If you are considering traveling the world, you will be on an adventure of your life.
Traveling around the world is an energizing experience to treasure for years to come. There are so many good reasons to pursue this adventure. Planning this experience does not need to be complicated, you will need to make certain you consider the cost of your trip.
A Sample Budget Breakdown
Would you believe that some people have traveled to 20 countries in just 12 months? Budgeting to travel the world is like asking me how much a house is. Since there are so many factors that will go into this, it’s hard to give you an exact estimate. Do you want to stay in luxury hotels or are you happy in a hostel with others?
For example, a few years ago, I traveled the world for a few months. Here’s what I spent in a six month period away from home:
- Accommodations: $7,000 (this was primarily for hostels that were about $30~ per night)
- Transportation: $5,000 (this was for the train, airline tickets, taxi)
- Food: $2,000 (while hard, I tried to spend less than $10 per day on food)
- Leisure: $800 (since I hiked most of the time, most of my leisure activities were free)
- Insurance: $700 (this was for travel/health insurance while traveling foreign countries)
- Additional: $500 (this was considered my miscellaneous expenses such as a run to the drug store)
Variables to Consider
There will be a few variables to consider while planning for your trip, and as mentioned above, there are so many things that can affect your total price: Here are some things you will want to consider:
- How long do you want to travel?
- Where do you want to go?
- How are you going to get to each destination?
- How do you want to sleep at night?
- What do you want to eat each day?
- Are you going to travel with someone else to split the costs?
Round up your Estimates
Rounding-up the total estimates may be a good idea for anyone planning to travel the world. Exact figures may be rounded and estimated to provide a general idea. So for example, if you think it’s going to cost you $2,800 for hotels, you might as well round up to $3,000. Always estimate high so you’re not surprised with the end results.
How to Bring Down the Costs
1. Cash is king
Cash is typically accepted everywhere. If there were an emergency situation, cash may come to the rescue, especially if the merchant doesn’t accept credit cards. Also, don’t forget that most credit card companies charge a transaction fee if used overseas. If you don’t feel comfortable using cash, consider buying an overseas prepaid credit card. As long as it has a Visa or MasterCard logo, it will work just like a normal credit card.
2. Consider the budget airlines
The world is filled with hundreds of airline companies. Once you map out your destinations, see which airlines offer the best deals to those countries. Is it cheaper to fly or via train? Obviously, there may be circumstances where you need to fly, but if you can bypass this, you may want to look into the train. If you do fly, don’t forget to factor in surprise expenses such as baggage fees. Websites such as Kayak and Skyscanner.com are great options to find cheap flights.
3. Hostels or camping
Staying a luxury or even middle of the road hotel can cost you at least $100 to $200 per night. If you don’t mind the bare bone necessities, consider staying at a hostel or even camping at a local campground. Each of these options can save you hundreds, if not thousands, over the span of your trip.
4. Pack and buy your food
Eating out may be fun to experience the local cuisine, but you don’t want to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Consider going to the local markets and purchasing your own snacks and meals to save on your food. It’s okay to eat out here and there, but most of the time, you will want to eat something simple such as a sandwich or bagel to save a few dollars each day. Remember, if you’re going to spend 180 days away from home, each day can add up fast.
5. Consider insurance
If you’re going to be away for a long time, highly consider health and travel insurance. This way, if you were to get sick, you would be covered in the hospital and your trip would be reimbursed. If you were to get sick, for example, and you didn’t have insurance, you could lose thousands on your trip and in the hospital room. Remember that most surgeries can cost you thousands of dollars.
6. Enjoy the locals
Lastly, if you want to enjoy the sights and sounds, that’s fine! However, what you’re going to find out is that most of your local tourist attractions will be very pricey and sometimes not worth it. Try to walk around the town, talk with the locals or hit up a local museum/library that’s free to enter. There are a lot of attractions in every city that won’t cost you a dime. If you feel you want to go to these touristy attractions, consider looking for a coupon book or group package of some sort to save the most money.
Stephane is a freelance writer who resides in Gilbert, Arizona. When she’s not writing, she’s biking, hiking, cooking and spending quality time with her family.