Many people have been curious about what we’ve spent and how we planned an around the world travel budget.
Before we went off on this round-the-world (RTW) trip we had a few loose numbers in our heads:
We’d be gone for 6 months –> 180 days.
There are 2 of us.
We would spend no more than $30,000 USD
We figured if we spent $100/day for the two of us (that includes food, lodging and entertainment), we’d keep well within our budget ($3,000/mo. x 6 = $18,000).
This would work out to about 10K on plane tickets/travel costs and then about 20K on daily expenses.
The reality is that some areas of the world are cheaper than others so the $100/day can be way too much in some places and super-duper not enough in others. We hoped that it would all balance out (and it did!).
Here are some Numbers from our Trip:
Time in Each Region:
Oceania: 7 weeks
Southern Asia: 2 weeks
South East Asia: 6 weeks
Far East: 2 weeks
Europe: 7 weeks
|Least Expensive||Most Expensive|
|Accommodation||Vietnam||an Onsen in Akita, Japan|
|Country to get around||Sri Lanka||Japan|
Places We Easily Spent Less Than $100/day:
Places We Spent More Than $100/day:
How We Said “Thank You!”
Thanks / Cheers
The Breakdown of How We Spent Our Money:
You read that right: our grand total was $25,046.39 for everything.
We were surprised at how little the transportation costs came to. This total includes everything from taxis to plane tickets. Round-the-world ticket packages were cited for WAY more than what you’d spend if you bought the flights! Do some research and buy the flights yourself- it’s cheaper and you get to decide when to leave and where to go!
Travel insurance isn’t cheap, but you’d be silly not to get it. We spent a little over $1,200 on this, buying ourselves about 7 months of insurance (we weren’t sure how long we’d be gone when we set out). We had some stuff stolen in Vietnam, so we were particularly glad we had this during that time. We went with World Nomads. They were super easy to deal with, and had the best coverage for gadgets (laptops, phones etc) that we found.
Don’t forget the Fees. ATM fees are a real bastard. They’ll get you for 5 bucks every time you use a machine, so take out a bunch of cash (but make sure to exchange it before you leave the country. We now have a couple hundred dollars tied up in money we can’t exchange, like the Sri Lankan Rupee. D’oh!)
We actually spent less than we thought. I think our budget came under because we didn’t buy souvenirs, hardly bought any clothing, didn’t spend a ton of cash on adventure (no bungee jumping, scuba diving or tours), and didn’t go out to eat in expensive countries all that much, which saved a lot of money.
Numbers for Transportation Methods:
This breakdown is the amount of times we used each form of transportation.
You’ll notice we spent quite a lot of time on buses. Many parts of the world rely on them as the main form of transportation. Our longest bus ride was 10.5 hours (Thailand) and the longest single trip was 12 (Sri Lanka). If you are not a bus person, stick to Japan or Europe.
Where We Went:
Where We Want to go Next:
Spending less than our anticipated amount of 30K was a really happy surprise. This wasn’t just because we’d stuck to our budget. We used points!
If you decide to travel for the long-haul, I STRONGLY suggest you get yourself a travel credit card.
For our trip I opened the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card which gives you 3% cash back on all purchases related to travel and food. This resulted in us being able to get free accommodation in Tokyo (saved us about $140 USD a night!), free flights from Japan to Europe (saved about $1,000), and a free stay at the resort in Phu Quoc, Vietnam (saved about $120 a night). On top of the points we earned, I got a travel credit of $300 which bought us a few small flights in New Zealand and Asia. This card is not cheap to open: it costs about $450 a year for a membership, but it is SO WORTH IT.
Also, did I mention you get access to participating airport lounges with this card? (There was only a small handful of airports we went to that didn’t have an airport lounge we could chill out in). When schlepping across the world, taking a shower in an airport lounge before settling in to a fresh cup of coffee and a breakfast of chilled fruit and yogurt can feel really, really nice.
michelle saysFebruary 24, 2018 at 11:21 am
great website! very helpful and inspiring! how did you sublet your place? was it hard to do?
Natalie saysFebruary 24, 2018 at 1:25 pm
Hi Michelle! Thank you for reading and checking this out!
We have subletted our place twice! The first time we did it through our friend network “Anyone want to live here or know someone who does?” and that was very successful.
The second time was a bit harder as our friend netword yielded no results. Instead, we joined a couple of Facebook groups: “Gypsy Housing” and “Under 1000” to cast our nets further. This was a little scary because we were renting to people we didn’t know, but actually has turned out well. The people we are currently renting to are very nice and are good friends with each other. We had to use our guts and do some interviewing, but otherwise it was pretty straightforward and smooth. I guess the hardest part there is finding the type of person you want in your home and then scheduling a viewing and interview.