Let’s have a quick look to the previous Blog. We asked the question whether your utopian idea to make a real world trip had any chance of success at all. The first few questions that had to be answered were reduced to:
- How much time will it take me?
- How much money will it cost me?
- Do I have reasons for not being able to go abroad for a long time?
Perfect, you’re one step closer to realizing your dream. You have determined that you have time to visit your dream destinations in a round the world trip -or you can make sure that you somehow create this time. But then, money… those hard coins –or in Dutch “keiharde munten”!
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL IT COST ME?
Let’s just wipe one illusion off the table right away. A trip around the world doesn’t have an one-size-fits-all price tag, this price tag is totally up to you. In this blog you won’t find an answer to what a world trip exactly costs. What we are going to look at is the question of how you can make a good and structured estimate of the costs, based on the countries you are planning to visit.
We are going to tackle this question by also dividing it into a few blocks:
- What type of traveler am I?
- What are my basic costs in the countries I’m planning to visit?
- What are my fixed costs during the trip?
- What are my one-off costs in the preparation of the trip?
how to make a decent and structured estimate of the costs?
WHAT TYPE (BUDGET) OF TRAVELER AM I?
Quite straight to the point, but it’s simply not always rocket science; if you usually want to be able to shoot the “ I-stare-dreamily-at-the-metropolis-at-sunset –Instagram-picture” on the 23rd floor of your hotel and then let yourself be driven to the restaurant which is recommended by the reception of your 5-star hotel, then you will also pay for it.
As an alternative, you don’t have to leave all your self-respect at the rubbish and starting dumpster diving at the local restaurant… there are fine alternative budgetary ways to travel. What’s wrong with cooking your own meal or scoring food at nice food stands on the corner of the street opposite the hostel?
I’m somewhere in the middle. I mainly stay in cheaper hotels or hostels, but I sometimes drop my ass on a 5* princess boxspring in a hotel room with a view over the city from 23 floors up too.
be honest..how many times are you in a metropolis like Kuala Lumpur?
Aight; let’s have some fun and let’s put travelers in budget booths…
- Booth 1: the below-low budget backpacker
In his natural habitat (cheapest hostel) he tries to tame your beer.
- Booth 2: the budget backpacker
Mainly found in hostels and prefers homemade pasta Bolognese over anything that is more expensive than $3.
- Booth 3: The flashpacker
Alternates a luxury and budget style of travel
- Booth 4: The high-end traveler
no comment needed
What type of traveler are you? An essential question in the preparation. Know yourself!
scoring food at nice food stands on the corner of the street
WHAT ARE MY BASIC COSTS IN THE COUNTRIES I VISIT?
By basic costs I mean costs that are continuous recurring and whereof the price depends on the country where you are staying. Think of the costs for accommodation, food and transport. Now that you know what type of traveler you are and you have crammed yourself into one of the 4 budget booths, you can start investigating what those basic costs actually are.
In my own budget calculation, I have included the following basic costs:
- Costs for accommodation
- Costs for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Costs for excursion/entry (museums, safari tours or that centuries-old national library where you suddenly have to pay 12 euro entrance fee, for…? )
- Costs for “during the day” (from a cappuccino in Milan, some laundry till beers at a random rooftop bar)
- Transport costs “small” (twice a week | scooter rental, tram, bus, metro)
- Transport costs “medium” (once a week | long train journeys, boat transport, budget flights)
- Transport costs “high” (once a quarter | intercontinental flights, long-term car rental)
Once per country
- Visa fee (in my case I need a visa for 52% of the countries, check your government’s website or use google)
- Costs for passport stamp surcharge (those stamps apparently wear out quickly)
- Costs for SIM card/data bundles
Ready to figure out the basic costs for all countries 1 by 1?
Good luck! You can also choose to group. I have grouped in North/East/West Europe, Oceania, USA, South-East Asia, and so on. Countries or territories that are close to each other in terms of basic costs. With some research on the internet you will easily find it out if you don’t immediately have a feeling about it. With the knowledge of which type of traveler I am I have done a number of samples per group -per cost topic and within different countries of that group and then averaged it as the “standard amount” for that type of cost.
Time for some calculating! You have already mapped out which countries are on your bucket list and how much time you are planning to spend in total in each country. In terms of basic costs, you have also categorized all countries into groups, so you know what the “standard costs” for each group are per cost item. Alright; then you can finally make a first estimated calculation of the basic costs over the total duration of your world trip. Little note; with the above calculation, you are condemning yourself to a strict budgetary regime; you assume that you never spend more than the standard amount. Uuhh… yeah; please do yourself a favour; add 20%. After all, you’ve grouped in your calculation, meaning the calculation numbers are average… but on top of that; watching your new travel-buddies go loose along the side-line while you’re chewing on 3 coke all night because you “reached your daily budget” is really not good for your mood.
Once I started my trip I’ll also discuss the actual basic costs of the countries in my travel blogs. Gives you more security!
Travel because money returns, time doesn’t
WHAT ARE MY FIXED COSTS DURING THE TRIP?
Just like at home, you also have fixed expenses while traveling. In this blog I mean by “fixed” expenses the costs which are not variable and do not depend on the country in which you are traveling. These includes insurance and paid services.
In my own budget calculation, I have included the following fixed costs:
- Costs for Travel insurance
- Costs for other smaller insurances (such as life insurance)
- Costs for voluntary AOW insurance (Think this is quite Dutch, however; I will explain more about it in a next blog)
- Costs for maintaining this website
- Charges for bank and credit card accounts
- Charges for other services paid (Netflix, Spotify)
Okay, multiply these monthly fixed costs by the number of months you want to walk around on flip flops and add the amount to the total basic costs.
It speaks for itself that if you still own or rent a house, these costs must also be added.
WHAT ARE MY ONE-OFF COSTS IN THE PREPARATION OF THE TRIP?
Oh, yeah, we also need some stops at the medicine man’s hut for some vaccinations. Keep in mind that you’ll lose quite a few coins before you even crammed yourself in your Hawaiian blouse and fly to the first destination.
In my own budget calculation, I have included the following one-off costs:
- Costs for Vaccination
- Costs for buying a decent camera, video gear and accessories (Nothing wrong with phone-snapshots, but I wanted to capture such an adventure in a more qualitatively manner).
- Cost for buying a decent laptop and accessories
- Costs for a camera bag and dayback
- Costs for other accessories & gear (powerbank, headphone etc.)
- Costs for building and hosting the website
In my case I already have quite a lot backpacking stuff, but if you don’t have this yet; you should add these costs to the list too. Think about a decent backpack, protective covers, locks, earplugs (believe me, you’ll thank me for this tip) universal world plug and so on. At a later time, I will write a blog about the absolute essentials of your backpack -and what to leave at home.
absolute essentials of your backpack
DRAW A BOLD LINE
Draw a line under the basic costs, fixed costs and one-off costs – and voila; that’s where the custom-made price tag is. All printed and hung by yourself! A good estimate of the cost of your trip around the world. Assuming that you are not a high-end traveler, you will probably end up with an amount of between 30-70 euros per day, entirely depending on your destinations and the type of traveller you are.
Now, its about time to have a run to the ATM! Or do you belong to the majority of the population and will your next 3 years consist of working overtime, eating rye bread and holidaying in the backyard? If you don’t consider the number at the bottom of the line as a mission impossible, you are one more important step closer!
When I look at my own situation, I now have quite a bit of money in the piggy and the surplus value from the sale of my house also helps to further fatten the piggy… Lucky me!