Destinations General

Planning tips for your (long) term travels pt. II: Budget

January 13, 2017
travel budget planning

Hi, I’m back again with part II of my travel tip series! About a month ago I wrote about the most important precautions before going on an epic journey – so if you missed that one, please check it out here. If you ever thought about traveling for a longer time period, you most likely wondered about these questions: How much money do I need? What to pack? Where should I book my tickets and hotels? In the following, I’ll focus on the first question and I’ll provide packing and booking tips in one of my next posts 🙂You got it, it’s time to get down to business!

Please note: This is NOT a sponsored post and I’m not receiving anything from the links on this article. This information is only based on my experience and personal opinion.

Your budget:

Let’s talk about money! Logically your budget is highly depending on your destinations and your travel style, so all I can tell you is about my own budget: In total I spent about 15k EUR for 7 months of (mostly) solo travel. That included all tickets, accommodation, transportation, activities, food & drinks but also all expenses before the trip like health insurance, vaccines, a new backpack and visas (I actually needed one for India and Vietnam and the ESTA for the US).

I can break down my expenses as follows roughly (in EUR):

-300 for vaccines
-270 for travel insurance
-100 for my backpack
-100 for visas
-5.300 for flights
-6.500 for accommodation
-3.000 for any other expenses on-site

Things to consider:

-I was backpacking a lot but not as cheaply as possible: Neither I camped overnight or tried couch-surfing – I needed a certain level of privacy, safety and comfort 🙂 I took flights instead of long bus/train journeys or got my own room from time to time, but most importantly I didn’t miss one experience I wanted to see or do! Your trip might be a once-in-lifetime experience, so it would be pity to skip anything wouldn’t it?

-I traveled through India, Southeast Asia (very budget-friendly), but also Korea, Japan, Australia (mid-range) and Palau, Polynesia (very expensive) to Chile, Peru (moderate) and the US (which I don’t count here because I stayed there for free :P). Your chosen destination(s) might have the biggest impact on your budget. While I got a decent room for myself for as little as 10 USD in India, Thailand and Vietnam, I paid twice as much for a bed in dorm in Hongkong or Sydney. However I always found accommodation for maximum 50 EUR per night – even at the most expensive destination – and I haven’t experienced any serious lack of comfort!

I found a little gem in paradise: This cozy guesthouse was one of the few budget options on Bora Bora, French Polynesia ❤︎

Bora bora guesthouse

-Beside the accommodation, the flights ate up the biggest chunk of my budget although I could’ve cut down the cost if I had gone with a round-the-world-ticket. They start as low as 1.500 EUR but I didn’t like the restrictions that came with it. As most of the destinations I wanted to visit weren’t covered or too complicated to include in the itinerary, the round-the-world ticket was out of option. You should definitely check if a RTW ticket is the right thing for you at your local STA agency! Instead I booked each flight separately, which gave me the biggest flexibility. I also traveled a lot with low-cost-airlines which worked out great!

-There were two exceptional situations which saved me a lot of money actually: Firstly, I was visiting my mom in Korea and I got to spend to a week in her apartment. She cooked and paid for restaurant visits now and then… You got family abroad too? Maybe you should combine your trip with a family visit 😉 Secondly, I spent the last month in New York at my boyfriend’s place, so not having to pay for accommodation in the US was a huge budget saver!

-Sharing is great! I was grateful for every friendly traveler I met along the way to be able to share a room or tour with. Especially some tours are only private and they can become very costly if you have to pay a driver or hire a boat for yourself… So overcome your shyness and take the chance to make friends anywhere and anytime!

-The fees for exchanging money or withdrawing from the ATM’s shouldn’t be overlooked either… There are banks that offer credit cards catered to frequent travelers with little to no withdrawing fees, however check the small print carefully. One credit card I’m using since many years (popular in the German-speaking area) is from DKB.

I hope that was somewhat useful or interesting for you 🙂 Do you have any more budget tips? Let me know!

Here I'll give you a detailed list of my expenses for a 7 months long trip around the world!

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  • Reply SueT唐 梦 琇 January 14, 2017 at 3:18 am

    I travel quite a bit but I du enjoy your travel tips Julia. I always can learn something.

    • Reply sileas January 19, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      I’m sure I can learn a lot from you too 😉

  • Reply THE WɅNDΞRLISTE💫 (@thewanderliste) January 14, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Those are great travel tips! I’ve used air b’n’b before as well as youth hostels and they are great ways to save money while making new friends along the way. Thanks for the lovely share just discovered your blog and truly love your travel posts! 🙂 xo~ Lena

    • Reply sileas January 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      Awww I’m happy to have you here, Lena! I agree, AirBnB is a great option too!

  • Reply Mitzie Mee January 15, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Love this post! To me, planning a trip is almost as exciting as going on the trip:) I’ve also noticed that even if I’m staying at budget places, my solo trips tend to be the most expensive. Great advice to team up with other travelers for accommodations and tours:)

    • Reply sileas January 19, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      You’re right, planning is equally exciting and an important part of any trip 😉

  • Reply Christina January 15, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    thanks for sharing the exact details of how much you spent, I think it’s very helpful – especially for people like me who have never travelled for a longer period at once but definitely wanna do that sometime. Did you plan all of your stops / countries that you visited before you started your travelling or did you decided spontaneously where to go next?

    • Reply Christina January 16, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Oh and another question – which camera did you use on your trip back then? 🙂

      • Reply sileas January 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

        I pretty much had every destination planned ahead and knew the flight connections already. Depending on the flights (how often, how expensive) I booked them several weeks to a few days in advance. Only at the very end there was some room left for spontaneous changes 🙂 As I was traveling light I only used a very good compact camera – a Sony RX100 – probably still one of the best compact cameras in the market (with newer versions now). A bit expensive though, so I got it second hand 🙂

        • Reply Christina January 16, 2017 at 6:07 pm

          Oh great, thanks for the info 😉 secondhand is always a good option 👍🏻😊

  • Reply jewels January 16, 2017 at 4:12 am

    I love planning out trips, though at my age, I can’t say I’m really into budget travel anymore..! HA I wish I had done something like this when I was younger…!

    • Reply sileas January 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      I agree, I wouldn’t travel as cheaply as possible anymore. But you can still do it, Julie! Flashpacking instead of backpacking 😉

  • Reply Miyang January 17, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Your mom lives in Korea? Where? I wish I could travel like you 😊

    • Reply sileas January 19, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Yes she lives in Bucheon next to Seoul. You’ve been visiting some beautiful places too 🙂

  • Reply Hanna January 18, 2017 at 2:18 am

    Great tips! Really good idea to split the budget, I noticed the vaccinations; pretty expensive part prior to travel. You have managed to find good places with good prices. I have never been on a long round trip as yours, but would loved to do one or two and use these definitely useful tips.

    • Reply sileas January 19, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Yeah but the good part is that the vaccines last for a couple years (well most of them…) and I was certainly more careful about that than others… I can definitely recommend to try such a long-term trip when you get the chance. But caution, it’s addictive 😉

  • Reply Chiara Pannozzo (@wine_and_olives) January 18, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Splitting the budget is such a good idea! I think it’s where I go wrong and would probably do much better if I looked at it this way. Thanks for sharing these great tips!x

    • Reply sileas January 19, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Thank you Chiara, I’m always glad if there was helpful advice 😀

  • Reply Bia S. January 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely remember these for my future solo travels. (Hopefully!)

    • Reply sileas January 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Bia, thanks for dropping by!

  • Reply PinaySkattebasse January 23, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Helpful tips for travelling the world! With exact budget for each area. 🙂 It is no doubt big help if you visit a family during vaca coz you get to save some penny. As for me I only stay with those I really know, if not I would rather pay a room to spend my nights at. And yes, even if private tours are good because a guide has his/her attention on you, there is also something good about joining a group tour. On our trip to Napa Valley we joined a wine tasting group tour. We continued the fun after the tour and got to know each other better over dinner. Being friendly and approachable can take anybody far. 🙂

    • Reply sileas January 24, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      I actually prefer to stay at my own place too, unless it’s very close family or the apartment has enough space 🙂 Group tours depend all on the people and you can get really lucky or unlucky… But while you travel you’ll notice pretty quickly with whom you get along and who not 😀

  • Reply wazwu February 4, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Love this post! Lots of handy tips for future reference. 🙂 I agree that privacy, safety, and comfort are important even when you’re trying to keep the cost down. It’s hard to enjoy the experience if you’re worrying about anything. And yes, combining travels with a family visit is always a good idea!

    • Reply sileas February 4, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Thank you Waz! I agree, worries are the last thing you need while traveling!

  • Reply Agness of aTukTuk June 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Excellent post, Sileas! Very useful insight into the expenses!

    • Reply sileas June 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Oh thanks, I’m so glad you found it helpful!

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