05E, .10E, .20E, and 1E and 2E.  Notice no pennies, everything rounded to the next .05E.  Paper was in 5E, 10E, 20E, and 50E.

We started with some leftover Euros from a previous trip to which we added 50 Euros from an ATM bringing our total to 520 Euros.  When all was said and done, we came home with a few euros so we spent about 490 Euros in cash on the island.  We found meal prices on the island to be reasonable and typically cost us about 30 Euros for dinner (total).  We used cash for meals, tips, sightseeing admission fees, public bus, and taxis.  On the subject of tipping, we generally tipped about 10% and maybe a little more with some rounding up.  For instance, a dinner for two might have totalled 26E and we would have rounded up to 30E.

Our grand total for this trip comes out to about $3300.

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