The number one thing that stops us from traveling is MONEY, following closely behind is commitments (such as jobs), fear of the unknown and the courage to take the plunge and leave your home and comfort zone. But how much money does it actually cost to travel? The answer is…not as much as you think.
The cost of your travels depends on four things:
- If you can get a good deal on flights (I use skyscanner or skypicker for cheap deals)
- What your standards are. Are you willing to rough it a little, sleep in questionable places, eat street food and take uncomfortable transport?
- How much you like to party. Drinking and going out a lot will really impact your budget.
- Which countries you visit. Third world countries (Latin America, South East Asia etc.) are where your money is going to go a lot further vs. Europe where things tend to be more pricey.
Tom (my partner) and I hover somewhere in the middle, we like to be somewhat comfortable when we travel. We may pay a few dollars extra to have a private room with a bathroom, take a cheap flight to avoid a 10 hour bus ride, take a mini van instead of a chicken bus on the odd occasion in Central America and we always try to stay at a place with air-conditioning. You are also more likely to find us having a quiet beer at the end of the day instead of getting drunk and partying all night long. With all of these factors in mind, here is my ultimate daily budget guide for Latin America (Central and South) and South East Asia. These numbers ($AUD) include everything from food, transport and accommodation.
$30-40 a day.
We found Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador to be the cheapest. Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama are more expensive than the other countries. If you have less money, spend less time in these places.
$30-$50 a day.
We found Peru and Bolivia to be the cheapest and Argentina, Chile and Brazil to be more expensive, so again plan accordingly.
South East Asia
$20-$40 a day.
We found Vietnam to be the cheapest and Thailand and the Philippines to be more expensive. All other countries averaged $30 a day.
When you add all these numbers together you are roughly looking at a budget of $1,500 a month. Isn’t it amazing to see just how far your money can go? A four month backpacking trip is NOT going to break the bank as long as you budget and save accordingly.
Every time Tom and I go on a trip, our inboxes are flooded with questions. “Again? How can you keep affording this”?, “Are you guys selling drugs”? “How much money did you save”? “How are you guys so rich”? etc etc. We love answering these questions and encouraging people to see the world. I’m hoping this blog can give you a better insight into how easy it can be to afford to travel. We aren’t drug dealers (I promise!) and we are by no means rich. There is also no ‘secret’. If you set yourself a goal and you want it bad enough, there should be no reason not to be able to save and travel the world.
Get saving guys, the world is waiting for you!