How much does traveling for one year cost? How much money do you spend when traveling around the world? What are the biggest expenses when traveling?
This article has been written to answer all your budgeting questions when it comes to backpacking the world from a few months to a few years.
Traveling for a few months can be very expensive. Yet the idea of leaving everything behind and going around the world for a year can be very appealing.
So how do you budget your travels? How much money do you anticipate spending?
Before starting my journey I made some research and found very little practical information on how to budget my trip and what my costs might be.
Most websites would just tell me to go in cheap countries and stay there for 6 months. But that’s just neither interesting nor actual traveling.
Regardless of who you are, your plans, or even your social background, money is of big importance when it comes to travel. The less you spend, the more you can travel. It’s that simple.
Every Dollar, or Euro, or any other currency, can be worth it. These $5 you were hoping to spend on a coffee? They can allow you to sleep 3 nights in a hostel in Thailand.
Coming from a business environment, I decided to record every spending I had for the past 18 months of my travels and share it with you.
Having a clean budget and learning how not to spend is critical, and that’s what I want to teach you here. Because in the end, the budget I had given myself for 12 months ended up lasting me 18 months.
“Well, that’s because you had large pockets from the start” you might say.
“Sure” I’ll reply. Except I managed to travel with roughly 15€ ($17USD) a day for a year and a half, and through my entire journey I haven’t met ONE person able to tell me they were able to spend so little.
Because I want you to succeed in your travels, I am openly sharing my budget with you.
As you can see, all sorts of countries are included here: cheap ones, expensive ones, big ones, small ones, Asian, American, European, …
The first 3 months were a rough start, with some pretty expensive countries, even while trying to spend as little as possible. But it gave me the slap in the face I needed: I had to find better ways to save.
As you can see, I did pretty good on lodging (5% of my total expenses), but sucked on transportation (23%, and up to 56% if you include flights).
What to focus on
The number on the bottom right that I have highlighted, 9449€, is the one I think you should focus on.
It represents a 1 year budget, without including the Extra-Gear expenses nor Insurance. Why? Because these expenses were very specific to me and my particular trip.
On your end, you might not have to go through such expenses. You might not purchase Insurance (or if you do it might be very different), and you might not have to buy a new backpack or a crappy bicycle in the middle of your trip.
However, I revealed the full scope of my budget so you could adapt yours to your needs. So if you think you’ll need insurance and will probably have extra-gear expenses, then 10384€ is your number.
(I do also want to point out that I didn’t include clothing and gear in my budget because I already had most of the things)
So what’s the magic number
Overall, a traveling budget should circle around 10,000€ for one year IF you go to a new country every month.
That’s 27€ per day – all included
5,500€ will be for transportation – 2000€ will be for food – 1000€ will be for lodging – 2000€ for the rest (insurance, visas, vaccines, local activities, …)
There are ways however for you to OUT-PERFORM that number easily and spend even less
As you see, there are 3 main expenses when you travel: food, transportation, and lodging. The less you spend on these three, the more you save.