This blogpost is also available in German (auf Deutsch)
You should never really talk about money – or should we? The budgets published on many travel blogs helped me plan our trip. Since I found that super helpful, I decided that I would share all the financial details of our trip around the world with you. I kept track, almost down to the cent, of what we spent every day, where we spent it and for what and now finally added it all up.
A little info before I go on with my World Trip Budget: we financed the trip ourselves. The trip was planned for a few years and saved almost as long. My goal was to stay below our target budget during the trip. But I don’t want to keep you on edge for too long, so onto the final calculations! More details, info, disclaimer, etc. are available below, after the tables.
So how much did we spend during our six months in Southeast Asia, Japan and Central America? How high was our World Trip Budget?
The answer: 8,700 euros per person – including flights, travel insurance, accommodation, food, shopping, transport, sightseeing and souvenirs.
My goal was to stay below 10,000 euros per person and we did it! We could have traveled even cheaper, but we bought a lot of gifts for friends and family and also had to buy two hard drives (due to various technical problems) or some other electronics. Additionally, we travelled more like “Flashpackers”, not always taking the cheapest dorm bed, but rather a private double, which is much nicer as a couple. We have also ate quite often in trendy, vegan hipster restaurants (at least in Thailand and Bali). In addition, Japan tore a huge hole in our pockets and without our 10 days in Kyoto and Tokyo we would have been even further under budget. Also, we did not include the rental car costs in Costa Rica (450 dollars per person), since Jesse’s grandma paid for this as a 30th birthday gift.
But here is an exact breakdown by country (in dollars, for details scroll down):
In total we spent about 8.700 euro (the list above is in Dollars) per person including hotel, transportation, visas, souvenirs, cosmetics, various other shopping (such as clothes and electronics), sightseeing, sim cards, food, flights and travel insurance. I left the costs for shopping and souvenirs in the calculation because I find that it is more realistic to expect to buy something on every now and then, or that something breaks and has to be replaced, etc.
The cheapest countries were Nepal, Bali and Myanmar (when looking at the cost per day). I already noticed that while we were in these countries. Accommodation and food was very cheap and the food was very very good. I loved the food in Nepal! I also loved the food in Japan, which was not really surprising, but also much more expensive than the other places. But I have to admit that we have lived very well in Japan and didn’t really make an effort to save. Thailand is also amongst our more expensive stops in Southeast Asia. However, to be honest, in Thailand we shopped a lot and ate at expensive restaurants fairly often. Otherwise the country is also very affordable for backpackers. In Costa Rica the transport is missing in the list, as Jesse’s Grandma paid for the car rental as a 30th birthday gift to him (more below). Here you would have to add bus connections (or even a car rental as I would definitely recommend renting one in Costa Rica).
A bit more information:
The costs for all of our flights must catch your attention: these are incredibly cheap (I have included all small, domestic and also all major, international flights). This is because we booked the “big” flights all with miles that we collected over the past years. The flights from Germany to Nepal, from Japan to Costa Rica and from Panama to Cuba were basically for free (we still had to pay the taxes). If you want to some tips on how to save miles, or how we found and booked cheap flights, let us know. Including the information about this would make this post way to long. Update: Here are already some infos!
We also were able to sleep for a total of 15 nights for free. 10 of them at friends or through deals (Jesse’s credit card company gave us a night for free for example) and 5 in hotels through blogger cooperation. I also always recommend couchsurfing with friends, at least occasionally. But I know that this doesn’t always work out. I definitely wanted to mention that 15 free nights. I could have received more free nights through blogger cooperations, but cooperations always mean work (even if it may not seem like it) and we had planned the trip for so long and I didn’t want to spend our time sitting in front of the computer.
The costs that we had to pay in advance added up to about 330 euros per person (vaccinations for Jesse, mine were for free, and shopping for various items we needed for the trip). On top of that, we had running costs of about 600 euros in total per person, since we continued to rent a small guest room to use for storage. For such a trip, a budget of about 10,000 euros is generally a good estimation, if you want to live a bit nicer or do more organized tours, you have to calculate a little more.
I’ve written a few saving tips here. I was able to save about 400 euros every month, in order to save the total amount after 2-3 years.
I am very very satisfied with our expenses. We stayed under 10,000 euros and I did not have to touch my buffer savings. We always paid attention to our money, chose backpacker accommodations and in Costa Rica and Panama cooked almost every day, but still did not stress too much about every single dollar and enjoyed the trip! Whenever it was possible we took the DIY, local transportation option and, to a large extent, tried to eat cheaply and also did not stay in luxurious accommodation. Most of the rooms were good and clean, but there were also a couple of nights where I noticed very clearly that we were backpackers 🙂 To mention a few examples, ants in the bed, whip scorpions in the bathroom, bats in the room and a level of bathroom cleanliness that I don’t want to talk about : P But I wanted that, I wanted to to be a “real” backpacker and all that stuff goes along with it and I enjoyed every moment!
Of course, my lists of the costs may not be perfect. It was not always easy to write down all of the expenses. So the total sum might be +/- 200 euro, but this blogpost is meant to give you a rough idea of how much a trip like this costs.
I hope you found the article about our World Trip Budget exciting, even if you are not planning your own world trip. Perhaps this helps for shorter journeys, e.g. to Southeast Asia, or for saving! Let me know if you have any questions.
- Find all of our world trip content here: Our backpacking world trip – all infos and tips
- How to save so much money: 15 real and useful tips for saving for your next travels
- Expectations vs. Reality on the world trip: Behind the scenes of amazing travel pics