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1. Posted by Catandmouse (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

My husband and I are planning on travelling round the world. We are particularly interested in Asia, Africa and South America. What sort of budget do we need? We are trying to figure out how long we can afford to travel for. How cheaply can we do this??! We plan to stay in hostels-with the odd (every few weeks) hotel thrown in.
Would love to go for 6 months but not sure how realistic this is...

Thanks in Advance.


2. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 931 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

It varies a lot from country to country as well as how you live. You've pointed out the major cost, accommodation, but there's also a lot of impact on your budget if you self cater or eat in restaurants, go out drinking, etc.

In Asia, Japan, Singapore, HK are a lot dearer than Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka.

If you want a single figure, maybe US $100/day per person as a very broad average.

But if you want a more useful answer, go googling for costs in your intended destinations. Add up accommodation, meals, transport, booze, activities, and other sundries like travel insurance and new clothes.

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 939 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

The cost also depends on your point of departure; and the season.

Generally, travel in Africa and South America will be more expensive than travel in Asia. Your two biggest costs will be lodging and transportation. Food and drink are relatively minor, unless you're a foodie who also likes to party a lot.

For Africa, I suggest joining an "adventure" tour. The prices are reasonable; and more so if you're using a South Africa-based provider. The rand has dropped a lot against many currencies, including the U.S. dollar. Check it out online. It's also easier to travel independently in Asia and South America than it is in Africa. But I've done it. Know that flights between countries in Africa and South America will be much more expensive than in Asia.

Visas are a rising cost for many travelers. So check before you go.

4. Posted by oddgrace (Budding Member 16 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi Cat and Mouse :).

Definitely agree with both other posts! The biggest advice I can give is do not depend on guide books, no matter how current, especially for South America! I spent six months in South America a couple of years ago and while I had the most up to date guide book for Argentina, the inflation had basically doubled the price overnight. What I've done for my next trip is to go on HostelWorld or HostelBookers (just as a guideline) to look at pricing and checked out some menus online (I love to dine out and eat and drink well!) to the places I know I'll spend the most, to get a current, up to date ACTUAL cost. It's a bit time consuming but it's helped for my Africa budget immensely. I agree though that Asia will always be heaps cheaper and an average of $100 USD pp per day is a good going rate for a long journey over all those places. Have the BEST time!!!!!

5. Posted by giantalso (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

That's the problem with guidebooks is the few places they mention, including restaurants and whatever, just get overrun with people who go there because it's mentioned in the guidebook. I'm not sure but I think Hostelworld and Hostelbookers are pretty much the same now, but you can use to check prices from pretty much all the hostel booking sites at once. But yeah, either way I would check prices online before you go.

6. Posted by baldinakta (Budding Member 34 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!


So far, I have only been asking, but not contributing to this forum. But when I saw your question, I wanted to reply immediately :) Me and my boyfriend have been travelling for a bit more than 7 months now and we were thinking that we are not doing it quite cheap compared to what we heard from other people, which mention figures like 10 USD or less per person per day. Our whole trip average in Asia is around 50 USD per day for both. and we didn't feel like we were limiting ourselves on anything too much. One thing on which we probably save is alcohol, because we consume close to none. But otherwise, we were eating well, allowing some entertainments and sleeping at cheap (but not cheapet and not dirty!) places. I believe, Africa and South America would be more expensive (though not sure how much more). To have a better understanding, we visited Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kirgizstan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and now moved to Malaysia. We were mainly travelling by land, our only flights included India - Sri Lanka - Malaysia plus one local return flight in Nepal to reach Everest trekking region. It really depends on how you travel, what you like to do, but e.g. in India we have visited quite a few historical places, in some of them you need a ticket, but some are free. In Sri Lanka, we have done two national park safaris plus whale watching, in Nepal, we did a 19 days trekking in Everest region. In this 50 USD average, transportation, accommodation, food, visas, insurance and flight costs are included. We almost didn't need new clothes, even sent back some to home. About food, we are mainly eating out, because there are rarely conditions to prepare your own food, even at hostels. If there are conditions to cook, we try to do so - this doesn't reduce the cost, just we miss domestic food a lot. Transportation has been amazingly cheap, until we reached Malaysia where prices are almost comparable to Europe (the quality as well). In India, we were mainly using trains, the lowest class (in this case, it makes quite a difference if you travel by a higher class). We do not eat at very posh places, but time to time, we afford some nicer dinner, e.g. at a beach in Sri Lanka. For accommodation, we generally use, sometimes check Lonely Planet options or quite rarely, we try to find accommodation on the spot (in that case, you have some power to negotiate, but in many cases, having a booking is much safer, so you avoid scammers offering you fake accommodation). When looking on the spot, you have an advantage of seeing the place, if it is nice and clean, but it is possible in smaller towns (no fun to walk with your luggage big distances). We have our own tent and sleeping bags, but this we mainly used in Tajikistan, in the mountains. The rest of the time, we are just carrying unnecessary load... So probably being light is a bigger advantage... We are rarely taking taxis (e.g. to / from the airport), but in some cases we do, when necessary. And last, but not the least, always try to negotiate! Btw, you can also use couchsurfing for accommodation - many people have great experiences, but we tried it only in Iran, as we are rarely planning in advance and finding a host on a short notice is not easy.

So, average per day for both: Iran - 39 USD, Turkmenistan - 55 USD (note: in Ashgabat the cheapest and crappiest hotel is 50 USD, you won't find anything cheaper), Uzbekistan - 87 USD (visa cost unjustifyably high), Tajikistan - 17 USD (because most of the time we were trekking and staying in a tent), Kirgizstan - 33 USD, India - 44,5 USD, Nepal - 70 USD (including an internal flight to Lukla), Sri Lanka - 60 USD (including two national park safaris), Malaysia - 37 USD (so far, not too many entertainments we had here :)). The calculations are not totally precise, as we were not sure to which country we should add flight costs.

Wish you good luck and start your trip as soon as you can :)

7. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 939 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Excellent information. Best of luck in your travels.

8. Posted by indraphotel (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

All the best for your journey :)

9. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

This is a 'how long is a piece of string' question. How much any given individual spends will differ from any other individual depending on what they consider a necessity. For example, I insist on flush toilets, you might not. The point is that no one can tell how much YOU will need to travel in the way you will be comfortable travelling.

There is a well known saying that to travel you should 'pack half as much stuff and twice as much money as you think you will need.' That is one of those sayings that has a lot of wisdom packed in a simple saying.

Most people start out with a fixed amount of time available and a fixed amount of funds. They then try to figure out how to divide the money by the time available to come up with an average budget, to try and see if it will work out. While that is ONE way to look at it, it is not the only way and it is not the way I prefer.

Travel can be as simple or as complicated as you chose to make it. I prefer simple over complicated and so I decide where A will be and wing it from there. Each day I get up, decide what I want to do that day, move on or stay where I am. I spend as much money as I need to (without throwing money away), to enjoy my time. Time is NOT fixed, only the maximum time available is likely to be fixed. I stay or move on, spend more or less as I need to, until either the maximum time available or the funds available run out. Then I go home.

I would far rather enjoy 4 months than survive for 6 months by doing without things. I have met far too many travellers who were so busy trying to find the cheapest everything in order to stick with a budget, that they had no time to enjoy where they were. Long term travel is not a contest to see who can go the longest for the least cost although you might think that when you see people bragging, 'I did it on $10 a day' etc.

So keep it simple. Pack under 25lbs., get as much free time available as you can, save as much money before you leave as you can and then just go and enjoy for as long as the time or money lasts. You don't need a budget, you just need to spend your money wisely as you go.