How much does it cost to travel around the world?

How much does it cost to travel around the world?


I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I didn’t need a million to travel around the world. Neither half a million. I am going to write now that it didn’t even cost me a quarter of a million! Can you believe it? My round the world trip cost me less than a quarter of a million Czech crowns. Read on to find out more.

I used to work in finance and this article is a clear proof that the job which I had for 5 years marked me for life! There will be a lot of numbers. I would like to help you understand what expenses I had and how big they were.

Are you ready to see the number? My round the world trip cost me 230.000 Czech crowns. That is 8.860 euros. This is absolutely freaking amazing. Why? For one thing, I used to think a round the world trip cost so much more. I had seen budgets of other travellers and they were higher. For another thing, I spent LESS MONEY travelling around the world than living in the Czech Republic! No kidding! That’s sensational! In addition, I was leaving with the budget of 250.000 CZK or 9.600 euros (I had only planned 200.000 originally, but I had managed to save more) and I didn’t exceed the budget! That’s incredible. And again only a person who used to do budgeting like me knows how rewarding it feels when you meet the budget.

Let’s take a look at my expenses in more detail.

MONTHLY SPENDING

This table shows how much I spent every month. The first two columns show spending without health insurance and bank fees, i.e. only direct expenses. The other two columns show all expenses.

There were four months when I spent less than 500 euros. Amazing! There were another four months month when I spent 500 – 600 euros. So 8 months of travelling cost me less than 600 euros per month!

Why are the last four months more expensive? Well, I travelled in more expensive countries and I flew more. I travelled in Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. And I flew over two oceans. June is the single most expensive month and its because I flew over the Pacific during that month to reach Canada, the most expensive country I went to on this trip.

Month EUR* CZK* EUR total CZK total
August 554 14 412 555 14 447
September 484 12 577 485 12 612
October 588 15 291 593 15 426
November 582 15 124 617 16 034
December 520 13 518 559 14 528
January 465 12 081 500 12 990
February 414 10 751 448 11 661
March 492 12 800 527 13 710
April 738 19 197 781 20 306
May 789 20 502 850 22 098
June 1 524 39 635 1 582 41 131
July 1 304 33 967 1 361 35 463
Total 8 453* 219 855* 8 859 230 407

* without insurance and bank fees

SPENDING BY COUNTRY

The following table shows how much I spent in every single country (insurance and bank fees excluded). There is also the number of days spent in each country. Travelling in Canada, Australia and Indonesia cost me the most. New Zealand is also an expensive country but I only spent there two weeks, therefore it ranked lower.

The row labelled “International” includes transport from and to Slovakia, my home country, as well as all international flights.

Country Days EUR CZK
Canada 42,5 1 430 37 190
Australia 30,0 690 17 944
Indonesia 29,0 688 17 897
China 34,0 665 17 281
Thailand 44,0 645 16 774
Laos 24,5 487 12 656
Vietnam 26,0 478 12 438
Malaysia 30,5 473 12 287
Myanmar 28,5 452 11 760
New Zealand 15,0 420 10 925
Kyrgyzstan 24,5 338 8 783
Kazakhstan 22,5 271 7 034
Russia 4,0 150 3 900
Ukraine 3,5 101 2 638
France 1,5 77 2 019
Singapore 3,5 74 1 934
International 1,5 1 012 26 396
Total 365 8 453 219 855

 

It is however much better to look at average daily spending in each country to see clearly which countries are the most expensive to travel in and which are the cheapest to travel in. I excluded Ukraine, Russia and France which were basically transit countries so the average daily spending doesn’t show a realistic picture.

Now we see that New Zealand ranks as the second most expensive country. Like I mentioned earlier Canada was the most expensive country on this trip. Indonesia is a cheap country but I went on two tours and took three domestic flights which pushed the numbers up.

And which countries were the cheapest? The Central Asian countries Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan where I spent less than 15 euros per day! If you want to travel cheap Southeast Asia is also for budget travellers. Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar are really good value for money destinations. Average daily spending in 8 countries was lower than 20 euros. That’s pretty cool.

And when I take into account all year, a day of travelling cost me 23 euros excluding health insurance and 24 euros with insurance included. That’s incredible. Less than 25 euros a day! Everybody wants that.

Country Days EUR CZK EUR/day CZK/day
Canada 42,5 1 430 37 190 34 875
New Zealand 15,0 420 10 925 28 728
Indonesia 29,0 688 17 897 24 617
Australia 30,0 690 17 944 23 598
Singapore 3,5 74 1 934 21 552
Laos 24,5 487 12 656 20 517
China 34,0 665 17 281 20 508
Vietnam 26,0 478 12 438 18 478
Myanmar 28,5 452 11 760 16 413
Malaysia 30,5 473 12 287 15 403
Thailand 44,0 645 16 774 15 381
Kyrgyzstan 24,5 338 8 783 14 359
Kazakhstan 22,5 271 7 034 12 313
Total 365 8 453 219 855 23 602
Gr Total 365 8 859 230 407 24 631

 

This table also shows another thing. My trip could have cost me LESS or SO MUCH MORE if I had travelled in different countries. Think of your budget and length of the desired trip, choose countries, pack your things and GO! NOW! Have the time of your life like I did.

TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES

I paid 2.534 euros for transportation which is 28,6 % of total spending, i.e. almost a third! The flights, indeed, cost the most. The flight over the Pacific cost me 468 euros. I think that’s a great price. I had expected to pay much more. I decided to fly to Canada from New Zealand as opposed to from Australia. The flight from there would have cost TWICE as much. Flights are generally cheaper from New Zealand and in addition, I was lucky to stumble upon a promotion! Yes, baby!

The flight across the Atlantic cost me 205 euros which is yet another great price! The flight from Edmonton to Hamilton in Canada was the third most expensive at 128 euros followed by the flight to New Zealand at 102 euros. The remaining flights cost less than 100 euros. I took 5 international and 4 domestic flights (3 of those in Indonesia, 1 in Canada).

I am a huge fan of train travel and so I spent a significant amount of money on train tickets.

Mode EUR CZK
Flight 1 106 28 753
Train 732 19 098
Bus 218 5 660
Car 78 2 038
Boat 84 2 187
Local public 277 7 192
Local private 39 1 016
Total 2 534 65 943

 

I hitchhiked 11,000 kilometres in 8 different countries which must have saved me AT LEAST 1.000 euros. Just in Australia I hitchhiked 5.000 kilometres saving hundreds of Australian dollars (the prices of transport are high, trust me).

Canada (350 euros), China (194 euros) and Indonesia (150 euros) ranked in TOP 3 when it comes to transportation expenses.

I could have spent less on transport if I had, for instance, hitchhiked more, or covered fewer islands in Indonesia. The point is THERE IS A WAY TO TRAVEL CHEAP!

ACCOMMODATION EXPENSES

I spent 1.326 euros on accommodation, which is 15% of total spending. I only needed paid accommodation for 169 nights, which is less than a half of the total time travelled. How come?

I spent 141 nights as a guest of locals who I contacted through couchsurfing. My friends hosted me for 10 nights altogether and once locals invited me to stay with them. I camped for 3 nights for free and accommodation for 9 nights was paid as a part of one of the tours I went on. I spent 32 nights travelling on either trains, buses, planes or in a car.

On average I paid 7,8 euros per night (204 Czech crowns) which is brilliant. If I had to pay for accommodation for 365 days the trip would have cost me 1.530 euros or 17% more. Isn’t it a great saving?

I mostly stayed in hostels, in the so called dorm rooms (shared rooms) and accordingly hostels cost me the most.

Type EUR CZK
Hostel 986 25 628
Guesthouse 119 3 094
Hotel 96 2 496
Camping 59 1 544
Yurt 26 671
Homestay 23 593
Apartment 18 462
Total 1 326 34 487

 

Canada (342 euros), Myanmar (160 euros) and Australia (139 euros) ranked in TOP 3 when it comes to total accommodation expenses. What is more important is the average price of accommodation per night. Canada (22,8 euros), Australia (17,4 euros) and New Zealand (15,6 euros) are the countries with the most expensive accommodation. On the flipside, Vietnam (3,7 euros), Laos (3,7 euros) and Thailand (3,9 euros) are the cheapest. I cannot really comment on the price of accommodation in Kazakhstan because I couchsurfed all through my stay there but I assume it’s also a cheap country in terms of accommodation. I didn’t need accommodation in Singapore, Ukraine, Russia and France either.

The following table shows the average price of accommodation per night.

Country EUR CZK
Canada 22,8 593
Australia 17,4 451
New Zealand 15,6 406
Myanmar 7,6 198
China 7,4 192
Indonesia 6,0 155
Kyrgyzstan 5,4 139
Malaysia 5,1 131
Thailand 3,9 102
Laos 3,7 97
Vietnam 3,7 97
Total Average 7,8 204

ENTERTAINMENT EXPENSES

This group includes attractions (entrance fees to museums, monuments, national parks, waterfalls, etc.), organized tours and rental fees (bicycles and motorbikes). Going out and food is not included here.

I spent 820 euros which makes up 9,3% of total spending.

Indonesia (270 euros), China (127 euros) and Laos (104 euros) ranked in TOP 3 when it comes to entertainment expenses. Like I mentioned Indonesia is a cheap country but I decided to go on two tours there and they weren’t exactly cheap. One of the tours was a 2,5 day hike to Gunung Rinjani which was one of the most rewarding and worthwhile experiences in my life. It certainly was worth the money. China is also quite a cheap country to travel but entrance fees are steep. And sometimes the attractions are not even worth it.

Entertainment EUR CZK
Attractions 426 11 089
Tours 317 8 247
Rental 77 1 991
Total 820 21 327

OTHER EXPENSES

There are some other expenses one has to take into account when travelling the world. Visas and insurance are probably the most important items.

Other EUR CZK
Visa 245 6 366
Laundry 28 721
Medical care 14* 358*
Insurance 387 10 052
Banking 19 500
Membership 23 597
Total 715 18 594

* after the reimbursement of 124 euros (3,229 CZK) from the insurance company

I needed a visa for 5 countries and an electronic travel authorization for one country. I applied for Chinese and Russian visas at the respective embassies in Slovakia because its the smart thing to do when it comes to these two countries.

A Lao visa (obtained at the border) costs 30 USD for a Slovak citizen but the authorities charge you 4 extra fees one of which is for measuring your body temperature (its an “official” scam you cannot really avoid). A Vietnamese visa can be applied for online (and costs less) but it cannot be used for train travel and therefore I applied for it at the Vietnamese consulate in Kunming, China. A Myanma visa and the Canadian ETA can be applied for online.

Country Fee Currency
Russia 60 EUR
China 60 EUR
Vietnam 350 CNY
Laos 38 USD
Myanmar 50 USD
Canada* 7 CAD

* ETA = electronic travel authorization

Keeping your clothes clean is another things you need to think of and so laundry expenses make up a bit of your budget. I was able to do laundry 28 times free of charge thanks to my hosts otherwise it would have cost me so much more than 28 euros.

I needed to see a doctor three times (unfortunately) while travelling. I even had a small surgery. Medical care costs quite a bit. I actually paid 387 euros but two insurance claims  were accepted by the insurance company and so I only spent 14 euros on healthcare.

Insurance cost me a lot. I had foreign insurance because there are virtually no providers of long term (over three months) insurance in the Czech Republic. I thought it made sense to be insured for such a long trip, but I did make some mistakes while insuring myself, so I will be more careful next time. Also I paid for insurance more than for all the doctors so it remains a question whether it makes sense. It probably depends on the country.

I also included banking fees in my round the world trip spending. These are for cash withdrawals. I prefer travelling with cash because its cheaper since you save on withdrawal and exchange fees but I could not possible travel with cash for 365 days.

I paid a membership fee twice, both times in Canada. One was for a hostel card to save on hostels and the other one was for car sharing. Only in the case of the latter I can say it was definitely worth it because car sharing is a great deal cheaper way of travelling in Canada than buses, let alone trains (train tickets cost more than plane tickets).

TOP 3 EXPENSES

The most expensive item was the flight over the Pacific – 468 euros. The foreign insurance was the next most expensive thing at 370 euros. The transatlantic flight ranks as the third most expensive item at 205 euros. Nothing else exceeded 200 euros.

WHAT’S LEFT?

After I subtract all of the above mentioned expenses I’m left with 3.465 euros. Now that’s a huge amount, approx 40% of total spending. This will mostly cover food the cost of which I didn’t feel like noting down. It includes all food and drinks paid in restaurants, eateries and markets and all the shopping. It also covers souvenirs and gifts I bought for myself and my loved ones. And there probably other minor items.

IS IT TOO MUCH?

What do you think? Is 8,860 euros for a year long round the world trip a lot? Too much? Or quite the opposite? I could have easily spent much more. Even double. I could also have spent less but it would have been a challenge. I believe it’s a great number for 365 days. Have a look at how much you spend for a week long holiday and multiply by 53. How much would you pay for a year? Have a look how much it costs you to live in your home country per year. How much is it? What do you think about my trip now? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.