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Credit crunched travels for 09

Travel Forums General Talk Credit crunched travels for 09

1. Posted by adw999 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!


A friend and I have decided we are going traveling August 09, no matter what. Our original thoughts of a grand RTW trip have been cut down, partly because of the state of the economy but also because we've been absolutely crap at saving money so far. BUT we've discussed it and reckon by August 09 we can save around £5k - half of our original budget but because of this we've also cut out a big portion of our travels (America, Canada and very reluctantly Peru and the Inca trail :( )

We have an idea what we'd like to do but what would you do?

Our ideal route would be get the trans Manchurian train across Russia down to China, then do East Asia. After which we'd head to Australia and New Zealand where we plan on working to pay for our time there. We'd like to spend as much time as possible traveling but realize even with working our time will be fairly short - any ideas how long we could go for on our budget?

When in Auz and NZ we like the idea of seeing all the places and moving around whilst working but also don't mind the idea of settling down somewhere for a few weeks/month or more.

Basically, with £5k what would you do?


2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

So first question would be; does the 5k include airfare, insurance, any other pre-departure expenses?

Obviously South East Asia is still going to be relatively cheap for you, and although the pound has decreased heavily against the euro, the ozzie dollar has depreciated a lot too so relative to that currency you won't have lost that much. What can make or break a budget like this is how good you end up being at focusing on work for periods in Australia. If you are working, yet going out heavily 4 nights a week, it really doesn't matter how long you work for as you're going to come out on the other end with less money. If however you manage to find a relatively cheap place to stay for a slightly longer period (not a hostel), eat in at least 4 times a week and limit the pub visits, you should be able to save. It's not as easy as it sounds though; I've seen people blow through 5000 pounds within 6 weeks of arriving in Sydney! Of course that's another extreme, but it pays to know. I'd say that you could live off of around 50 aud per day including accommodation. That's keeping it pretty cheap.

Bummer about having to cut out South America!

3. Posted by Leanne81 (Budding Member 39 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi adw999,

I'm on the brink of leaving for Oz, NZ and Thailand. I'm due to head off in Feb and have booked for 6 months. Travelling has been a really quick decision for me and i've had no more than 6 months to save up. I think i will have at the most £3000. I've now worked out that i moght only manage 3 months max on this and that's if i'm really careful.

My plan was to get a wee job to get over there to keep me there for a least 6 months. However, i've heard through the grapevine from people that have been over in Oz that the have had problems getting work. With one person having to come back home because they couldn't get a job.

I'm even considering changing my outward dates but really don't want to. I've got a book called Work Around Australia which seems to have some good tips for getting a job.

You can send me a message next year and i'l tell you how i'm getting on with the cash flow :)

4. Posted by adw999 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the replies. The 5k will include airfares and probably insurance but other costs before we go should be covered. Current costs for tickets are around 1k but we're yet to get definite quotes.

Sam I Am, what kind of accommodation would be cheaper than a hostel? Fortunately we will be able to spend a couple of weeks with a previous travel buddy (more if we can persuade her) which will help but obviously she won't want us around for too long. We'd like to go out while we're there but tbh we'd rather stay in and save some money if it meant we could stay longer.

We've been told by STA to get a working starter pack which will help us find work, set up a bank account etc - has anyone ever done this? Is it worth the £100 or so?

Also we've done some research and found out we need to get a RSA to work in a bar (bar work is appealing because it means we're kind of out and we'll get to meet more people), can these be done in England before we go? If not, how much do they cost and how long do they take?

Leanne81, thanks for that - I will do.

5. Posted by swiftydude (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

First of all, is that £5k per person or together? Either way I think both are possible, especially with work in OZ, but £5k each would give you much more freedom. Also depends what you plan to do - tours and activities will rack up the expenses quickly.

My brother and I are travelling practically the whole world (12 months) on £11k each at the moment, but due to the pound being a lot weaker at the moment, we are now quite over budget. However, we plan to reclaim some of that while in Asia because it is so cheap. We plan to spend in the 10 weeks or so in Asia and Australasia about $2500 each on $30 a day average (OZ & NZ will be much more). Ask us next May and we can give you some much more up-to-date and an idea of costs then.

Good reading is the new LonelyPlanet SE Asia and/or GAP year guide and The Rough Guide "First time around the World".

Also the Trans-Manchurian train is definately not the cheapest option but will no doubt be an experience - we would love to do it but it is way out of our price-range.

Also, just to cheer you up about missing the americas - it is generally very expensive and has thrown our budget a lot, especially places like Venezuela with its dual exchange rates (official rate and black market rate) and North America.

Tim and Chris :)

6. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

go to and you can get it on there for $75, thats where i got mine, its really easy just takes an hour or 2.

7. Posted by adw999 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

The 5k is per person, and our budgeting for Auz sounds similar to yours. We've been looking around for the trans-Manchurian train trip and found a good deal that gives us accommodation, breakfast and a few days in Mongolia staying in camping conditions -all for around the £900 mark. It probably doesn't include visas etc but its definitely a better offer than STA or Travel Nation do.

I think our next step is to get a travel guide so I'll look into the ones you've recommended, thanks.

jaxstar84, thanks for that did you receive a certificate or something as proof?


8. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

yeah i got a pdf file that you can save and you can print it out... no worries :)

9. Posted by nymie (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Have you looked into organising the trans-Manchurian yourselves? You could save a lot of money that way, rather than an organised tour. Have a look at It's a fantastic site for train travel information.

Other than that, I'd say go for quality, not just quantity of days. I've done the whole trying to eke out a budget to the point that I skipped both the Louvre and the Acropolis because I couldn't afford them. Sort of defeats the purpose really ... but I was very young (and didn't know any better). And very broke!

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 4, 2009, at 3:26 AM by nymie ]

10. Posted by TheBones (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

My advise would be to reconsider South America at the cost of Aus and NZ. The harsh reality of the crunch is that droves of aussie and kiwi travellers have returned home to earn a better wage. Also, the exchange rate is obviously appalling. If you think you could go to to these places another time it may be preferable. I returned from a similar trip earlier in 08. I ended up spending far to much in Australia. It is VERY easy to do. Work is not as easy to come by as many people believe at the best of time and my experience of being there a couple of times in the past, you usually only earn enough to sustain staying in one place, rather than saving enough to carry on to other places.

South America offers mind blowing adventures for a fraction of the price. Bolivia was the highlight of our trip for me and, cost wise is easily as cheap as south east asia.

Whatever you do, you'll have an amazing time.

Have Fun!
Jim ;)