Ten Starting Places: Estimating Expenses

Every Friday, we post ten (or so) links that provide a planning traveler with a few quality guides to use as foundations in their search for answers about a specific question. Rather than seek out reviews about individual products, we aim to list articles that cover the basic questions, compare several options, or provide a general orientation to the topic. These lists are jumping boards for you to see a short list of high quality perspectives all in one place; we’ll sift through the mediocre Google results to compile a concise list of good stuff just for you!  

In case the last post about packing didn’t emphasize it enough, travel is quite the individualized affair. Just like no two people pack the same items, no two people have the exact same budget. Most people I met on the road called themselves a budget traveler, but we all had different priorities, different moods, different needs. Every other traveler you meet on the road will consider one of your necessities a splurge, while you’ll be thinking the next guy’s necessity is a splurge. There will always be someone negotiating harder than you; there will always be someone throwing down cash that you don’t have. You’re also quite likely to find yourself budgeting inconsistently: one month, you’re stressing about funds and making do on two meals a day, while the next month, you’re living in a hotel with groceries and cafes and a few restaurants some days.

Money is a touchy subject; it’s not something you necessarily find a huge amount of information out there in the travel blog sphere. This list includes as many articles as I could find for estimating expenses; some focus more on the savings side of things. In the estimates I listed here, I tried to include the most pertinent information: staying in one places vs. moving around a lot; villages vs. cities; tourist vs. work-exchanging.

  1. Daniel Baylis breaks down the expenses of his year-long trip in detail. He spent $14,000 for one year of four continents (mostly villages) in twelve months, work-exchanging.
  2. Nomadic Matt has literally written the book on How to Travel the World on $50 a Day. This comes out to $18,000, but his photos lead me to believe that he’s touristing in big cities and moving around a good bit.
  3. Adventurous Kate includes her expenses for Southeast Asia in her blog post that centers on saving money rapidly: $10,500 for seven months in Southeast Asian cities as a tourist.
  4. Jack and Jill Travel wrote a great post surveying plenty of other travelers and their expenses. They guestimate $2000 per month per person for a RTW trip.
  5. A Little Adrift uses a number of totals and tables and summaries for the data-inclined. She spent $18,000 on 11 months of travel, three continents of work-exchanging.
  6. Never Ending Voyage has a great break down of their trip and some helpful ways to estimate. They spent £29,168 on a year of travel.
  7. Chris and Jodi list their expenses in quite an attractive way. The two of them spent $25,000 in nine months.
  8. Asher World Turns has some great photos in her breakdown from 2014, slightly more recent than most listed here. She spent $27,000 in nine months, three continents.
  9. Boots N All has a detailed roundup of ten or so travelers and their numbers.
  10. Suitcase Stories emphasizes the importance of budgeting while traveling, which helps make a few nice hotels and adventures possible along the way.


2 years ago

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