To help others get an idea for the cost of a trip around the world, I realized there was no better way than to track my actual expenses.
I tried to find a balance between providing current and useful data with not being too nerdy and spending all my time calculating exchange rates and accounting for every penny.
I rounded all expenses to the nearest $0.05 and after losing a little pocket exchange calculator in the beginning, I decided to use rough exchange rates to do the calculations in my head instead.
To determine the cost of a trip around the world, I categorized my spending into six buckets:
- Visas – solely the cost of visas, not inclusive of related administrative expenses
- Lodging – hostels, cheap hotels
- Transport – metros, trains, buses, taxis, rickshaws, ferries, boats
- Food – meals, water, alcohol, snacks
- Sightseeing – admission tickets, all-inclusive packages (rafting in Nepal, cruise in Egypt)
- Miscellaneous – internet, phone, guidebooks, clothes, souvenirs, shipping (of souvenirs) home
Some activities included meals and/or lodging for a night or more, such as my treks in Nepal and India. I did not attempt to separate those costs.
I also did not factor travel between most countries into my daily costs. This would include international flights, though not the trains and buses I used between countries in Europe.
Cost of a Trip Around the World
- French Polynesia – 5 days – $66 per day – $330 total
- New Zealand -26 days – $116 per day – $3,005 total
- Australia – 28 days – $98 per day – $2,743 total
- Indonesia – 21 days – $55 per day – $1,151 total
- Singapore – 4 days – $51 per day – $204 total
- Hong Kong/Macau – 11 days – $65 per day – $711 total
- China – 20 days – $55 per day – $1,095 total
- Tibet – 0 days – $N/A per day – $150 total (cost of permit I never received, and loss of money on train ticket)
- Nepal – 42 days – $54 per day – $2,275 total
- India – 43 days – $51 per day – $2,179 total
- Thailand – 68 days – $55 per day – $3,760 total
- Cambodia – 18 days – $63 per day – $1,139 total
- Laos – 18 days – $61 per day – $1,095 total
- South Africa – 55 days – $77 per day – $4,223 total
- Botswana – 7 days – $110 per day – $771 total
- Egypt – 11 days – $90 per day – $992 total
- Europe (Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland, Spain) – 27 days – $81 per day – $2,176 total
- Colombia – 49 days – $44 per day – $2,163 total
Total for Daily Spending = $30,162
- $2,000 – Air Tahiti flights – Washington, DC to Auckland, via French Polynesia (Tahiti). Jetstar flights – Christchurch to Brisbane, Melbourne to Bali*
- $127 – Jetstar Asia flight from Singapore to Hong Kong
- $476 – Air China flight from Chengdu to Kathmandu, via Lhasa, Tibet
- $247 – THAI Air flight from New Delhi to Bangkok
- $124 – Laos Airlines flight from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai
- $673 – Air Qatar flight from Bangkok to Cape Town*
- $593 – Air Egypt flight from Johannesburg to Cairo
- $122 – Jetairfly.com flight from Cairo to Brussels
- $505 – Iberia flight from Madrid to Bogota
Total for Inter-country Flights = $4,867
* Flights purchased through AirTreks.com
Cost of my 15-month trip around the world = $35,029**
Fulfilling a personal dream = priceless!
For further details, you can review my online spreadsheet.
** This figure does not include pre/post-trip expenses like storage, health insurance, immunizations, etc. Check out my pre-trip plan for an idea of those expenses.
PS – Through online advertising, Dares, donations, and gifts, I was able to travel longer than I otherwise would’ve been able to on my own. Thank you to everyone who contributed, whether it was offering a donation or simply reading this blog!
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