Several bloggers share estimates on how much a year’s travel will cost and they vary because what you pay depends so much on personal preferences, personal needs and where you are going.
Your view of how expensive or reasonably priced a trip is shaped by where you live and your personal circumstances. For example US 20-something bloggers views of an expensive night out turn out to be the same as an average night out in Manchester, UK… i.e. not absolutely horrendous in my opinion but daylight robbery in my stepdad’s view.
The costs I’m sharing are what I paid in a seven month period with a few caveats:
- Yes, this absolutely could be done cheaper.
- I budgeted for a trip that would allow me to do the ‘bucket list’ luxury experiences – I don’t usually holiday at the likes of Raffles in Singapore. The Ghan and the Indian Pacific train rides, with the free wine and excursions, are not commuter journeys.
- As well as visiting Southeast Asian countries where the pound and the dollar go a long way, I spent almost three months in New Zealand and Australia where… in my view, your budget goes to die. (Even if you are used to Manchester pub prices).
The table below summarises the key costs.
I’ve highlighted cash as this probably needs a little explanation.
Cash covers a multitude of sins – food, alcohol, transport around cities (not between) and museum/gallery entry. This is basic day to day living costs. Some people might prefer to separate these further, particular the museums, but I went by the following rule of thumb – if entry was cheaper than £15, it wasn’t a special excursion.
Food in Southeast Asia was incredibly cheap. A three course meal could cost £3. This wasn’t the case in New Zealand. After I got over the initial shock and reminded myself that costs were the equivalent of living in Manchester, I was able to come to terms with the changing budget.
What were restocks?
This referred to restocking the first aid kit – plasters, insect bite cream, painkillers, insect repellant, suncream etc.
It also included a new pair of walking sandals at £75 in New Zealand as the previous pair proved not to be as good a purchase as their predecessors. Six months just doesn’t cut it in comparison with seven years.
And I also had to buy a new travel towel after leaving my lovely Map of London hanging up on a shower door in the Northern Territory, Australia.
(A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy level of failure – always know where your towel is. Well, technically I do, but the knowledge isn’t helpful).
I clearly spent a lot of money on tours and this category covers a variety – from one day solo tours to bus tours to ten day trips that included accommodation, travel and meals.
The tours I went on are listed in the table below. You’ll see it also includes afternoon tea experiences. Tours perhaps should be renamed as Treats.
Accommodation covers hostels and hotels and yes, that includes Raffles – knock £1265 off and the costs are lower.
House sitting can save a lot of money. I did this once but found myself missing the company of being with other people in a hostel. I like to know that people are around.
Transport is quite self explanatory as a category and, as you can see from the table below, turned out to be cheaper than I expected – particularly when you take off the price of luxury train travel in Australia which was around £1,000 (but so very worth it).
And finally, I’ve included the cost of visas, vaccinations and travel insurance.
The table below gives more detail on the breakdown though it doesn’t highlight how long I was in each country. I’ve added that below the table.
- Poland – 3 days
- Russia – 3 weeks
- Mongolia – 5 days
- China (inc. Hong Kong at 5 days) – 4 weeks
- Vietnam – 4 weeks
- New Zealand – 6 weeks
- Australia – 6 weeks
- Singapore – 5 days
- Malaysia – 3 weeks
- Thailand – 10 days