Traveling around the world has never been easy because as fun as it sounds, there are many variables to consider and evaluate before leaving. One of the major factors to evaluate is budgeting because that is the most tricky and daunting part of the trip. Since how you travel around the world is mostly based on your budget, you must understand how you are looking to travel.
Are you looking to travel around the world as a backpacker? Or do you want to travel on a budget? Do you have the finances to travel like a millionaire? Or are you looking for ways to travel for free? Whatever be, budgeting is crucial. With that being said, other factors play just as much part in making the trip fun and hassle-free.
There are a lot of factors that influence how much you spend. The majority of your budget will be based on the countries you decide to visit, the hotels that you stay in, the airlines you choose to fly with, the restaurants you eat at, the number of tours and activities you do, and also the mode of transportation you use to commute.
It is a lesser-known fact that traveling long term that is, for months will cost you a lot less than traveling for a week. Never knew that traveling was so cheap, did you?
With a bit of budgeting and planning, you can turn your trip around the world into reality. However, if you are a starter, it can get a bit overwhelming. In order to plan a perfect trip when it comes to planning and budgeting and also understand how to beat the crowds at popular tourist attractions, keep reading!
Let’s start with the budgeting of your travel around the world since that is the most sensitive and crucial part.
It is no rocket science that the most crucial part to travel around the world is understanding the budget. Planning is just as important because no matter what you must stick to your budget. But the main question is how do you plan and how much do you set aside?
Well, the answer differs as there are just as many answers as there are travelers. However, let me give you a clear idea of how much you need to set aside based on the kind of traveler you are.
As a backpacker, you can successfully do on as low as $50 a day. This includes lodging, food, outdoor activities, and transportation. If you are looking for a bit more comfortable trip then the average that you are looking at is around $2500 a month. However, this applies to Southeast Asia. If you are looking for a comfortable trip in Eastern Europe then you must look at $3500 a month and if you are planning to stay in an expensive city like Paris, the average is $5000 a month.
Set aside some money for pre-trip expenses and miscellaneous
When it comes to planning and budgeting our finances to travel around the world, we often forget to consider pre-trip expenses. These expenses include flight and transportation costs, travel insurance, visas, travel essentials, and gears. These items are significant and should be kept into consideration while budgeting and planning your travel around the world.
Similarly, there are some miscellaneous that we do not think about while budgeting but these expenses are unavoidable. The best thing one can do is set aside a small amount for miscellaneous like souvenirs and shopping, laundry, a dinner at a fancy restaurant, an expensive wine, a short cruise, and other unaccounted items. Travelers are often advised to set aside at least $1000 for these circumstances.
Bank fees can quickly add up to a significant amount
These are other costs that are not taken into consideration while budgeting travel around the world. This is fairly understandable because when we go on a trip for a week, it does not mean that much. However, the case here is different and if we are traveling for a longer time, even with average bank fees, it can quickly lead to a significant amount.
After your travel around the world, you will need money once you get home so, plan your return budget
Another mistake travelers often make is not setting aside a certain amount of money to have regular life running once they return from the trip. It is necessary for everyone to settle back before that salary starts coming home. As per the expense in your particular home country, ensure to have at least a sum that would let you easily survive a month before you start going back to work again.
Know the pace of your travel around the world
It is understandable that all our travel patterns are different. Some people like to stay in a destination for a month while some travelers change location every week. All things considered, it is paramount to understand that the more frequently you change your location, the more you spend.
As the more you travel, the most likely you get to spending on transportation, and therefore, you increase your daily expenditures. And if you are traveling on a budget, you might want to avoid this because the slower you travel, the less you spend on transportation. The worst part however is you do not get much time to understand the culture, people, and country as a whole.
Another thing to consider is, trying to see so much in a day or two can be exhausting and tiresome so, take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see as much of the world as possible.
Now that we have a rough estimate of our budget, let’s get started with the preparation
In order to travel around the world, the are some planning measures that you must consider. What you need to keep in mind is how much time are you going to stay away from home and then plan your trip accordingly. Once you are done with the planning, you must get done with the bookings of your flights and accommodation.
Your booking will likely to be a round-the-world flight ticket with a combination of road transportation and possibly a journey by sea. All the bookings for transportation can be done ahead of time and that is the way it should be done. You must keep an eye on these bookings days before your trip to get the best deals. Airlines often announce flash sales as well and some travel apps send you notifications when the price goes down so, sign up for all of that!
Also, remember that missing one of your tickets could cancel the entire tour so, plan your trip carefully and in advance.
The next step is to get your travel documents in order. You must start by figuring out if all your travel documents are up-to-date. Finding perfect travel insurance is a task in itself so, sort that out as well. Similarly, if you are traveling to a destination that requires you to get a visa, you must allow ample time for the visa application process.
And there is one tip I would want to share and that is to never overstay in any country because that way you might end up being deported, paying a heavy fine, or get banned from entering that particular country again.
Once you reach the destination, eliminate additional hotel and amenities fees
One thing we all must clarify before booking a hotel is whether or not you will be charged an additional amenities fee. Well, this must not seem like a necessity however, some hotels charge additional fees to use areas such as a gym, pool, or an in-room-safe. These additional charges might give you a mammoth bill when you leave so, avoid these charges if you are unlikely to use these services.
Even if you are staying in an all-inclusive property, it is very easy to get tricked. How they do that is they charge you a higher price for high end liquors, champagne, spa, and other recreational activities. Hence, choose your accommodation carefully and definitely don’t fall victim of advertisements and promotions.
Avoid paying for communication
There are certain charges that can easily be cut-off to travel around the world on a budget. One of which is cutting-off communication fees. Since communicating with friends and family is important while traveling so, use free apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype. Also, buying a SIM card is generally much inexpensive than roaming with your phone using an international SIM card. Discover where to buy and the type you’ll need to get yourself covered throughout the trip.
Choose your food and accommodation wisely
Eating around the world is also one of the major reasons people travel around the world. While you look forward to eating food from around the world and it is often the best part of traveling, it must be taken into consideration that while doing that your trip can become expensive.
Instead of dining out for every single meal, you can cook your own meal. In some countries, eating out can be really expensive as compared to buying groceries and cooking our own meal. Also, eating the local food is much cheaper than dining in restaurants that serve a western menu.
Similarly, famous tourist sites are well-known for their extremely high prices, be it their food or accommodation. And don’t even get me started on how chaotic these areas are. Skip eating or staying at such expensive places unless you want a giant bill. Given the attraction of major city lights and all the happening actions, it would be somewhat difficult to resist temptation. However, avoiding these places will only do you good.
Alcohol, pubs, and nights out are similarly bound to put a bigger strain on your budget so, avoid that. But do not worry as there are hostels that usually throw such parties at a discount. Some hostels also let you help yourselves with free beers for an hour every day.
Mode of transportation will highly impact your travel around the world
The modes of transportation that we use in order to commute is one thing that can quickly add up and impact our budget. Since flights are the most expensive and can take a big chunk of our budget, use them only when you have to. Other times, you can fill in the gaps by using a train or a bus to commute.
While the train and bus are cost-effective and one of the cheapest ways to commute, it can consume a lot of your travel time. If you are staying in a particular area for a month, you should have ample time for your travel so, do not worry.
Outdoor activities and tours
There is only so much one can see without paying. While all the factors influence our budget, outdoor activities and sightseeing will cost just as much and the tricky part is it does not feel like we are spending much (unless you are visiting expensive theme parks). Museum entrance fees, guided tours, concerts, excursions, and other outdoor activities such as surfing, snorkeling, paragliding, or zip-lining can instantly influence our budget so, keep that in mind.
You might be wondering what can actually be done to cut off these expenses. It is quite simple, the answer lies in what you want to do. You can also explore a destination by hiking instead of other expensive outdoor activities. You can similarly visit free museums and can explore in an expensive manner.
Another dilemma of budgeting for activities and excursions is you don’t really know what you feel like doing until you reach the destination and discover on your own. However, also ensure to not fall victim of doing absolutely nothing just because you want to save the money. Always remember why you decided to travel around the world in the first place.
I would also like to point out that some activities like safari in Africa, expensive dining in Paris, and trekking in Nepal can take a major chunk of your budget. In case you are planning such activities, the ideal thing to do is set aside the money that you will need for these activities. This way, you can manage your daily expenses in an easier manner.
You must also remember to do all that you want to because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you do not want to regret later. Don’t stress so much and if you want to learn snorkeling, go for it. You can balance your budget out by cooking your own meal for a week instead of dining out.
So, how much does it actually cost to travel around the world?
On average, you are looking at around $25,000 per person to travel around the world for a year. The average for budget travel is around $2000 a month. This estimation is inclusive of flights, staying in a decent hotel, eating in a local restaurant, using the cheapest modes of transportation to commute, and spending on tours and fun activities. This is just a rough estimation based on various resources however, you can also do much cheaper than this.
On the contrary, you can spend more on luxurious travel as it depends upon the kind of traveler you are. For luxurious travel around the world, you will be spending around $50,000 a year per person.
While a lot rides on the kind of traveler you are, the cost also depends on the countries you visit. Asia, South America, and Africa are comparatively cheaper and can be done in as little as $50 a day per person and that is inclusive of food, accommodation, and transportation. In a developed European and Asian countries and Australia, an average is $100 a day per person.
While there are some ways to keep your travel cost low, you can also travel around the world for free.
Fly for free
In order to fly for free, sign up with budget airlines as they are known for flights as cheap as $0 as well. All we need to do after signing up is turn on our notifications and wait for the airline sales. Once the airline brings such deals, just pounce on it.
Another way to travel the world for free is to earn travel points. We have credit cards and we can use that to sign up for a reward program and the major airlines that have co-branded with our credit card provide us a generous sign-up bonus.
Hitchhike to travel for free
Hitchhiking lets us travel without any travel costs. A lot of countries have maintained a good reputation in terms of hitchhiking and the thrill of standing at the side of the road, sticking out your thumb, and seeing where the road takes you is unmatchable so try this for an exciting and free trip.
Try couch surfing
Couch surfing is one of the best methods to cut off travel expenses as it is one of the largest guest communities in the world. It allows us to find a free couch, or a bed to crash without having to pay for it. The hosts usually are travelers themselves so they know what it is like to hit the road. Considering the like-mindedness and common interest in traveling, you will have an amazing time.
This is another amazing way of earning money on the road. All you need for this is a portfolio of your work and then you upload your best articles on free writing portfolio websites. The websites will then connect you with clients and that is how you make money even when you are traveling.
Become a house sitter
Even if you decide to stay in a hostel, that could be costing you way too much in some countries so the best option for free accommodation is house sitting. House sitting is a popular concept of looking after the owner’s house when they are away. Some house owners keep traveling and they need people to take care of their pets, garden, or house as a whole. Therefore, create a great video of yourself and send it to the house owner through house sitting platforms and score the job.
Teach English abroad
This is the best tip among all because along with the accommodation you will be making additional money. A lot of countries provide this opportunity as their schools and workplaces require qualified foreigners to teach and translate in English so, make the most of it.
WWOOF for free travel around the world
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) provides farmers from all over the world to work for them in exchange for free accommodation and meals. This volunteering opportunity is the most popular way of trading for free food and accommodation as it is practical and viable. The job is pretty simple, you can sow seeds, take care of the animals, or gather the plants.
Travel blogger or writer
If you are a traveler and love traveling around the world, why not write and make money? Well, don’t get so excited yet because you must also bear the love for writing. At the same time, you must have patience as this does not happen overnight. However, with some talent and patience, you can add a bit to your budget through travel blogging.
Grab free food
Finding free food has become easier since freeganism, public food trees, gleaning, etc came into play. Freeganism lets you have food that could be wasted just because it has passed the sell date period by a few minutes. Similarly, gleaning lets you have fruits from the trees in public places. Likewise, the free food moment also encourages the farmers to share their food with neighbors.
This is one of the jobs that can be done from anywhere. If you are bilingual and have perfect spelling and grammar then, this might be the job for you! So, why not make the most of your skills?
The best way to travel the world is by earning more or spending less. In any case, doing a bit of both is sensible so, take a look at how you can save some money on the road.
-Limit fine dining and expensive restaurants. Instead, eat like a local or cook your own meal.
-Cut-off on high-end shopping.
-Give up on alcohol and smoke.
-Limit too many luxurious items back home.
-Work overtime if you have to.
-Earn money online by selling certain items.
-Earn money on the road by making the most of your skills.
It’s a wrap!
So that is it! I hope you found your answers as to how to travel the world and how much does it cost. What do you think of the list? Also, do let me know in the comments below if you have additional tips on how to travel the world.