My friend and I are going around the world starting June 2009 for just under 7 months.
Our route, budget and durations are:
Thailand (overland Singapore) - 1 month (600 pounds)
Australia (working) - 3 & 1/2 months (fund by work)
South America - Chile, Bolivia and Peru (Trek for 2 weeks - Chile and Bolivia - 500 pounds) - 1 month (800-900 pounds)
USA - 6 Weeks (1500 pounds)
The budget includes accommodation, travel and food and also anything else we want to do.
So basically we are taking around 2400/2500 pounds with us after vaccinations, insurance,pre-paid trek etc. Money for OZ not included. Any money we spend before we find a job we are hoping to make up with work.
The total duration is going to be just below 7 months.
ARE WE INSANE? It feels like it but we are willing to put in the effort to make our money go far.
Any advice would be really appreciative.
No, youre not insane =)
Your budget sounds good, the only question I have is do you plan on using the working holiday visa in Oz for work, or working cash jobs?
I spent a year in Oz on the working holiday, and had a super easy time getting work, though farm work, any time I needed cash.
I arrived in OZ with $130 AU dollars, believe it or not! and I managed to travel heaps, work for about half the time, and have enoguh for my ticket home from my tax return (they tax backpackers at something like 30-40%, Thats insane, but as long as youre smart enough to keep your paper work, you can file your tax and get it all back)
The Austrailian govenment has a hotline and website devoted to getting backpackers farm jobs, and if you download a form off their government website (its the very last form on the list if I remember correctly), get the farmer to record your days worked, if you accumulate 90 days, you can reapply for a 2nd year work visa, to use then, or to bank until another year.
You can always get a job starting the next day if youre willing to travel a bit to it.
Also, if your farmer is nice, you could try and ask if he'll sign you off for the 90 days without doing the full term of work... sometimes a bribe helps... say, a case of Coopers, or a bottle of Bundy
Here's a tip for farm work, you want to work in tree fruits!.. anything but banannas! ... and sweet cherries being the best paying I found... with some practise, you can make alot of money!
If youre working cash, you will have a much harder time finding work and saving money, as the general hourly rate is 10 dollars/hour cash in hand, way under the $15.40 (if I remember?) min. wage.
Bring or buy a tent for Oz, itll save you heaps on accomodation!!
In south America I had a friend who got by on $500 Canadian/month, tenting and living very conservatvely.. you should be plenty fine on that budget as long as you do your research and dont pay too much for your activities!
Asia is super cheap as well! You can party your face off and still have enough money for everything you need on $30(CDN)day.
I don't know alot about the US, but if its anything like Canada, expect to pay around $25-30 for a night in a hostel.
Any other questions you have on Oz I can help you out alot... the others Im just going on conversations Ive had with other travellers.... please consider making it up to Canada if youre going to the US, we've got some beautiful country up here
I hope you like canned beans? I think that's what you'll be eating in the US on that budget! Your chances of finding even menial work here are quite poor (if Immigration lets you in the country?)
we did a tour in america (which included accomm and travel) and we spent roughly that in a similar amount of time. It is good value for money as far as food is concerned but usa is quite expensive. It depends on what you want to do while you're over there of course but if you want to do unforseen extras then id just take as much as poss. Theres tons to do in oz as well but if you dont go too crazy with your $ you should be ok.
Thanks for the info, you have been really helpful. I have a few questions. Can you claim the tax back while your still in OZ? and how easy is it to do? How long did yours take to get back? Do you think it would be worth stopping work a few weeks before we are due to leave so they can sort out our tax?
What are the facilities like at a campsite over there?
Thanks for your reply. We don't plan on working in USA and as we are only going to be there for less than 90 days we qualify for the visa exempt, I have already been approved.
Hopefully we will find work in OZ to help us live and have fun out there and if we are really good then some extra spending money in USA.
Thanks for your reply.
What company did you use for the tour? Are you from England?
Thanks for the replies. Hope to hear back from you.
When I saw the numerical amount (2500) I nearly choked, until I realized you have pounds, not dollars. :P Damn Canadian dollar is going down. :/ Yeah, that sounds reasonable. You'll have to watch your wallet a bit, (especially in the states), but I think it can be done! Also, couchsurfing can definitely cut on your accomodation costs AND make you some great friends. I'd recommend it. In the states there's a huge network, as with Australia, which is great because those will likely be your most expensive countries, accomodation wise. www.couchsurfing.com
Have you factored flights/boats into this, though? How are you going to get between countries?
Thanks for the reply, it was some great advice. I checked out the couch surfing sight and it looks really good. I like how people can validate eachother, seems alot safer
Our flight tickets for all these countries were bought about 6 months ago so no worries there
We are also going to buy an unlimited rail pass in OZ (I think its only for the east coast). Its really cheap. Under 200 pounds. (I dont know what it is in Canadian dollars )
I would be prepared to shorten your trip, the pound is dropping like a sinking ship to the USA Dollar.
I knew I should have purchased a few hundred dollars when there were two $$ to every £.
The £ is sinking pretty fast, I'm really hoping it'll steady itself and start to incline again, we're falling against the baht, dollar, euro etc. I Also wish we'd joined the Euro a few years back! if you're living in the euro zone now is the time to go travelling!
I say: Just go for it..insane or not, you never know anyway what your going to meet (you should concider having a backup plan if things don't work out("the-what-to-do-plan-if-we-run-out-of-money")). AnyWAy, envy you guys..good luck, I know you'll have fun