How much it costs to travel around the world

In 22 days I will be leaving to travel around the world. A lot of my friends have said “that’s going to cost a fortune” or are merely just curious as to how much I will actually be spending on this trip. I will be gone for 20 weeks, 12 of which I will be volunteering abroad. When I started planning this trip I decided that I wanted to have all of my flights, accommodations, and any other travel expenses paid off before I even left. I know many travelers only like to book the first night or two of accommodation sometimes when they are visiting somewhere new, that way it gives them the option to check out different areas and they just pay for other rooms and places to stay as they go. I, on the other hand, am not that type of traveler. I like having things set in stone so I don’t have to worry about having to find a place to stay somewhere last minute. I also figured that if I had all my flights and accommodations booked before leaving, it’s just that much less to worry about while I’m away.

Another reason I wanted to have everything booked in advance was so I could leave for my trip already debt free, and will only have to worry about purchasing food or booking any type of excursion or entrance fees or whatever else I might feel like doing. Overall, I feel as though my expenses so far for this trip aren’t too bad – especially considering how long I will be abroad for.  As of right now, I have spent just under $10,000 USD.  It seems a bit high, but it really isn’t.  For example, Ryan is coming out to be with me for a week in Europe and is paying a little over $1,300 USD for just one week.  I will be abroad for 20 weeks and have only spent $10,000 for all my flights, accommodations, volunteering program fees, etc.  Yes, I will still have to pay for food while I am abroad, however 12 of those weeks I will be in volunteer placement programs and the program fees I paid include housing and food accommodations.  That is 12 weeks where I don’t have to spend money on food if I don’t really want to.

I also could have saved some money on hotels/hostels if I decided to book the cheapest options.  However, at a hostel I’m really not too eager to share a room with 10+ people just to save a bit each night – my budget isn’t quite that strict.  There are a couple nights where I booked a hostel room where I might be sharing a room with 4 or 6 other girls (because I’m also not keen on sharing a room with a bunch of guys I’ve never met before either).  There are a couple of hostels where I decided to just book a single room as well, but for the most part I stuck to booking hotels when I could if they weren’t crazy expensive each night in the area I was looking at staying.  Another way some of the hotels cost me more are on the couple of occasions where I will be meeting up with people.  When Ryan comes out to visit in July, we decided to book places that were not expensive but not the lowest of the low.  And my friend Jenni is meeting me out in Hawaii where we booked a studio hotel room, which really wasn’t too bad of a cost with the two of us splitting it, but it is Hawaii.

Another thing I wish I knew more on was when the best time to book flights out of the country were.  Most of the flights I booked were more than likely the cheapest prices I was going to get, but a couple I definitely could have gotten cheaper if I had either waited to book or if I had booked it right when I saw it.  I had found some really good flight deals going from Bangkok to several locations in Europe at one point – I’m talking less than $300 for a one way ticket – but waited too long and ended up booking a flight from Bangkok to Stockholm for a little over $400.  For my round trip ticket down to Merida, Mexico, I kept seeing a constant price of $420ish so I finally decided to just book it – only to find out a week ago that had I waited I could have gotten a ticket for $250ish instead.  But oh well, easy come easy go I suppose.

For those of you that are curious as to how much I spent under each travel category:

Travel Insurance:  $291.00
Hotels/Hostels:  $1,900.25
IVHQ:  $4,162.40
Airfare:  $3,071.24
Ferries:  $174.67
Buses:  $21.33
Trains:  $342.00
Visas:  $30.00

Out of this $9,992.89, I technically only paid $9,382.36.  Back in December, I decided to open up a Capital One Venture Card.  I already had the Capital One Venture One card and really liked it, so I decided to apply for the Capital One Venture Card as well.  By opening this, I was able to gain $400 of free travel reward points (hello flight to Hawaii!) and gained 2 points for every dollar I spent.  Since opening it – including the free $400 – I’ve used $580.53 of travel rewards, and still have around $100 to use towards travel purchases between my Venture and Venture One cards.  I also book a lot of stuff through Expedia, and recently had enough Expedia points saved up to take $30 off of my next hotel booking, which I used towards the hostel I booked in Barcelona.

It’s a pretty good feeling to know I’ve managed to pay off almost $10,000 of travel expenses before I even leave, because it is $10,000 less that I have to worry about paying while abroad!

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How much it costs to travel around the world

8 thoughts

  1. I too like to have travel and accommodations paid in advance, essentially “setting the general itinerary in stone.” I’ve been criticized for the inflexibility this leads to…some people will say “but what if you like a certain spot and want to spend more time there?” For me it seems like people don’t realize the amount of research and thought that went into the itinerary, knowing what I want to see and do in a particular spot, only spending the requisite amount of time in each place. An itinerary keeps you moving, doing what you know you want to do, and not wasting time meandering around inefficiently and spending more money that you intended. On top of that I don’t think critics realize what may seem like a strict itinerary is actually pretty flexible if set up correctly. Sure you may need to be from point A to point B from one day to the next, but what happens in between is up for grabs. Sounds like you have this planned well, and I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

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    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes to try having everything planned in advanced! And I agree about the Point A to Point B, because I have all my accommodation planned but I will most likely wait until Im there to figure out what I actually want to do there, and worse comes to worse if I dont like an area that I booked or I like a different area better Ill just go and book a room elsewhere that still has open rooms. My dad has already told me that if I don’t feel safe somewhere that I’m staying to just leave with no seconds thoughts and go somewhere else, which I believe is a smart plan of action, but hopefully won’t run into that problem at all!!

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  2. Thanks for sharing! We’re also not big on showing up and figuring things out then. Our trip is for a year, and we booked most of the first half in advance that’s why I was excited to see someone who booked their entire trip in advance and broke down the costs. We’re also not big on hostels. If you want to stay in a room with a bunch of other people, they are cheap, but if you want any privacy then you might as well book a hotel. Especially if you are booking in advance, you can usually find hotel deals that are the same price as or cheaper than private hostel room. Hope you have a great trip!

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    1. You’re welcome! That’s awesome that you’ve already booked half of your yearlong trip! But you’re right there is so much research that goes into each spot, for example I didn’t research transportation in Croatia too much before I booked a room in Dubrovnik, where Ill be going after Split. I assumed that there would be a train that went from one to the other, but there isn’t so I had to opt for a bus ticket instead. Another reason I prefer hotels over hostels is that you don’t have to worry about needing to keep all of your stuff locked up or someone going threw your things. If you’re in a hotel room, you don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff as much. Hostels are good for some people and not others, I have yet to stay in one so I figured Id give them a try in a couple areas, but each of those spots it only for a night or two. Thanks for the well wishes and I hope your trip when it comes up is great as well!!

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  3. How much it costs? It all depends on your lifestyle, the places you will visit, and the season you will travel. Usually, it is more expensive to travel around summer time.

    Like you, I always make sure that my accommodation and tickets are already booked before I embark on my trip because most of the times it is cheaper to do that. I will post a breakdown of my 1 month summer and winter eurotrip next time.

    On the other hand, if you don’t like sharing a room with random strangers, why won’t you try airbnb? You can get a room/the whole apartment by yourself. Most of the times, it is way cheaper (especially if you have a travel buddy) than booking a place in a hostel or hotel. For example, my friend and I were in Paris last spring of 2014 for 4 days and 3 nights. We opt to stay in an airbnb house which costs 40 eur/night (where we have our own bathroom and each of us has a bed). The amount will be divided between my friend and I so it will only cost each of us 20 eur/night which is considered very cheap considering we were in Paris. Conversely, it will cost each of us 40 eur/night if we chose to stay in a hostel (in a 6 bed dorm room). By the way, I am giving away 18 eur airbnb credits if you are interested. Here is the link: https://www.airbnb.com/c/mnonato?s=8

    Have a safe trip!

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    1. Thanks! I have yet to actually stay in a hostel so I decided I would at least give it a try before I completely knock it off my list of places to stay! And I have used AirBnB once before for a family weekend in Charleston, South Carolina where we were able to rent a house! The deal you and your friend found in Paris sounds amazing!! I didn’t look too much into AirBnB for this trip because 1 I didn’t entirely think to, and 2 I feel like whenever I look up places on AirBnB they are really only cheap if I were to be staying with someone else versus just staying on my own. I haven’t booked any accommodation for the couple days I’ll be around Bari, so maybe I’ll look into what AirBnB options there are!

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  4. That is amazing you are able to fit all of that in with $10K buget! I’m beyond excited to a) follow you as you travel around the world and b) spend a week in Hawaii with you!

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