Last week someone emailed me, asking what our budget for our trip around the world is. Since this might be interesting to others, too, I decided to put that information in a blog post. So if you want to know what budget you need for a trip around the world, you should keep on reading.
First I will go through the different steps of setting up a budget before I go into our specific budget.
1. Step: Where do You want to go?
In order to get a good overview over the possible costs for a trip around the world you should have a pretty decent outline of where you want to go and how long you want to stay there. Staying in Southeast Asia cost you only 30% of what it would cost you to stay in North America or Switzerland (even more expensive with the Swiss franc at an all time high).
You don’t need to know the exact dates and how many days you want to stay in what city, but just knowing how many weeks you want to spend in a specific region helps with your budgeting.
2. Step: What Type of Traveler are You?
Make up your mind what your trip should be like. Consider things like (expensive vs. cheap): rental car vs. public transportation, eat in fine restaurants vs. local food or even cooking for yourself, see all touristy places vs. getting to know the people off the beaten tracks, 3-4 star hotels vs. low budget accommodation.
Most backpackers don’t mind to do the absolute low budget thing. If you don’t like to share a room with strangers and really like your air conditioning then I have bad news for you. You might want to save up a little more money for your trip.
A great way to save money is by travelling with someone else. Most accommodations are charged per room, not per person. So you can save lots of cash by getting a double room and splitting the cost.
Don’t forget the cost of the different attractions you want to see. For example just going to the top of the Eiffel Tower cost 13€. Of course there are also really cheap attractions around, e.g. the Chiang Mai Zoo, which is awesome btw, which only charges you 100 Baht (around 2,50€).
If you like to party and drink lots of alcohol, then even more bad news for you. In some countries just drinking two cocktails can cost you more than your budget for the entire day!
3. Step: Check out Accommodation Prices Online
To get a good feeling for the prices in a specific region just got to the different hotel booking resources and check the prices for different types of location. My experience is that the prices you find online are usually cheaper than the prices you find when you are trying to get a room directly at the hostel or hotel.
4. Step: Search for Experience by Real Travelers
There are lots of travelers who already shared the cost of travelling in a specific country. Just do a search like “country cost of living” or “country backpacking cost”. Of course you need to search fot the specific country in instead of “country”.
If you search for a while you might even find a database with values for different kind of travelers.
5. Step: Put It All in a Spreadsheet
Create a list with one row for each week of your trip. In the first column you write region you want to be in in that week. Columns 2-5 are the planned costs for accomodation, food, transportion and sight seeing. Column 6 should be a for miscellaneous things you need along the trip e.g. products for personal hygiene, gifts, etc.
I recommend that there should be 7th column for shopping. Especially if you love shopping. You will find so many great places to shop – especially in South East Asia – that this should also be calculated.
If you’re like me and just love to scuba dive, you might want to put in another column for the diving cost.
When putting in your cost, you should also put a 30% buffer on EACH column! You never know what can go wrong. Maybe you forget to check and there is a national holiday so all cheap places are booked solid and you have to go to an expensive hotel for the night. Or maybe something gets stolen and you need to buy something to replace it.
There are so many things that could screw up your budget. Don’t go out into the world calculating with the absolute minimum.
Our Budget for the 12 Month Around the World Trip
The table below gives a short overview over our budget for the trip. I didn’t put the entire budget spreadsheet in here, but instead I tried to divide it in 3 regions (Asia, Austria and New Zealand, North America). Additionally we spend about 7,000€ for two RTW tickets from Star Alliance and I will do my DiveMaster in Koh Tao, which will cost me about 1500€.
The average total shows our weekly budget, the columns accomodation and food are per day. The cost for diving is the total for the entire 30 weeks in Asia and 10 weeks in Australia and New Zealand, except the DM in Koh Tao.
|30||Asia||15-20€||15 €||50-70€||50-100€||20-100€||460 €||500 €|
|10||Australia, New Zealand||50 €||20 €||150 €||50-100€||50 €||750 €||200 €|
|10||North America||0-90€||25 €||100-150€||100-300€||50-300€||750 €||0|
If you are planning your own trip, please keep in mind that this is OUR weekly budget. It is fit to our needs. We do want to stay in nicer bungalows, but we don’t drink a lot of alcohol. We stay a long time in the same places instead of travelling around, which reduces transportation and accommodation cost. Additionally we won’t have to spend as much money in North America, because we are planning to visit friends and family, where we don’t have to pay for accommodation.
So please take the time to calculate your own budget so you know how much money you really need. It would be a shame if you would have to cut your trip short just because you are running out of money.
If you are wondering about the 300€ sightseeing and shopping in North America, here is the reason why. We will go to Nashville to see the Tennessee Titans. Since the tickets are quite pricy, we do have to calculate a bit more. Also I am planning to do quite a lot of shopping before we leave New York to come back home.