When I tell my plans of traveling the world for a year, I receive a lot of comments and different reactions. After the initial surprise is over, though, I often get the same questions:
Where will you start? / Where will you go?
How much does it cost? / Which is your budget?
I will start in India and, after that, I have a rough idea of my itinerary but it might change later on. With this fact (and uncertainties) in mind, I estimated my budget making some hypothesis. Initially I did not plan to write about it, however, since I got the same question several times, I thought that it might be interesting to share it… and to compare it at the end with the real cost to see how accurate I was (or not). So there it is.
How much does it cost to travel for a year?
The answer is… it depends.
Of course there are some costs you cannot skip, as flights, visas and travel insurance (well, travel insurance is not compulsory, but highly recommended!). Basic expenses, on the other hand, will vary according to several parameters:
- the regions to visit: even on a budget, some countries are more expensive than others
- the time spent in each place: visiting 30 countries will be more expensive than visiting 10. Traveling fast implies more transport (often planes), and that will increase the cost.
- the level of comfort: it is not the same to travel by taxi and sleep in 5 start hotels, than taking local transport and stay in hostels, than hitchhiking and carrying a tent.
Personally, I would like to travel slow, spending two or three nights in each place and around a month per country. I plan to move around by public transport (bus, train, boat…), and stay in hostels or guesthouses and use coach surfing (to meet locals as well as other travelers).
My RTW trip budget split
- Basic expenses (accommodation, food, transport): 7500€
- 11 months of travel x 1 country per month = 11 countries
- 4 very cheap countries, 5 cheap, 1 expensive and 1 very expensive
- 15€ day in very cheap countries, 20€ in cheap, 30€ in medium, 40€ in expensive and 50€ in very expensive
- Flights: 3000€
- I counted three long distance (Europe to Asia, Oceania to South America and South America back to Europe) with an average of 600-700€ per ticket, plus some more for short distance flights (inside the same continent).
- Travel insurance: 800€
- I did a couple of fast searches to get a first idea of how much it would cost for a year. I did not do a serious research so I hope to find a better price at the end, but for the moment I keep this value as budget.
- Visas: 200€
- Fortunately, most of the countries I want to visit do not request a visa for a short stay (with an European passport), so these expenses will not be much. I have paid around 150€ for the Indian visa, and Laos and Cambodia cost 30 and 20 dollars (so a bit less in euros).
- Extra expenses: 500€
- Finally I included some extra budget for other expenses as visits to museums, activities or unexpected events.
TOTAL BUDGET: 12000€
Note: I did not include the gear and vaccinations since I do not consider these expenses as specific for the RTW trip.
What do you think about my budget? Is it realistic, or did I forget something? I’d be happy to hear your opinion!
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