How much does it cost to go traveling?

Wow, that’s a big question. I’ve been on the road for the best part of 6 years, you don’t even wanna know how much I’ve spent on my travels! Equally you could take a 2 week spell in Vietnam and hardly spend a penny, but all that info doesn’t help answer your question I know, so how much does it cost to go traveling? I’m going to answer this question from the bottom of the barrel, for the utmost, cheapest way to travel. If you want any form of luxury, completely disregard this article, this is the cheapest way to travel the world:

alone in the desert

There are 3 different budgets you have to consider when you’re thinking about planning a trip.


A)   Western Europe, Japan, North America, Australia and New Zealand (+Brazil?)

B)   Majority of South America, Eastern Europe

C)   Asia, Middle East, Africa and Central America (and a handful of South American countries)


A)   This is for the big spenders – Paris, Tokyo, Sydney and New York don’t come cheap folks. If you’re good with your cash, couchsurf occasionally, do ‘free things’ in the major cities you can squeeze buy on $50 a day, $1500 a month.


You’re sleeping budget will be around $20-$30 per night for the cheapest hostel available, your food budget will be around $10 per day for fast food promos, bread and ham from the supermarket. No trips to Starbucks guys!


This budget also means not traveling too fast, no flights (land only), eating in supermarkets and deli counters as opposed to restaurants and always keeping an eye on your wallet. But that’s half the fun of the trip anyway.


B)   Middle of the road, where you can get decent hostel dorms for $10-$15, you can eat in local eateries for $3 or $4 and a bottle of beer is less than $1. Here you can travel for $40 a day, or $1200 per month.


This can lull you into a false sense of security though so be  careful, too many people have arrived at countries in this bracket, been overwhelmed that’s it’s much cheaper than their home country and 3 months later they’ve spent $10k. Don’t be one of them. Yeah it’s cheap, but you’re here for the long haul, not a 10 day holiday so keep your eyes on the prize people.


C)   This the the backpacker rite of passage, gap-year central and the cheapest places to travel. It’s what’s made Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam so famous. You can comfortably stick to $30 a day here, $900 per month and you could even cut that to $20 a day if you’re willing to rought it further.


With those brackets in mind then you can work out how much you’re gonna spend. Work out where you plan to go, for how long, multiply it out and add $1000 for a 3 month trip, $2000 for a 6 month and $3000 for a 9-12 month trip onto your budget for extra flights, unforeseen expenditures and most importantly for amazing experiences (climbing Kilimanjaro, sky diving, scuba – this stuff can cost a bomb!).


For example, a 6 month trip – 3 months in South East Asia, 1 month in Australia, one month in New Zealand and one month in the US:

3 months X $900 = $2700

1 X $1500 =   $1500

1 X $1500 =   $1500

1 X $1500 =   $1500

+ $2000 =      $9,200


$9200 for 6 months works out about $50 a day.


So a 6 month trip like that will cost you around $9k, if you’re careful about your money. You can offset the costs by working as you go, bartending in Europe, working holiday visas in Australia etc but if you just wanna travel, that’s your costs.


So how much does it cost to travel the world? About $50 a day. Easy. Happy travels!



  1. Great way to break down the costs in various sections of the world. My boyfriend and I are planning a 2 year backpacking trip through Europe and Asia and have budgeted $1000 per month in Asia and $1500 per month in Europe per person – in line with your estimates. 

  2. Hi, How much do you reckon one would spend on a 6 month trip to South America, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia on a very tight budget?

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