When you want to travel around the world or visit a distant country for several months, it is obviously recommended to have a little money aside. But how many, exactly? After spending six weeks this summer aboard a sailboat, Anouk Perry gathered advice from three long-distance travelers on how to properly budget your trip to the other side of the world.
A few months ago, I came across the Reddit post from a woman my age, 29 at the time, saying she had done an 11-month world tour with a budget of 26,500 euros. To be honest, I found this amount to be light years from what I imagined for such a trip.
The stranger further specified: “ The five and a half months in Turkey and Southeast Asia cost me just 6,200 euros, the six months in Oman/United Arab Emirates/Japan/USA/Canada cost me more than 19,000 euros.”detailing your daily budget throughout the posts.
All trips and budgets are obviously different, but this got me thinking. After all, it feels really good to drool over the Insta posts of strangers who “all prepared for a trip around the world”but how much does it cost exactly?
To budget your trip in advance or not, that is the question
When it comes to planning a long trip,budget anticipation can be like a puzzle : testimonials on the internet vary from simple to quadruple depending on the destinations, type and year of the trip.
Typhaine, overwhelmed by this contradictory information, finally abandoned the idea of budgeting for her five-year solo world tour, which kicked off in 2021 in North America.
“I just told myself that I would walk away with as much as I could, €15,000 in my case, and that I would make sure to spend as little as possible and earn some money by working along the way… So I especially tried to find as many countries as possible in the my way where I could work if necessary! »
On the contrary, Agnès, who traveled alone through Southeast Asia for five and a half months in 2023, explains that she calculated her budget precisely after going through countless travel blogs and devouring the very complete website tourdumondiste.com and used the tool The Contresens planner.
“I left with the hope of maintaining a theoretical budget of around €1,000/month or €33/day, increasing the estimates I had made thanks to my research by 20%, excluding plane tickets to go to Asia. »
The task of travel expenses
Let’s go to the basics: on a long-term trip, we can classify expenses into different categories.
Firstly, there are the essentials, including mandatory vaccinations for traveling to certain territories, as well as visa costs. Variables include accommodation (hotel or wild camping), food (local cuisine or daily restaurant), means of transport (vehicle purchase, ride-sharing, public transport, etc.), telephony, insurance, bank fees, but also the purchase of certain equipment, such as a good travel backpack or even a camera… Finally, pleasurable activities such as diving can break the budget.
Let’s also not forget the fixed costs that come with it: if you maintain accommodation or if you have subscriptions that will continue to require payment during your trip.
Finally, to finalize a budget, it’s always good to have a safety mat, as no one is immune to a big surprise expense on this type of trip. Typhaine, who traveled by van across North America, explains:
“When we go on long trips, vehicles can be used as accommodation and resold at the end, which is economically interesting… But they wear out and there is a high probability of needing repairs, which can sometimes cost 1,000 dollars. After crossing Canada, I was in an accident and my car was declared beyond repair. I wasn’t responsible, but the insurance took six months to pay me the money. I had to buy another one to be able to leave, not knowing if I would ever receive the insurance money. »
And as a result, it costs… many times more than expected
Agnès, who had increased her expenses in anticipation of these famous unforeseen events, continued to check her daily expenses through the TravelSpend app, which helps with budget management while traveling. Ultimately, she believes she did well, spending around €36/day instead of the planned €33, a difference of around €470 in total on her trip between her prediction and the actual.
In turn, Céline, who went on a solo bike tour across Europe in 4 months, didn’t have a planned budget. She had some money saved and told herself that should be enough… That didn’t stop her from being very surprised at the cost of the trip.
“It was still supposed to be a ‘budget’ trip. The idea was to spend as little as possible, but without worrying too much. As a result, I still spent a lot more money than I imagined: €5,000, which is equivalent to around €42 per day, excluding the purchase of my bike! I don’t have control of my accounts so it’s difficult to take stock, but I went to restaurants a lot, slept in campsites that cost up to €28 per night and had €600 in bicycle repairs…”
Finally, after almost two years of traveling, Typhaine, who tries to save money on all expenses, starts a world tour for several years with 15,000 euros and survives by working.
“North America is the most expensive area on my trip and there I spent an average of €1,000 per month, excluding the purchase of vehicles, with peaks of up to €2,000 when I had to carry out repairs on my cars. Basically, if I hadn’t worked in Canada, I would have run out of money by now. »
“I think it’s good to find ways to have as much money as possible before you leave, but find ways to spend as little as possible, going out of your way to borrow equipment from someone, learning how to fix my van myself, or sleeping in it for free is even better. Ultimately, long-term travel for me is like experiencing “degrowth” while exploring unknown lands. »
Testify about Madmoizelle