$86,481.19. That’s the answer to the question that you’ve wanted to ask. That was how much we spent to visit 286 cities in 917 days around the world. This includes everything: airfare, ground transport, lodging, site admission, beer and a custom-made swimsuit…for two people.
People often assume, incorrectly, that we made money or used frequent flier miles along the way. We didn’t work, make money blogging (we do this out of love for you), or have “free” travel benefits. The only thing we got for being bloggers on the entire trip were passes to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. In fact, we didn’t ask for anything more as our blog’s commitment was to sharing how you can do it, not how we can make money off you.
So where did that $86k go? As you can see, it got spread fairly evenly throughout the trip, except for a few big tours skewing 2011 and 2013. Taking out North Korea, Tibet, Antarctica and the Galapagos, we averaged from $73.28-85.36 per day. Not too bad. To put our spending into perspective, we spent $2,835 per month traveling, at home we spent about $2,800 per month on rent, food, transport and beer.
Here it is by country. There are a few surprises (Bolivia!?! the visa plus tours added up), but overall it was as expected. I believe they are good numbers for budget travelers to go by as we were generally mid-tier spenders. We spent more than gap-year backpackers but substantially less than “I’m on vacation” travelers.
If you had told me in 2010 that we’d be able to spend less than $90,000 and do half the things we did, I’d sign up then and there. From dancing the night away at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro to eating sushi in Tokyo to seeing orangutans in Borneo to hiking for 40 days through the Himalayas to the Pyramids, we exceeded every expectation except budget.
I’d pay $10,000 for this photo alone…further putting the trip’s price into perspective.
It simply didn’t cost as much to travel the world as I would have thought. In addition, the more we traveled, the more ways to travel for less we learned. If someone asked me today if they should get an around-the-world ticket I’d say, “certainly not”. If someone asked if they should book hostels, I’d say, “only in certain places, otherwise walking around to find a place will save you 50-70%.” If someone asked if it’s safe to eat street food I’d irrevocably respond, “it’s not only cheaper, but it’s better to be able to see what’s happening with your food than wonder what is happening behind closed doors.” The reality is that all of these things not only save money, but enhance the travel experience.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
-More travel budgeting and how to save the money articles coming soon. Be sure to “like” us on facebook to learn more about how you can do it.
YOUR TURN: What do you think? Would you do this? How have your travel costs compared?