How Much Does it Cost to Travel the World for a Year?


A detailed breakdown on how I managed to spend just $19,528 on a year of full-time travel.

After I shared my year-end review of my 2015 travels, casually dropping my total expenditure into my rundown of statistics, a whole ton of you dropped me an email to ask for more details. Fortunately, I track every single cent that I spend while I’m on the road, so putting together a detailed breakdown of my year wasn’t too much trouble. I want to prove that travel isn’t as expensive as people assume and in 2015, I spent less than many people spend in a year at home.

Over the past 12 months, I managed to visit 19 countries: Australia, Cambodia, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

I hit up 62 different cities.

I travelled 24,613 miles.

I took 15 flights.

I slept in 35 beds.

I spent $19,640.73 (£13,747).

That’s an average of $53.80 per day.

Here’s the breakdown:

Accommodation: $6962.69
Transportation: $4,619.34
Food: $6072.78
Activities: $719.88
Visas: $95.00
Entrance Fees: $177.38
Travel Insurance: $706.26
Miscellaneous: $287.40

Is it cheaper than you expected? It’s far less than I had assumed, given that this was the first year I made very little attempt to travel on a budget.

This, therefore, is not a guide to how you can travel the world for the smallest amount of money possible — it’s about how travel is still affordable if you opt to stay in nice apartments, splurge on fancy hotels for special occasions, and don’t choose the most uncomfortable budget options available. It’s about how you can still spend less than many people would in a year at home, even on a mid-range budget.

What can you expect to spend if you have more of a backpacker budget, and will be staying in dorm rooms in hostels, travelling overland, and staying in cheap regions of the world? $10,000 is doable for a year.

If you want to find out exactly what my money went on, what standard of accommodation I stayed in, and how I save money on travel, keep on reading.

Lauren hiking in New Zealand
Hiking in New Zealand

Accommodation

My total accommodation costs came in at $6962.69 for the year.

In 2015, I stayed in a whole host of different accommodations, ranging from eight-bed dorms in Latvia to a luxury floating hotel in the middle of the Cambodian jungle. I opted to sleep in some pretty offbeat places, too, hitting up both a luxury yurt and shepherd’s hut in Cornwall, and a houseboat in the Netherlands.

This year was also the year of Airbnb. While I’m not a massive fan of the company’s business practices, I can’t deny how perfect it is for slow travellers like me. The monthly discounts on the site save me and my boyfriend, Dave so. much. money and I still can’t believe that staying in an entire house for a month with a kitchen and a dedicated Internet connection nearly always works out to be half the price of a month-long stay in a private room in a hostel.

Not tried Airbnb yet? If you sign up using this link, you’ll receive $30 off your first stay!

And speaking of slow travel, this year was also more about spending months in a new city rather than days, which helped me save money and get to know a place more that superficially. I spent three months inside working on a big project in Granada. I lived in Madrid for six weeks. I spent two separate months based in London. I lived in Taipei for four weeks, and spent a full month in Melbourne.

The generosity of our friends and family around the world helped Dave and I further bring down the costs of our accommodation. We housesat for friends in Amsterdam and Melbourne, and stayed with both my and Dave’s family in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.

Finally, I have to note that if you were to travel on more of a backpacking budget, you could very easily bring the accommodation costs down to half of what I spent.

When it comes to travel style, I’d estimate that 10% of my travels were on a backpacker budget, 80% were mid-range, and 10% were super-luxury! After five years of full-time travel, I’m grateful I can afford to have a few more comforts in my life :-)

My favourite accommodation in Cambodia is this floating hotel on the Tatai river!

The Most Expensive Place I Stayed: The most expensive place I stayed at was the floating hotel in Cambodia, which came in at $175 a night. I booked this for Dave’s birthday and it was one of the highlights of my entire year of travel. I love splurging on places we’d never normally choose to stay at for special occasions!

The Cheapest Place I Stayed: The cheapest place I stayed at was Munkenhof hostel in Tallinn ($13.39 a night), which also wins for the shortest length of time I stayed in a place and the worst place I’ve ever stayed in. I was attacked by bedbugs, somebody threw up in the bed above mine, and the hostel cleaner kicked me in the back. Ah, budget travel!

The Longest I Stayed in One Place: That would have to be my Airbnb apartment in Granada, where I spent over three months! It was the perfect place to knuckle down and work non-stop.

The Best Place I Stayed: That would have to be Tamu Hotel, on Otres Beach, in Cambodia. At around $120 a night, it wasn’t cheap, but having the penthouse suite and getting to wake up to this view was more than worth it.

Tamu Hotel, on Otres Beach, is one of my favourite hotels to splurge on in Cambodia!
Splurging out on Tamu Hotel, in Cambodia. Another treat for Dave’s birthday!

And because I’m a massive completionist and love numbers, I’ve compiled the average cost per night of every city I spent time in this year. Hopefully this should give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay in different regions around the world. I’ve also linked to the places I stayed at as the location name, in case you want to check them out! Anything marked with a * is somewhere I visited on my own or for Dave’s birthday, so the accommodation costs weren’t split.

London, UK: $31.69 per night
Granada, Spain: $15.84 per night
Ronda, Spain: $23.87 per night
Amsterdam, the Netherlands: $0 (housesitting)
Utrecht, the Netherlands: $40.16 per night
Leiden, the Netherlands: $37.06 per night
Maastricht, the Netherlands: $31.57 per night
The Hague, the Netherlands: $37.17 per night
Oslo, Norway: $41.43 per night
Bergen, Norway: $66.73 per night
London, UK: Free (staying with family)
St Ives, UK: $48.03 per night
Perranporth, UK: $34.63 per night
Wadebridge, UK: $44.86 per night
Liskeard, UK: $44.86 per night
Riga, Latvia*: $17.58 per night
Tallinn, Estonia*: $12.15 per night
Helsinki, Finland*: $123.10 per night
Stockholm, Sweden*: $59.29 per night
Vilnius, Lithuania: $40.43 per night
Warsaw, Poland*: $40.57 per night

Porto, Portugal: $24.37 per night
Madrid, Spain: $18.49 per night
Verona, Italy: $32.55 per night
Ljubljana, Slovenia: $33.72 per night
Lake Como, Italy: $0 (stayed with friends)
Bangkok, Thailand: $18.96 per night
Tatai, Cambodia*: $175 per night
Sihanoukville, Cambodia*: $128.23 per night
Kampot, Cambodia*: $48.00 per night
Siem Reap, Cambodia*: $90.61 per night
Hanoi, Vietnam: $12.36 per night
Hoi An, Vietnam: $28.96 per night
Saigon, Vietnam: $27.10 per night
Taipei, Taiwan: $27.28 per night
Melbourne, Australia: $0(Housesitting + staying with Dave’s family)
Christchurch, New Zealand: $0(staying with Dave’s family)
Hanmer Springs, New Zealand: $0(staying with Dave’s family)

Hanoi street food
From my street food tour in Hanoi

Transportation

My total transportation costs for the year came in at: $4,619.34.

This year was a bit of an odd one when it came to transportation. I took a hell of a lot of flights for convenience and to save time, but because I was also travelling slowly, it still worked out to be affordable.

When it comes to finding cheap flights, the easiest way to save money is by being flexible. If you don’t have set travel dates or destinations, you can look at prices across an entire month and pick the cheapest day. If don’t mind where you fly in to, you can look at flights to every airport in the country to see which will save you money. I usually do both and managed to score some great deals this year.

I use only one site to find flights: Skyscanner. One of those will usually find me a kickass price. I find every other flight search website really annoying and unhelpful.

Lauren tubing in the Tatai River
Tubing in the Tatai River, in Cambodia

Most Expensive Flight: My flight from Madrid to Bangkok came in at $534.96. I had a last minute change of plans and booked it two weeks before the departure date, and had zero flexibility because I wanted to be on the same flight as Dave. He booked his flight four months before me and it cost half the price.

Cheapest Flight: I scored my flight from Hanoi to Hoi An for an incredible $28.50!

Here’s the breakdown of my expenses for the year:

Tube tickets for a month in London: $110.00
Flights from London to Malaga: $74.59
Bus from Malaga to Granada: $12.50
Taxi to our Granada apartment: $7.50
Return train tickets to Ronda: $38
Bus from Granada to Malaga: $12.50
Flight from Malaga to Amsterdam: $117.68
Train tickets in the Netherlands: $74.16
Flight from Amsterdam to London: $83.66
Flight from London to Oslo: $211.04
Train from Oslo to Bergen: $50.97
Flight from Bergen to London: $140.91
Petrol for my Cornwall road trip: $170.45
Train from Lelant to St Ives: $4.72
Parking in Cornwall: $18.21
Trains to and from London and Staines: $38.15
Flight from London to Riga: $203.50
Bus from Riga to Tallinn: $24.91
Ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki: $28.16
Helsinki airport bus: $6.82
Flight from Helsinki to Stockholm: $73.64
Stockholm airport bus from and to the airport: $22.88
Flight from Stockholm to Vilnius: $140.74
Taxi from Vilnius airport to my apartment: $17.33
Taxi from Vilnius apartment to bus station: $3.12
Bus from Vilnius to Warsaw: $21.84
Warsaw airport bus: $8.70
Flight from Warsaw to Lisbon: $281.73
Flight from Lisbon to Porto: $32.13
Metro from Porto airport to my apartment: $2.38
Bus from Porto to Madrid: $56.47
Metro from my apartment to Madrid airport: $5.64
Flight from Madrid to Verona: $89.56

Train from Verona to Venice: $4.86
Bus from Venice to Ljubljana return: $50.81
Train from Venice to Milan: $21.17
Train from Milan to Como: $5.63
Bus from Como to Torno: $3.39
Flight from Madrid to London: $179.79
Train rides into London over a month: $151.50
Flight from London to Madrid: $100.59
Flight from Madrid to Bangkok: $534.96
Flight from Bangkok to Trat: $73.91
Minivan from Trat Airport to bus station: $13.95
Bus from Trat bus station to the border: $3.35
Transfer from the border to Tatai: $35.00
Minivan from Tatai to Kampot: $13.00
Minivan from Kampot to Sihanoukville: $10.00
Taxi from Otres Beach to Sihanoukville’s airport: $10.00
Flight from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap: $116.20
Tuk-tuk hire for a day at Angkor: $15.00
Flight from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City: $135.00
Flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi: $48.21
Flight from Hanoi to Hoi An: $28.50
Flight from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City: $62.25
Flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Taipei: $183.72
Bus from Taipei to our apartment: $4.74
Metro transport in Taipei: $3.25
Transfer from our apartment to Taipei’s airport: $15.00
Flight from Taipei to Melbourne: $268.50
Flight from Melbourne to Christchurch: $300.89

Avocado Eggs from Industry Beans, in Melbourne
Avocado Eggs from Industry Beans, in Melbourne: an Australian classic!

Food

My total cost for food and drinks (both eating out and grocery shopping) came to: $6072.78

Food is nearly always one of my biggest expenses when I travel, because life’s too short to have a bad meal. When I’m staying in an Airbnb apartment, I’ll typically eat breakfast at home and eat out for lunches and dinners. One of the things I both love and hate about this lifestyle is getting to eat out for every single meal, but also that it makes me fat.

This year, my most indulgent countries for eating were Italy, London, Thailand, Taiwan, and Australia. Especially breakfasts in Australia.

Mad Hatters-themed Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel, in London
Mad Hatter-themed Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel, in London

Activities

My total activities for the year rocked up at $719.88.

At the start of the year, I set myself a challenge to do more activities as I travel, so I think I did pretty abysmally on that front. I was so wrapped up in work for the first half of the year that I barely left my apartment, then spent the second half experiencing panic attacks as I recovered from the stress of that work. Trying new things wasn’t high on my list this year. Here’s what I did manage to squeeze in:

Spain: Food tasting experience in Granada: $43.04
The Netherlands: Running tour in Maastricht: $27.95
The UK: 5 km colour run in London: $43.34
Norway: Bergen fiord trip: $50
Latvia: Riga walking tour donation: $10.83
Portugal: Port tasting experience and tour of the Douro Valley: $67.02
Slovenia: Ljubljana walking tour donation: $10.83
The UK: David Gilmour tickets for two shows: $278.77
The UK: Dengue Fever tickets: $25.46
The UK: Afternoon tea in London: $144.66
Vietnam: Street food tour in Hanoi: $85.00

Lauren at Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat was just as magnificent second time around!

Entrance Fees

My total entrance fees came in at $177.38 for the year.

Entrance fees for attractions are typically pretty low for me. I’m not a huge museum freak and can be lazy about exploring the tourist hotspots when I’m staying in a city long-term. I’ve found that the longer I travel, the more I prioritise wandering through markets, meeting and chatting to locals, and hanging out with friends. Here’s my breakdown of entrance fees for the year:

Spain: Entrance fee for Ronda Arab baths: $3.29
Spain: Entrance fee for Ronda bullring: $7.13
Spain: Entrance to the Alhambra, in Granada: $17.20
The Netherlands: Entrance fee for Keukenhof tulip gardens: $17.88
The Netherlands: Entrance to the Escher museum: $10.61
Norway: Entrance to Bergen art museums: $12.78
UK: Minack Theatre entrance fee: $7.08
UK: Tintagel Castle entrance fee: $7.08
UK: Entrance to the Eden Project: $39.01
Estonia: Entrance to Kiek in de Kok: $5.97
Slovenia: Entrance to Ljubljana Castle: $8.46
Cambodia: Three day pass to the temples of Angkor: $40.00
Vietnam: Entrance to a temple in Hanoi: $0.89

A detailed breakdown on how I managed to spend just $19,528 on a year of full-time travel.

Visas

My total visa costs came in at $95.00.

This year, my visa fees were pretty low. I spent much of the year in Europe, and had a short enough stint in Thailand and Vietnam that I could get their free visas on arrival. Australian visas are free for British citizens, but due to a fuck-up on my end, where I forgot to apply for one, I had to pay for a rushed visa.

Cambodian visa: $30.00
Australian visa: $65.00

Hole in my backpack

Travel Insurance

Twelve months of coverage with World Nomads came in at $706.26.

Travel insurance is my one essential, and I never go anywhere without it! I always go with World Nomads, because they make insurance easy for long-term travellers. They’re one of the few companies where you can buy or renew your policy while you’re not in your home country. Any experience I’ve had with calling them or claiming from them has been trouble-free and easy.

The Douro Valley, in Portugal
I loved exploring the Douro Valley, in Portugal

Miscellaneous

My total amount for miscellaneous items came to: $287.40

Sunscreen: $57.09
After-sun: $25.00
Insect repellent: $15.00
Deodorant: $18.81
Shower gel: $27.50
Shampoo: $72.00
Conditioner: $72.00

Views of Granada
Beautiful Granada: my home for three months of the year!

What Wasn’t Included

It was tricky figuring out which expenses to include and which to leave out, and I know I won’t be able to please everyone. There’s being transparent about every expense I incurred and being irrelevant. Here’s what wasn’t included:

Business expenses: Sharing how much I spent on hosting Never Ending Footsteps and the various subscriptions I have to companies didn’t seem relevant for someone who is going to travel for a year. If you’re interested, I share how much I spend on these in my monthly summaries. It’s typically around $100 a month or so.

Cancelled travel expenses: I spent $3000 on a trip to the Seychelles, Mauritius, and the Maldives, but was suffering from such severe anxiety that I had to cancel my plans. This didn’t feel all that relevant for most people!

Birthday presents for family: This didn’t seem too helpful to include.

Replacing my clothes: This year, I spent several hundred dollars replacing every item of clothing I have in my backpack. Most travellers who head out for a year won’t have the need to do this.

A new camera: I splurged and threw down $2,500 on a new camera this year to improve the photos on this site. Most travellers won’t need something this fancy and wouldn’t be likely to buy one mid-way through their trip.

To those of you who are commenting to say you could do it for far less, me too! I didn’t keep such a detailed track of my expenses when I first started traveling, but you can read about how my first year of travel cost me $13,000. I stayed in dorm rooms in hostels, ate fast food, and travelled mostly overland.

After five years of full-time travel, though, I started to crave home comforts, so decided to transition from more of a budget style of travel to something mid-range. The upgrade is worth it to me :-)

And those are my 2015 expenses! I hope you found this post useful! What do you think — is $20,000 less or more than you thought it would cost to travel for a year?

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This, therefore, is not a guide to how you can travel the world for the smallest amount of money possible -- it's about how travel is still affordable if you opt to stay in nice apartments, splurge on fancy hotels for special occasions, and don't choose the most uncomfortable budget options available. It's about how you can still spend less than many people would in a year at home, even on a mid-range budget.

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243 Comments

  1. Tamara
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    What an awesome and informative post! For those who think traveling is expensive it really isn’t. I just have one question, do you use an app or literally write down every expense for everything? It would be really helpful for myself in the future! Thank you!!

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      I use Trail Wallet to record most expenses. I always record food costs there and sometimes everything else if I’m not feeling lazy. Otherwise I compile accommodation/transport/activity costs at the end of the month using email confirmations.

    • Mark
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      I keep a running spreadsheet with a tab for each country. I would always try to add up expenses at the end of each day or two. If you go too long it can become difficult to remember especially if you are traveling in a country where you are using cash far more often the credit cards.

      Plus with all of the data already in a spreadsheet, it makes it easy to create nifty graphs.

      • Mark
        February 17, 2016
        Reply

        Not a proper template. I just copy the row headings over from sheet to sheet. It’s not very involved as I’m not an Excel wiz. Just lots of use of AutoSum and Average.

  2. Michaela
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, what a breakdown! And yep, a lot less than expected. This is super useful and so handy! Thanks for your write up. As a new blogger this is so insightful :) Although am I being naive in thinking the insurance seemed so high? Maybe I’m not covering myself enough! Eek! Happy travels Lauren!
    http://Www.thisfpplanet.com

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      WorldNomads is a little pricier than the competition, but I’m pretty limited with who I can go with given my full-time travel situation. They are just so few companies that allow you to renew outside of your home country! I originally left with Insure&Go, which were about half the price of WorldNomads, and was really happy with them, but after my first year of travel was up, I bought a new policy and found out six months later it had been invalid for the entire time because I’d bought it while I was outside of the UK. Sigh. So, yep, you can find insurance for cheaper, but if you don’t know how long your trip is going to be for, I recommend WN.

  3. SJ
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    This is such a useful article! Thank you! It’s great to see that travelling doesn’t have to be so expensive, especially when you consider that you weren’t scrimping by and actually trying to keep costs as cheap as possible. Again, great article that gives loads of inspiration. :-)

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      I’m thinking about going through previous years and putting together a post like this for every year — my first year on the road was super backpacker-style and I think I ended up spending around $13,000 for the year! I definitely prefer spending a bit more money and avoiding dorms these days, though :-)

  4. Mark
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Nice work. I do country by country breakdowns, but I’ve never tallied up the whole year. I’m definitely sharing this because I get questions all the time about budgets.

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks! :-) I used to do country breakdowns when I first started out, but they ended up being a bit confusing for my readers — for example, in my first year, I stayed with a friend in Hong Kong and my daily expenses worked out to be $15 a day, and then in Cambodia I spent three days in the country at Angkor Wat, which skewed my expenses to be $50 a day. I got fed up with adding disclaimers to my summaries and defending myself to explain anything that didn’t seem to make sense.

  5. sharon
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    wow you’re a budget queen. just thinking about how organised you must be to log all this makes my head hurt…and yet…I’ve been reading your blog — you don’t seem so organised lol.

    Also Porthcurno beach, Cornwall – my favourite too.

    lastly, a question – have you saved a bit because you have done some travelling with your partner?

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Well, I share all of my expenses in my monthly summaries, so compiling it all wasn’t too hard or time-consuming. I actually love to track statistics and numbers and do it for pretty much every aspect of my life :-)

      And yep, when I travel with Dave, we share accommodation costs equally, so that makes it cheaper than if I was staying in a similar standard of places on my own. When I travel solo, I usually stay in cheaper places, though, so my side of the expenses works out to be a similar cost.

  6. Daniela
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Thank you for the article :) It is really an eyeopener to see the numbers and what did you spend it for.

    Take care,
    Daniela

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Glad you found it useful, Daniela! :-)

  7. Melanie
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    A super helpful post, thank you. I’ve often said that I spend less in a year of travel that I do in a year of work. So it’s great to see this backed up with such detail. I too love nerding out over expenses!

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Glad you found it helpful, Melanie! Travel is often so much more affordable than people think :-)

  8. Edna
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    I love that you did this! I used to track every penny I spent but after a few years I just stopped (it started to feel overwhelming, I think, to remember every little expense). But whenever someone says it’s too expensive to travel full-time, this is the perfect post to show them and tell them to think again! (PS — 20k a year is just over what my rent worked out to in Paris/Shanghai!)

    Although 3000 on makeup and $144 on shampoo/conditioner? How?? :D

  9. Chris
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Awesome to see it’s not just me being super savvy on the travel expense documentation Lauren, bit of a nightmare to get in the habit of writing it all down but well worth it overall I think!
    I beat you slightly though with a daily average of £26.14 ($37.36) ….lets see who makes the budget stretch further this year ;)

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      It’s on! ;-)

  10. Lotte
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Awesome breakdown Lauren! As you can probably tell from reading my blog I am a huge fan of budget breakdowns and numbers so this post ranks very high in my favorite posts of all times because it is super detailed and useful information for anyone considering traveling long-term!

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Aww, thanks so much, Lotte! :-D

  11. Michel
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    I think you could have save more if you used lowcost airlines in Europe.
    Because London to Madrid for almost $180 is very expensive if you could fly for 40.
    So to me it looks like you did not use low cost airlines.

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      I almost always use the cheapest flight available, but in that case, I had a last-minute change of plans and booked the flight two days before the departure date, so it ended up being more expensive than I would have liked! :-)

      • Michel
        February 17, 2016
        Reply

        I used that flight as an example because i saw more expensive European flights.
        But you had a great year! that’s important.

        • Lauren
          February 17, 2016
          Reply

          :-)

  12. Evan
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Great breakdown. Approximately how many nights during the year would you say you didn’t have to pay for accommodation?

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      I had a month at home (UK) and a month in Australia/New Zealand where I didn’t pay for accommodation, and three days in Amsterdam where i was housesitting.

  13. chau mui
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    You know..after doing the math, this is approximately the same it would cost to live in NYC for an entire year too. It took me a lot of effort Kudos to you for such a detailed write up – great post!

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Glad you liked it! And it’s true: travel is often way cheaper than staying at home :-)

  14. Tamara #2
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Thank you! Thank you!
    My family of three are leaving for a 10 month RTW trip and getting a solid idea of costs is not easy!
    I’m going to use your figures as a basis!
    So appreciative!

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      So pleased to hear you found the post helpful, Tamara! Feel free to drop me an email if I can help with anything at all! :-)

  15. Lois
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Major expenses for me when traveling are concert and theatre tickets. I’d also spend the year’s budget in about two weeks for entrance fees, but then I do not travel for long periods of time (1-2 weeks per trip generally).

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      One of the things I miss most about travelling is not getting to go to as many shows as I’d like — none of the bands I love are ever in the same place as me! I managed to catch David Gilmour in London last year, though, and will be seeing Pearl Jam in Miami later on this year.

      I also definitely travel differently based on whether it’s a long- or short-term trip :-)

  16. hidayah
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    love this post so much! even tho i have to triple the cost because of my currency.

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks! :-)

  17. Keith
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    You sure don’t do much or find lots of free things to do. You have less than 30 activities and entry fees listed in a year. I try to do a lot of free things but think I pay entry fees at least 2 or 3 times a week so have between 100 to 150 per year.

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Oh, I do lots of free things, but didn’t see much point in listing them in the post. Where do you draw the line — is sitting in a cafe and people watching a free activity? What about watching the sunset? Or going for a swim in the ocean? Or hiking to a viewpoint? Or walking around taking photos? I’d end up listing thousands! :-)

      And as for me not doing much, as I hinted at in the post, this was a bit of an odd and challenging year for me. I was writing and editing a book on and off between January and August, so wasn’t able to get out and do as much as I normally would.

  18. Sybil
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    I didn’t see specifics for the apartment in Brixton. Do you have a link for that one?

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      I don’t, unfortunately. It’s no longer listed on Airbnb.

  19. Nancy
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    I’m so glad I found your website! I love that you are super-organized and detail-oriented with your expenses. This is really helpful to someone like me, who is not yet a world traveler, but hopes to be someday soon (at least part-time). Most of the traveler blogs I follow are people in their 20s and 30s. Do you meet many travelers in their 50s? My goal is to travel more when I retire. I think I would travel similarly to you…mostly mid-range accommodations, some cheaper, some splurges. As much as I would like to try hostels, I am not sure I could handle a spring break atmosphere all the time. Maybe they are not all like that, but I might be more likely to rent a private room or do housesitting. However, I’m not opposed to going out for a couple of drinks, listening to a band, dancing and having fun!

    I love beautiful scenery and would really enjoy photography, meeting people and visiting historical sites and attractions. I would plan on having some meals out so I could try the local restaurants/street vendors, but I’m fine with going shopping at a marketplace and making most of my own meals. I also enjoy helping others, and wouldn’t mind doing a volunteer project once in a while, possibly something involving kids. Any advice for a middle-aged traveler would be much appreciated! Until then, I will be saving my $$$. Maybe I will see you around the world in a few years! :)

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Nancy!

      I want to share a tip about staying in hostels as an adult. I’m in my 30’s and NOT interested in a party atmosphere. Check the usual hostel websites, but skip the cheapest options, the large hostels in city centers, and hostels with large dorm rooms. Many hostels, especially the smaller ones, offer private rooms. A few extra dollars per night keeps away the 20 year olds. Read the hostel descriptions and reviews carefully. “Average atmosphere” often equals “people aren’t getting drunk in the lobby every night.”

      I stayed at a lovely little hostel in Panama a few years ago. The description made it clear that it was not close to bars and restaurants, and it was more expensive than most alternatives. The other guests and I were all professionals in our late 20’s and 30’s. Nurses, educators, small business owners, etc. There are a lot of people, like myself, that enjoy the social aspects of hostel life without the crazy parties. At 33, I was often one of the youngest guests at quite a few hostels in Russia!

      Good luck!

      • Lauren
        February 18, 2016
        Reply

        Thank you SO much for sharing that, Lauren! I agree 100% — you can usually figure out pretty easily which hostels are the party ones, and private rooms help you get a decent night’s sleep.

      • Nancy
        February 18, 2016
        Reply

        Hi Lauren,
        Thanks so much for taking the time to reply! You hit the nail on the head…I definitely love the social part of traveling, but I would rather stay away from places where I won’t be able to get any sleep. After a busy day of sightseeing, I prefer a little down time to recharge. I appreciate your helpful advice, and it’s good to know that I won’t be the only person my age out there. I think meeting people of all ages and from different countries would make it a better experience, anyway.

        I do have another question…there are SO many places I want to visit…when you got started, how did you narrow it down to determine where to begin, and to plan a route that makes sense for you? I am a pretty organized person, so I will need to learn that I don’t have to plan every little detail in advance; however, I would at least like to start getting an idea of where to start, so I can visualize and motivate myself to save more money for my travels! Maybe I need to get a large world map and put it on my wall as incentive. Maybe throw a dart or two? ;)

        Until then, I’ll keep reading and learning from the travel of others, including yours. I also just bought your book, so that may help give me more ideas! Safe travels!

  20. Leah
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Airbnb is good and I’ve used them, but for hostels you can usually save at least a little money if you use Hostelz.com to search for hostels instead of just booking everything with just Hostelworld. It searches all the sites and shows you which site has the lowest price. I use it exclusively now whenever I’m trying to find a hostel.

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks for the recommendation, Leah! :-)

  21. Kristine
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    This is such an awesome post! I love how meticulous you are! *gulps* about the worst hostel you stayed at (which has a high rating of 8.2! *double gulps*)

    Am bookmarking your entire post for planning reference! <3

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      I know! Maybe it was a one-off, but it was such a terrible experience for me… To be fair, the owner replied to my bad review on TripAdvisor to say they’d found bedbugs in my dorm and thrown out all of the beds, and they couldn’t help the random drunk man throwing up in the bed above mine… but, uh, shudder! It was one of the worst hostel experiences of my life!

      • Bree
        March 17, 2017
        Reply

        Lauren, bedbugs are my worst nightmare. Was that your only encounter with them? To be honest, that’s my biggest fear about traveling so extensively.

        • Lauren
          March 17, 2017
          Reply

          Yep! I’ve only encountered them once in six years of travel. Definitely not in any way something to fear.

  22. Liza
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Fantastic informative and explanatory post. Really appreciate the information.

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you! :-)

  23. Holly Dunaway
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Would love to see a post about what beauty and skincare products you used this year!! My hardest part of packing is choosing what makeup to bring! I always worry I’ll want something I didn’t bring.

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      I would love to write about that! I wasn’t sure if many of my readers would be interested. Will try and put a post together this month :-)

  24. Joyce
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Food is definitely my biggest expense when I’m traveling! And I eat way more than I usually would because 1) It tastes so much better and 2) I use up way more energy when I’m on the road. I think I need to stay in more airbnb’s and start cooking my own food ;)

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      It definitely helps you save money, and means you typically eat healthier, too! :-)

  25. Dave Anderson
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, I can’t believe how thorough this is! It really makes me feel like a dumbass for not keeping more detailed track of all my finances. Thanks for putting all this together! Definitely inspirational! Good work!

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Ha, I likely wouldn’t be anywhere near this meticulous if I didn’t share my expenses every month in my travel summaries :-) Glad you enjoyed the post!

  26. Derek cullen
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Brilliant thanks For taking the time to put this together, I have been recording my own spending as I start my own online travel content business for 3 months now.

    Although my average spend is a lot less than $53 per day, it is $21 at the moment ☺️

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      That’s awesome to hear! As I said in the post, it’s pretty easy to spend less than I did, so it’s great to hear from someone who is doing so! :-D

  27. Sam
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    While this is indeed a year of travel, it must be one of the most boring years of travel imaginable – that activities list covers about as much as I would try to fit into TWO WEEKS – let alone a year!

    • Lauren
      February 16, 2016
      Reply

      Good for you! You know, we’re all different. Everyone has different travel styles and interests and likes to do different things as they explore the world. Unlike you, I don’t feel the need to shame others for their preferences.

      • Natala
        February 17, 2016
        Reply

        You go, Lauren! What a lovely response!

        • Lauren
          February 17, 2016
          Reply

          Haha, thanks! It seemed like a bit of a harsh comment, given that I explained in the activities section that I’d had mental health struggles this year so hadn’t been able to do as much as I would have liked. Either way, you don’t need to spend money to do kickass stuff.

      • Mary
        February 17, 2016
        Reply

        Well that was a much nicer response than I would have come up with. I hope your rude commenter can learn that travel is not a race to do ALL THE THINGS, and also that some of the best things in life (sunsets, good conversations) don’t require a budget line item.

        • Lauren
          February 28, 2016
          Reply

          Thanks, Mary! It’s true — I don’t know why people think that I didn’t do anything, just because I didn’t spend money on it. Some of my highlights of this year included hiking in the mountains of Taipei, swimming in the ocean in Cambodia at sunset, meeting up with roughly thirty of my friends at various times over the year, road tripping my way from stunning beach to stunning beach in Cornwall, wandering through markets, sitting in a cafe and people-watching, meeting locals and learning about their way of life… In fact, the longer I travel, the less joy I gain from paying to do activities — it even starts to feel a bit superficial after a while. I’ve learned that it doesn’t bring me anywhere near as much joy as spending time with friends and family does!

  28. Dorothee
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Actually I am now travelling for three month and I think I will make it with a similar amount for a year like you, even my expenses are a little different from yours. I am travelling in countries with high costs, but try to reduce them by couchsurfing, hitchhiking and as a “helpxer” where possible. To come under $50/day is in these countries only opportune if cooking all my meals by myself and spending lesser on activities. I was so far not spending very much on activities.

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      That’s so great to hear that you can hit a similar amount in pricier countries, although obviously not without a few sacrifices. Honestly, there are so many great free activities you can do around that world (hiking! wandering around markets! getting to know locals! making friends! sampling the local food! going to free museums!) that are just as meaningful as paying to do things :-)

  29. Jane
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    I wonder about communication costs. Did you pay for mobile phone service everywhere? How did that work?

    Thanks!

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      I just connect to Wi-Fi networks when I’m out and about. I spend so much time working online that I like to disconnect when I’m outside and exploring :-)

  30. Geoff
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    How often do you travel and is this experience like a business expense if you make money from writing about your travels or do you have another career and save up for these travels? I found this article not only helpful but motivating to make future travel plans

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      I travel full-time and have been doing so (and being paid to write about it!) for five years — so yep, this is my business :-)

  31. Ciara
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    How did you make money to travel on just under 20k? Did you save up before you went on a one year adventure or picked up odd jobs?? Any advice would be great! Thanks so much!!

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Before I left to travel, I spent my five years that I was at college saving for travel. A few months into my trip, I managed to turn this site into a business and have been going ever since. Now, I work online and make money through this site, freelance writing, and royalties for my travel memoir.

  32. Pat
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    Wow this was a phenomenal post. I just added another thing to my list of things to buy before my trip to Europe in June – a notebook to store all of my expenses! Very inspiring and keep uo the great work

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Pat! :-)

  33. Violeta
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m impressed with the way you keep track of your expenses! To answer your question, I roughly spent the same amount per day in my travels. Nonetheless, the longest I’ve travelled without hitting back home was about six months and I was driving my car, so I didn’t need trains, planes etc.

    Do you have the same kind of breakdown also for your income? I’d love to know which is the best paying activity for you. Is it Amazon? Is it the affiliate commissions from accommodation & flights? Thanks!

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Hi, Violeta! I actually do, in my monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to in the sidebar. I talk about business stuff in that and share my income breakdown a few times a year :-)

  34. Amit
    February 16, 2016
    Reply

    This is the kind of blog post I have been looking for. No tricks to save money. No motivation for going exploring. Just plain facts – how much this is gonnna cost me.

    Thank you Lauren for this amazing post. Someone who obsessively jots down all the expenses AND travels around so much? You are officially added to the list of persons I look up to :)

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Yay! Thank you so much, Amit! :-D

  35. Lu
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    I like what you have going on here. I too, love spreadsheets and am doing breakdown per country for the past two years (total per stay and daily). Keeps me in the loop with my finances.

    Any budget is ok as long as you travel the way you feel comfortable with.

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Lu! And I agree — everyone has different needs and interests. As long as the form of travel (and budget) you’re following makes you happy, it’s all good :-)

  36. Svetla
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Lauren
    congratulations for keeping such good accounts for every expense on your travels :)
    I am sure this would inspire many more people to start travelling and get a broader understanding of the truly precious and must-do things in life..Keep travelling and sharing :)

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      I hope so! :-)

  37. Puneet
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Great write up…

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you! :-)

  38. Michelle
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Hi, great article, and much less than expected. But where do you get all the money from if you don’t have a job?

    I understand that this is a great deal less than many people spend in a year at home, the difference being they are working, so you you just happen to have a massive savings pot?

    Enlightening
    Michelle

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Hey, Michelle! I do have a job :-). I actually make money through this site (as well as some freelance travel writing and royalties from my book), so I work as I travel.

  39. Dave
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    wow totally amazed how little you spent. This is my first time to your blog- 1 question do you not drink? I reckon that adds a lot to a budget.

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      I do, but I didn’t have more than about five drinks this year. As I sort of hinted at in the post, I suffered from a whole heap of anxiety and mental health issues this year, so quit drinking until I overcame it. Which I did! Travel helped a lot :-)

  40. Ursa
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    What a wonderful post! So helpful, informative and amazingly written. Thank you for sharing, Lauren.

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you for commenting! Glad you enjoyed the read :-)

  41. Marcus Williams
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Wow! $20,000 is not bad considering you’ve been to 62 different places! Definitely a good bargain if you’d ask me. And you’ve been on so many adventures, it’s amazing. How do you even save up for that? I don’t think I’d be able to save up for that, with all my impulsive buying.

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      These days, I work online so I fund my travels as I move. If I have a bad month of income, I slow down and base myself somewhere until my bank account is happier, and if I’m doing well, I can afford to splash out, like I did in Cambodia this year.

      However, I did manage to save $24,000 for my travels before I first left, and it took me around five years to do so. Here’s how I did it: I took on three retail jobs while I was studying full-time for my degree. I sold most things I owned that wouldn’t fit in my backpack or that I didn’t have a sentimental attachment to. I started equating every $30 I spent with a day of travel in Southeast Asia. If I wanted to buy a new jacket, I’d tell myself that if I spent the $100 on it, I’d be giving up three or four days I could be spending on a beach in Cambodia — that helped a lot with my impulsive buying :-). I also moved in with my parents six months before my departure date to give my savings a boost. I arranged movie nights at home with friends rather than going out with them and spending more money. It wasn’t the most pleasant of five years, but it gave me a pretty decent sum to get me out on the road.

      Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be able to turn my blog into a business and still be travelling five years later!

  42. Samantha
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Hi there– do you know which wine tasting/river tour you did in Porto? I’m going in March but all the tours I see are close to $100. Would love to check out the tour you did. thanks!

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      I actually do! I went with Living Tours and arranged it while I was there — they had a load of more affordable minivan options that I can’t see listed on their website.

  43. Stefan
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Love the breakdown, Lauren!

    On a day to day basis it’s hard for me to rationalize some of my expenses, especially when I’m visiting more expensive places in Western Europe or the US/Canada but at the end of the year when I tally it all up it’s a lot more affordable!

    Interesting to see the breakdown of your costs. I’m surprised at how much you spent on food but as you mentioned you eat out a lot more than I do!

    It’s great to see how cheap travelling can really be.

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much Stefan! :-) It’s funny, I was the pickiest eater in the world when I first started travelling and lived off of sandwiches and junk food for months. Gradually, travel helped me to transform from a girl with a fear of rice to someone who is now absolutely obsessed with trying new food. After 25 years of being afraid of new flavours, I feel like I need to make up for lost time :-D

  44. OMAR BOUHADJAR
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    nice to se u travlinge an exoploring the word. i olso travel to mor then 125 contrys,and i still travel…nice

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Awesome! It can get addictive, can’t it? :-)

  45. lin
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Hi, I love your journey and your budgeting is awsome. I’m in my 50 ‘s and am planning to go to France, Portugal, Spain, italy and greek islands next year. I am trying to work out a budget but I have no idea how much I might need for travel, accommodation, food and entrance fees. I plan on going for 7 weeks and am thinking airbnb is a good idea? would love some advice please. Thanks you have inspired me even more :)

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Hi, Lin! Cool itinerary. I’m actually hoping to base myself in Portugal for much of next year :-)

      For short-term travel, I’d actually recommend hotels over Airbnb — Airbnb can work out to be expensive when it comes to day rates, but offers significant discounts if you stay for a week or month. If you’ll be moving every few days, you’d likely save more money through staying in guesthouses and cheap hotels.

      Portugal and Spain are very cheap for Western Europe and you can get by on around $30 a day for a decent hotel in most cities, and food won’t be more than around $5 per meal. If you make it to Granada, bars and restaurants offer free tapas with every drink, which is an amazing way to keep the costs down!

      France and Italy will be a bit pricier at roughly $50 a day for accommodation and I’d estimate around $20-25 a day for food. Accommodation on the Greek Islands can be even higher (especially Santorini!) It really does depend on your travel style, though — private rooms in hostels are a good way of saving money, and if you don’t mind roughing it a bit or staying outside of the centre of town, you can find hotels for cheaper than the prices I mentioned. Or if you like home comforts when you travel and don’t mind splashing out a bit more, then Airbnb is the way to go :-)

      A lot of museums in Europe have specific days during the month/year where they offer free admission (I love this and always take advantage of it!), so you can save a lot of money on entrance fees by researching in advance to see if your travel dates will coincide with any of these.

  46. Miguel Angel Aguado Oria
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Hmmm quite overpriced… you can do the same but cheaper, nevertheless thumbs up for the trip and encourage to everybody to do the same, because will never be a mistake. Just do it, the style you want, the price range, the places doesn’t matter just do it. This girl trip is not fitting what I would do, but love to see people that share the passion for traveling

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Yep! When I first started travelling, I managed to average less than $20 a day!

      But I’ve been doing this for five years now, and I also work online, so paying for nice apartments and avoiding staying in hostels most of the time is worth the extra splurge to me. My travel style has definitely evolved over the years until I almost treat it like I’m living around the world now :-)

  47. Rebecca
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Such an interesting read! Thanks for posting, really cool seeing how much everything cost, and in so much detail :)

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      You’re welcome! I’m happy you found it interesting :-)

  48. Lauren
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    FANTASTIC!

    I am actually travelling and living abroad in Europe for the first time, I will be staying in Spain. I plan to travel all across Europe during my stay. I have currently reached 20 countries, in Europe, Africa, and North America. Thanks so much for the information :)

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      That’s amazing! Spain is one of my favourite countries in Europe (as you can probably tell — I spent almost half of my year there!)

  49. Meg
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    What an incredible breakdown, thank you! You’ve inspired me to try and be a lot more organised about keeping a tally of my costs whilst travelling!

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      So happy to hear that, Meg! :-D

  50. Danielle
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    Were all the accommodation costs you mentioned really half of the cost of where ever you stayed? It sounds like you were with a significant other? I think the transparency of that is important for solo travel purposes :)

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      I’m confused. In the sentence above the accommodation costs, I wrote: “Anything marked with a * is somewhere I visited on my own or for Dave’s birthday, so the accommodation costs weren’t split.” How is that not being transparent?

      If there’s no asterisk, I split the cost in half with my boyfriend; if there’s an asterisk, I paid the entire nightly rate myself.

      • Shane
        January 20, 2021
        Reply

        This still isn’t clear. Are you saying the amounts without an asterisk represent only 1/2 the actual cost of the accommodation?

        • Lauren
          January 20, 2021
          Reply

          Yep! If there’s an asterisk, it’s the full cost of the accommodation. If there isn’t an asterisk, I split the cost and so it’s half the price of the accommodation.

  51. Aimee-Lee
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    The insurance isn’t bad, but if you’re a resident of Australia I’ve found a better option with STA Travel’s insurance policy. Their provider is Allianz, but it’s an STA Travel worded policy to suit their demographic of young travelers. It’s not the cheapest but it covers aaaaaaaaaaaaaaalot. You pay for what you get. Thanks for the awesome breakdown!!

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks for the recommendation, Aimee-Lee! :-)

  52. Casey
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    I guess North and South America don’t count as “the world.” :-/ Including those two continents and spending under $20k…now THAT would be impressive!

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      I haven’t found it to be too hard at all to travel around North America on a budget. In previous years, I’ve spent as much as nine months in some combination of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and averaged around $35-50 a day. Although, I have to say that I haven’t visited South America yet. Soon, hopefully!

      In North America, I either stay in hostels for around $15-20 a night if I’m travelling solo, or opt for private rooms in Airbnb apartments ($50, so $25 a night each) if i’m travelling with my boyfriend. Food is pretty cheap in the U.S. and the enormous portions will usually keep me full for multiple meals and cost around $20 a day! And if you book early enough, BoltBus and MegaBus have tickets between major cities for a couple fo dollars. Canada is a little trickier, but it’s not too much more expensive. I usually average around $30 a night for Airbnb apartments when I stay there.

      I’m assuming by North America, you meant just the U.S. and Canada, because I’m currently travelling in Mexico and spending less than $400 a month. That’s $13 a day! :-)

      And as for North/South America counting as “the world”, How Much Does it Cost to Travel Across Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand? My 2015 Expenses isn’t quite as catchy :-) I don’t know, it feels like you’re being a bit pedantic. If someone told you they wanted to “travel the world for a year”, would you assume they wanted to go to every country and/or continent?

  53. Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    This is such an incredibly informative post! I just asked my boyfriend what he thinks it cost and he said at LEAST 40,000. So you are a piece in slowly changing his mindset. For that, I thank you. :)

    I also just finished your book on a flight back from New Orleans. I loved it! Kudos to you.

    • Lauren
      February 17, 2016
      Reply

      High five! That makes me so happy to hear — both that I could show your boyfriend travel is more affordable than he thinks and that you loved my book. Thanks for making my day! :-)

  54. Leah
    February 17, 2016
    Reply

    I think you did an amazing amount of travel and good eating on such a small budget. On one hand, I find the numbers shocking. On the other, I would say that I, too, am learning that travel doesn’t have to be as expensive as we are lead to believe.

    This is our third winter of travelling for 5 months at a time. It is also my third of tracking expenses. We find that we can live on the same budget on the road as we can while at home.

    For our first two years, we travelled in our RV in the US. Gas and camping fees were high, but cooking for ourselves and using hiking as our prime entertainment saved us. This year, we are house sitting (zero accommodation costs can’t be beat) and cooking our own meals is always a budget saver.

    Thanks for showing us how you do it. You include a lot of excellent information for me to follow up on.

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you! :-) I think that’s exactly it: this year, I managed to increase my comfort levels but still managed to spend less than a lot of people spend each year at home.

      Hiking’s one of my favourite ways to save money and explore a new place — I think I did a different one every single day over the month I spent in Taipei. I got to meet and chat with the locals as I walked, stayed healthy, and took in some spectacular views :-)

  55. Calvin
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    you only pay visa once for all your travels? well that’s a privilege of EU passport owner. Most of people from developing countries have to pay visa to travel. the only developing country that allow such privilege is malaysian passport.

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Yep! It’s usually more than that but I spent a significant part of the year in Europe, so my British passport helped a lot. I realise I’m incredibly fortunate to have one and never take it for granted.

  56. Rosario Haraldson
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    Lauren, thank u for the detailed informations regarding ur one year travel of the world for less than 20 thousand dollars. It was nice and achievable plan to travel. Ur advice, breakdown of expenses and insights. It’s like a flashlight in the dark for those who does not have a clue for those who want to venture to the the world. Great job. An enviable experience. How do I get a copy of this book?! :-)

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Head to Amazon! It’s available on every store :-)

  57. Anuradha Goyal
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, you would make a killing as an accountant. Totally impressed with your account keeping.

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Hahaha, I was actually studying to be an accountant for a while in college! I changed my mind once I discovered it was boring :-)

  58. Yok
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    Hey! I frequently comment on your site, and admittedly did not read through the 111! comments before mine so I may be repeating what others have said: I love your transparent approach to blogging, not just because transparency is important and helps build community trust, but also because the information is also practically helpful.

    It’s cool. Thanks na kha.

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Awww, thanks so much, Yok! :-D I’ve started to focus much more on providing helpful resources over the past few months and it seems like it’s paying off!

  59. Rosario Haraldson
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    I’m 68 yo widow at present a caregiver for the parent, my dad is 94 yo and my mom is 90 yo. It very is interesting to know what to expect daily average expenses to travel and see the world. It gives me something to look forward to the next phase of my life. I’m not savvy of anything but if I could get a copy of ur book abt traveling to see the world for 20 thousand dollars for a whole year is awesome. It might give something to look forward to that is reachable. Thank u.

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, well my book won’t give you many helpful tips, if that’s what you’re looking for — it’s about how I overcame my lack of life experience through being the unluckiest traveller in the world :-) You can find it in every Amazon store, and physical bookstores in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

      And $20,000 is definitely realistic and achievable, especially as I wasn’t sticking to a strict budget and forcing myself into crappy hostels to save money. You’ll have many more home comforts than a budget traveller! :-)

  60. Tim
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    Great post Lauren. My wife Anne and I are just about to head out on our long-term journey and we appreciated your in-depth accounting. We’re going to be travelling pretty slowly via apartment and house sitting as best we can. Your budget was pretty much in lie with what we are looking at which was great to see. We really appreciated your honesty and responses to people in regards to being non-judgmental about the differences in activities and travel styles. Great job. Tim

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, perfect! I’m thrilled to hear my post could be of use to you :-)

  61. Sara
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    Bravo to your level of transparency and the amount of detail you included in this post! I think what I love most about it is that while it’s not a total backpacker-style budget, it is still extremely reasonable. It shows people that you don’t have to scrimp on everything or make tons of money to afford to travel far and wide (and…long, ha).

    I am totally including this in my my weekly post of my favorite travel-related things from around the web. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Aww, thank you so much, Sara! And yes, this wasn’t supposed to be a post to show how cheaply you can possibly travel, but one that shows it’s possible to not spend tons of money in order to do so comfortably :-)

  62. Mindy
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren! I really enjoyed reading your article! I found you through Expert Vagabond. What surprised me most is the total cost of your travel for 2015. It doesn’t seem possible to travel so extensively, but obviously it is because you did! I’m going to Italy with my son in May from 17 May to 1 Jun and it seems rather costly compared to your year. :/ I would love to travel more and further, but still need income to fund the travel, pay bills, and figure out what to do with all my household stuff. I guess that’s where I’m having a hard time figuring it all out. I admire full time travelers that have cracked this code! Here’s to many more wonderful experiences this year! ~Mindy

    • Lauren
      February 28, 2016
      Reply

      Well, I think that most people do spend more when it’s a shorter vacation — I know that I do! Because if you only have a week or two of vacation each year, you want to splurge and not end up somewhere that isn’t great. When it’s your whole life, you don’t mind as much if you have to spend a few nights in a crappy hostel, because it doesn’t make or break your trip.

      Feel free to drop me an email if I can help with anything! I know how overwhelming the mere contemplation of a digital nomad life can be :-)

  63. Hannah
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this post and for keeping such precise records. I’ve been dreaming of a nomad lifestyle but thought I couldn’t afford it. This post has really encouraged me to give it a try because it’s much cheaper than I thought!

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      That’s amazing to hear, Hannah! I’m glad I could show you how affordable it can be :-)

  64. Tess Andrade
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    Such an awesome post Lauren! I use Trail Wallet too :) It’s such a life-saver! The photo of the Douro Valley made me nearly cry – it’s where my mother was born. In a small village called Bemposta – not sure if you would have passed it.

    Oh and….$3000.- for make-up….? What did you buy, girl?! The whole Sephora store? LOL :-D

    • Lauren
      February 28, 2016
      Reply

      Oh, that’s amazing! The Douro Valley is such a beautiful part of the world, and Dave and I are talking about revisiting several times this year :-)

      And yep, I definitely spent faaaaar to much time in Sephora this year!

  65. Stephen
    February 18, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren. Thanks for sharing one of the most informative travel posts I have ever read. I will be sharing it with many friends. I write about “upscale travel on a budget,” so it speaks to me and everything I post. I’m so glad to see this from the perspective of someone who generally eschewed hostels, sometimes splurged on the penthouse suite, but still knew where to cut costs. Brilliant!

    • Lauren
      February 25, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, amazing. Thanks so much, Stephen! :-)

  66. Maggie
    February 19, 2016
    Reply

    Absolutely fantastic posting! Lots of useful information here. Really appreciate your work.

    • Lauren
      February 28, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks, Maggie! I appreciate your comment :-)

  67. Dominique
    February 19, 2016
    Reply

    Great post! I think I spend more each year on travels, even though (and probably because) I’m a part-time traveller. I’ll try writing down my expenses this year to come to figure out how much I spend on my holidays as well!

    • Lauren
      February 19, 2016
      Reply

      Oh, I’m exactly the same! My first year of travel came to $13,000, my second was around $14,000, then $16,000, and now $20,000. Mine’s totally because budget travel and dorm rooms get old when you’ve been on the move for almost five years!

  68. Claudia
    February 19, 2016
    Reply

    That is not bad at all! I should really start doing the same. Last year, when I traveled across South America, I noted down every little expense I had. I should have done the same throughout the year, but I didn’t. Every time I travel, I think I can go cheaper and cheaper if I want to, but sometimes I just don’t want to and want to splurge :) much like you do!!

    • Lauren
      February 28, 2016
      Reply

      Oh, definitely! I know that if I wanted to, I could travel for less than $10,000 a year, but I much prefer to splurge on nicer places, so that I can feel like I’m living around the world :-)

  69. Antonio Rosa
    February 19, 2016
    Reply

    What was your average conversion rate between GB Pounds (assuming many of your more expensive flights started from London) into US Dollas or did you do the conversion rate into USD immediately at the time of travel?

    • Lauren
      February 19, 2016
      Reply

      I convert everything at the end of each month to record in my monthly summaries, so it does vary.

      • Antonio Rosa
        February 20, 2016
        Reply

        1 GBP to US dollar conversion from 01JAN -31DEC 2015 had a Period Average of about $1.4825, the Period High was $1.5113 and the Period Low was about $1.4490.
        These are about average credit card currency conversion rates, they do differ by credit card issuer.
        Does that sound about right?
        Apologies for being overly pedantic but I’m comparing this to others who have travelled attempting to be the cheapest, the most economical. I want to see what is the difference between them and yours. Is it worth being overly frugal when travelling even when back-packing?
        Yours is fantastic work because it reflects a far more “real” travelling expense in the sense that when we travel we should occasionally splurge, have little treats here and there. That’s what travelling is all about – you have to have a sense of the moment, of the location you’ve tried so hard to get to and have the good discernment to know it may be worth paying a bit more so it makes a difference in terms of the travel memory.
        Well done – great work.
        Oh, and a big thanks for the Ruwi, Muscat, Oman tip!

        • Lauren
          February 25, 2016
          Reply

          Ah, honestly, I have no idea. I would have calculated the rates by googling XX USD to GBP 14 months ago, so I really don’t remember which numbers I used. Sorry!

  70. Kenza
    February 19, 2016
    Reply

    This is so good to read. Awesomely transparent, accessible, and honest. Thanks Lauren! Keep it up!

    • Lauren
      February 25, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you for the compliment! :-)

  71. Elliott
    February 19, 2016
    Reply

    Hey Lauren,

    Thanks for the grest pointers. I’ll be doing some travel as well so I can definitely benefit from your experiences. Just curious though…I’m a videographer and would like to travel with a few pieces of equipment to grea epic shots(camera, big lens and drone that will mostly fit in a carry-on, with my clothes in a separate bag) Do you have any suggestions/recommendations in regards to traveling which expensive gear?

    Thanks so much!

    Elliott

    • Lauren
      February 28, 2016
      Reply

      I’d recommend looking up local laws for travelling with a drone — two separate friends of mine have had drones confiscated by customs in two different countries over the last month, so be careful with that.

      Otherwise, I keep all of my technology in my daypack, so that it’s on my person at all times, but I don’t do anything special other than that. I don’t bother padlocking it up or using lockers in hostels, and haven’t had anything stolen. I’m pretty relaxed about it all!

  72. Working Nomad
    February 20, 2016
    Reply

    I cannot believe how much you spent on travel insurance! I am not denying nomads are good but I paid a fraction of that for one year and I am guessing that I am a little older than you too!

    Very nice breakdown of your spend though, enjoyed reading this.

    • Lauren
      February 20, 2016
      Reply

      Yeah, having Southeast Asia and/or the United states in my policy doubles the cost.

  73. Karson
    February 20, 2016
    Reply

    hi Lauren, thanks for your info and tips. May I know the accomodation costs you listed are per person cost or combined with your boyfriend?

    • Lauren
      February 20, 2016
      Reply

      As I said in the post, anything marked with an asterisk is somewhere I visited on my own or paid the entire rate myself, and everything else is my half.

  74. Leigh | Campfires & Concierges
    February 21, 2016
    Reply

    Thank you for this detailed post! I always get frustrated when I read a travel blog about a great spot, but it doesn’t tell you how much things cost. I guess that’s the “Type A” in me – I like details!

    I can’t believe the critics commenting here about your choices, how they could do it better, blah, blah. The title of the post is “My Expenses” not “Here’s how YOU HAVE TO travel!”

    • Lauren
      February 21, 2016
      Reply

      Right? So many people like to treat travel as a competition: I did it cheaper! I visited more places! I did more activities! Good for you.

      Glad you found the post helpful! I love details, too :-)

  75. Joe
    February 21, 2016
    Reply

    Cool, 20k US is definitely less than I had expected for one year and 19 countries on three continents.

    • Lauren
      February 25, 2016
      Reply

      Glad I could show you how cheaply it can be done :)

  76. Half This World Away
    February 22, 2016
    Reply

    Wow! I can’t believe how much detail you have been able to give! Travelling the world isnt as expensive as a lot of people think! Can’t wait to read all about your pacific island hopping trip :)

    • Lauren
      February 24, 2016
      Reply

      First post is live now! :-)

  77. Taylor Fuller
    February 22, 2016
    Reply

    There is a free vietnam visa? Where can I find more info on this!

    Its nice to see someone else who keeps track of all of their expenses like i do!

    x
    Taylor

    • Lauren
      February 23, 2016
      Reply

      If you’re only going to be in the country for less than 14 days, you get a free visa on arrival. It was new last year, I think. It’s only for a dozen or so nationalities.

  78. Sean
    February 22, 2016
    Reply

    A very informative article! Although I am more of a budget traveler (saving more through couch surfing and hostels) I think it’s exceptionally useful for people who are concerned about their spending habits while traveling.

    Regards,
    Sean Goodman

    • Lauren
      February 24, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks, Sean! Appreciate that :-)

  79. Linda March
    February 23, 2016
    Reply

    Transportation and Accommodation are the most expensive things to take care of when you are planning a trip. Even if it’s a weekend trip or a year trip, for that matter.

    I had a road trip a while back and spend a lot of time on the road and we’ve spend a lot of cash on gas and accommodations, around 50 % of the budget. Still, this is to be expected on a long trip.

    • Lauren
      February 24, 2016
      Reply

      I actually find food to work out to be more expensive than transportation, but that’s likely because I like to spend months in a place rather than days!

  80. Luminita
    February 23, 2016
    Reply

    This is a great article, especially for those who are afraid that it takes too much money to travel. It just goes to show, that, finding good deals and being smart about where you stay or eat can be a real game changer for travel expenses.

    • Lauren
      February 24, 2016
      Reply

      True! And it’s not all that hard — it’s not like the sites I use are a big secret or anything :-)

  81. Jon
    February 29, 2016
    Reply

    Awesome, inspiring, and for a numbers junkie like me who doesn’t believe it can be done until he SEEs it, you may be my favorite person today for this post!!!
    Keep on and sharing!

    • Lauren
      March 15, 2016
      Reply

      Excellent! So glad to hear that, Jon! :-)

  82. tour operator in north india
    March 4, 2016
    Reply

    Thanks for providing the useful information and this information is very helpful for me for mange expenses during traveling. really helpful for travelers. Thanks for great post.

    • Lauren
      March 15, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks for commenting! :-) Glad you found it useful.

  83. jennifer
    March 4, 2016
    Reply

    Such a great post. I love how you track every penny, including sunscreen. It does show that traveling the world is not as expensive as people think.

    • Lauren
      March 15, 2016
      Reply

      I didn’t for a long time, but I figured that tracking those small expenses allows me to give a more accurate look at the true costs of travel :-)

  84. Paulo@Travel Bugs
    March 4, 2016
    Reply

    Great article. This will encourage many more to travel with less $$$ worries. Thanks for sharing :-)

    • Lauren
      March 15, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks, Paulo!

  85. Rebecca
    March 5, 2016
    Reply

    Incredible, this is sooooo reasonable for an amazing year of travelling – and especially to the countries you’ve been to (as you say, not all of them are “budget” countries). Very helpful post! I do have a question though – where in the world is the largest travel bookstore? I wanna go there!

    • Lauren
      March 15, 2016
      Reply

      Covent Garden, in London! It’s called Stanfords and it’s amazing! Full of travel books and maps :-)

  86. Jess
    March 5, 2016
    Reply

    What a fantastic and detailed post Lauren. I’m really interested to have a look at the rest of your site. My boyfriend and I also saved and then sold all of our stuff 5 years ago to go travelling. It’s amazing how much you can save in a year or two on an average salary if you really try (we were both public sector workers in the UK). We initially travelled for 18 months but have now bought a farmhouse to renovate in Italy (very cheap, middle of nowhere!) in order to have more of a base. It’s great to see all of your expenses laid out so clearly cos so many people have no idea what they would spend or how to go about it. When we initially went away we had comments from friends who said that they wanted to do the same but had too many commitments / reasons not to be able to travel (“I have a mortgage to pay…” was a common one – so did my boyfriend, but he rented out his flat while we were away). It’s good to hear about how you made it work for you; the tip about longer term deals with airbnb is a good one; I hadn’t thought of that!

    I also wanted to support what others have said and say that I have no idea why people have to get so competitive (and rude!) about your versus their travels… when we were travelling for 18 months we took things much slower and did many fewer ‘activities’ than when on a normal holiday for 2 – 3 weeks. I find that I can’t keep up a frenetic pace of constantly moving on and doing new things every day over several months. Other people may have the money and the motivation to do loads of activities; good on them!

    Finally, also good on you for being brave and open enough to mention your mental health struggles. I hope that 2016 is a more relaxing year for you.

  87. Christina
    April 4, 2016
    Reply

    Travelling the world on that amount of money for a year is quite an achievement. Well done!

    • Lauren
      April 11, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Christina! :-)

  88. Dan Thompson
    April 11, 2016
    Reply

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing. I’ve long been curious about how much it costs you guys that travel full time, especially those that aren’t all about a hardcore backpacker budget. I’m past the age where I’d pass on comfort to save a little bit of money, but I’m also far from a luxury travel person (though your splurge places looked awesome!)!

    Dan

    • Lauren
      June 22, 2016
      Reply

      I definitely couldn’t afford to splurge all the time, but I think that would make those little tastes of luxury less meaningful, too. They’d stop being special and start feeling normal.

  89. Stacey
    April 22, 2016
    Reply

    Wow that is amazing, you’ve even kept track of how much you spent on shampoo and conditioner. As someone who is a terrible budgeter, I can definitely learn from you!

    • Lauren
      June 22, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, I usually order those online, so I just looked through my email confirmations to get the price. But yeah, I keep track of everything in my monthly summaries, so it wasn’t too hard to total up the amount spent!

  90. astha
    April 30, 2016
    Reply

    Getting kicked by the cleaner sounds terrible! that surely was the worst place on the planet to stay! :(

    • Lauren
      May 11, 2016
      Reply

      Yep! It wasn’t great.

  91. Youmi Hapsari
    May 8, 2016
    Reply

    hello Lauren, I think you are thorough and meticulous. Record all daily expenses. When I travel, rarely even never record expenses in detail. It seems preoccupied also calculate the cost we issued in detail.

    • Lauren
      May 8, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks! It only takes an extra few minutes to figure it out each month or so. Most stuff is online, so I just go through my confirmations folder in my email :-)

  92. Ferna
    May 31, 2016
    Reply

    This is on time for me to read especially that I’m planning to change the way of traveling, iba been seeking to some blogs who write about comprehensive budget for the year and is staying at places that are really comfortable, althoguth I’m not staying in the hostel or forms are crazily uncomfortable, I had a good, memorable and bad experience there :) it came to a point that I need to adjust my income and have more income streams in order to have a lifestyle as this one. I came to realize staying in an apartment for longer time or staying through airbnb will be of best option. Thank you for sharing this, this will be my guide :) happy travels.

    • Lauren
      June 22, 2016
      Reply

      No problem, Ferna! I highly recommend Airbnb apartments for month-long stays as you travel. They really help you to save money and offer way more comfort than a hotel or hostel.

  93. Doc Morgan
    June 5, 2016
    Reply

    Interesting comments and article, Lauren. I like your style. Have you walked the Camino de Santiago?

    • Lauren
      June 6, 2016
      Reply

      I have not, but my boyfriend walked it last year and will be doing it a second a third time later this year! I’m not sure it’s for me, but he’s definitely hooked now! :-)

  94. Dejan (Zante Holiday Insider)
    June 8, 2016
    Reply

    Wow Lauren! First, I am impressed by the price breakdown of every single thing you paid for. Kudos for organizational skills! :D Second, your lifestyle is greatly inspiring. Thanks for posts like this one!

    • Lauren
      June 14, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Dejan! :-)

  95. Devesh - Indo Asia Holidays
    June 17, 2016
    Reply

    This is such a valuable article! Thank you! It’s great to see that travelling doesn’t have to be so luxurious, especially when you consider that you weren’t scrimping by and actually trying to keep costs as cheap as possible. Again, great article that gives loads of motivation. :-)

    • Lauren
      June 22, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you!

  96. Justine
    July 18, 2016
    Reply

    Thanks so much for this Lauren, planning a year;s travel with my boyfriend and the thought of hostels makes me want to not bother!

    Inspirational, thanks again

    x

    • Lauren
      July 18, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, they’re not that bad! The good thing is that because you’ll be travelling with your boyfriend, the cost of a private room will be similar to two dorm beds, so you can still get some sleep and quiet :-)

  97. Miera
    July 23, 2016
    Reply

    This is such an inspiring post! Hopefully I’ll be able to save up around $20,000 so I can start travelling around the world. :) Thanks for this detailed post!

    • Lauren
      July 27, 2016
      Reply

      I hope so, too! Glad you found the post helpful :-)

  98. Lauren West
    September 7, 2016
    Reply

    What a well put-together post! I really need to start keeping track of my spending while traveling–that is DEFINITELY one of my weak points! I appreciate how thorough and helpful this is though, great work!

  99. Burcu Basar
    September 24, 2016
    Reply

    This is extremely helpful and also thank you for your honesty. I also like how you breakdown the percentage between backpacker, mid-range and luxury style!

    • Lauren
      September 26, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much! :-)

  100. Bryan
    September 26, 2016
    Reply

    Wow!! your blog is so very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing this article. Indeed traveling needs not to be luxurious, I am luck to find a discount travel site and yeah it gives me a low cost travel. Can’t wait to travel!

    • Lauren
      October 1, 2016
      Reply

      Have an amazing time, Bryan!

  101. Sarah
    October 15, 2016
    Reply

    I stumbled across your site while doing preliminary research for my own RTW and I’m so glad I found it! We definitely have the same travel philosophy– travel slow, pay a bit more to be comfortable, and splurge occasionally. Now that I’m in my 30s the idea of sleeping in a crappy hostel with a bunch of drunk 20 year olds sounds awful. I was starting to doubt that long-term midrange could be done on a reasonable budget, so thank you!!
    One question– how far in advance do you book your long-term airbnb rentals? One thing I’m struggling with is wanting to book early to get an awesome/reasonably priced place versus not wanting to have things planned out too far in advance…. the control freak side of me is having a hard time leaving things up in the air until the last minute.
    And now to spend the next several hours of my Friday night getting sucked into your blog :)

    • Lauren
      October 20, 2016
      Reply

      If it’s for a month, I try to book at least four months in advance. Because the closer you get to arriving, the more unlikely it is you’ll be able to find a decent place that hasn’t been booked for 30 consecutive days. If it’s somewhere like London, I book six months in advance. It’s somewhere like Taipei or Bangkok, where there are lots of options and Airbnb isn’t super-popular, I’ll book about three months out.

      If my stay will be less than a month, and it’s not a popular, expensive destination, I’ll book about a month in advance.

  102. jay
    December 13, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren

    I just stumbled across your site because I am looking for a way to travel on a budget. I wanted to know how did you manage to find the flights so cheap because I went to those sites and for me and my husband, the flights were a thousand or more dollars. Also would you recommend any blogs for a couple with kids. Thanks again!

    • Lauren
      December 14, 2016
      Reply

      i actually recently wrote a post about how I find cheap flights around the world, so definitely check that out. I found 90% of these flights through Skyscanner. Flexibility is key when it comes to getting a good deal — if you don’t need to fly to specific airports on specific dates, it’ll be far easier to grab a bargain. I usually look at flights to an entire country over the space of a month, so that I can choose the cheapest city to fly into on the cheapest day.

  103. jay
    December 13, 2016
    Reply

    Also what the cheapest countries that I can start out traveling to on a budget?

    • Lauren
      December 14, 2016
      Reply

      Most countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America :-)

  104. Bina
    December 14, 2016
    Reply

    Did you meet people on your travels who worked while abroad? I would really like to do this to fund ongoing travel but not sure where to start, as I’m not an offical blogger / graphic designer etc. At home I’m an IT Project Manager and wonder how easy it is to find jobs whilst travelling.

    If you did meet people, what sort of industries did they work in? Assuming bar work, teaching English came up a lot. But were there any others? And which countries?

    Thanks, Bina x

    • Lauren
      December 14, 2016
      Reply

      Yes! Tons of people. Including, actually, an IT project manager who worked remotely for his company. He started off by asking if he could work from home, and putting in a ton of effort to prove that he could kick ass at his job, even when he wasn’t in the office. From there, he asked if he could work in Latin America and travel around, so that he was still in the time zone, and eventually managed to get his boss to commit to him working remotely while he was in Southeast Asia. So that could definitely be an option for you. Anything that you could potentially do from home is something you could try to transition into a job that you do as you travel.

      • Bina
        December 15, 2016
        Reply

        Well I am actually working from home today, so maybe that guy was on to something! It’s funny because I think so many jobs could be done from home nowadays but there is still an anachronistic view that it must mean someone is slacking off. As I’m sure you can attest, you often get more done without distractions!

        Thanks for the response Lauren, I appreciate it. Also your blog is very inspiring :)

        • Lauren
          December 15, 2016
          Reply

          Yep! That’s why when he started working from home, he made sure to do like, double the amount the work to prove that it was a Good Thing for him to be outside the office :-)

          Thanks for your kind words! :-)

  105. Angela
    December 17, 2016
    Reply

    Awe Lauren, I hope u get to visit Mauritius soon. We’ve went in January and it was great!
    I can recommend place to stay in Albion and I give my head you would not regret it.
    Great post btw :)

    • Lauren
      December 31, 2016
      Reply

      I hope to get there this year! :-)

  106. Linda
    January 11, 2017
    Reply

    Wow. If it were me I would be having a hard time tracking my expenditures. I think I could use some pointers in this post as a guide in my upcoming travels. Haven’t decided the location yet but I would consider some of it here. :)

    • Lauren
      January 12, 2017
      Reply

      Well, the vast majority of my expenses are recorded online (flights and accommodation and some activities) so I don’t have to do too much work on it. Everything else I just jot down in a notepad before I go to bed each day so that I can keep track.

  107. Navraj
    February 21, 2017
    Reply

    Very inspiring! Well I wanted to know what method do you use for spending money without having to run up huge bills on bank fees etc as the banks charge a decent sum for every credit/ debit card usage for withdrawal of cash or during purchases.

    Would much appreciate if you could share any tips on how to save on these bank fees.

    And do you earn all your money via the travel blogs or are you using what you saved up earlier? This seems a little too intrusive but wanted to know as to how one can sustain oneself purely on travel.

    Thanks.

    • Lauren
      February 21, 2017
      Reply

      There isn’t really any way to get around those fees, especially as a U.K. citizen, so I suck it up and just pay the fees. I withdraw the maximum amount available whenever I take cash out to try to minimise these fees. If you’re from the U.S., you can get a Charles Schwab credit card, which refunds your foreign ATM fees, so you don’t have to pay any of them.

      And yes, I’m very fortunate that my travel blog entirely funds my travels and has done for over five years.

  108. Nicola - Round The World Magazine
    February 26, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    This is a great post thanks for sharing. It is always interesting to know how much fellow travelers spend on the road.

    I noticed that you have been to Slovenia, we plan to visit there on our next trip. Do you have any tips on cheap places to stay?

  109. Hilda
    March 7, 2017
    Reply

    Hi there. Do you skip the vaccinations needed for each country?

    • Lauren
      March 30, 2017
      Reply

      I got a bunch when I first started travelling and the vast majority last for 10 years or so, so it’s not something I need to worry about each year.

  110. Wouter
    May 22, 2017
    Reply

    This is really amazing, … if you can do i can do :-) i will try next year, … for sure !

    • Lauren
      May 23, 2017
      Reply

      Good luck! :-)

  111. talha
    July 25, 2017
    Reply

    hi i am pakistani and with my passwort i can only visit 32 countries without visa . i want to know if im going on world tour will i suffer any visa difficulties i want to travel whole europe, oceanea, usa and canada and have budget of 20000usd. is it sufficent to cover my one year and these countries tour.

    • Lauren
      August 17, 2017
      Reply

      The money should be enough, although you’re planning on visiting what are essentially the most expensive regions in the world, so it will likely be tight if you don’t Couchsurf. As for visas, you’re unfortunately going to struggle. But having not had personal experience with applying for visas with a Pakistani passport, I don’t know just how difficult it’ll be.

  112. Scott Biales
    July 30, 2017
    Reply

    Your budget was spot on. Great job. I also did something very similar. I traveled with my fiance so our budget covers 16 months but for two people through 39 countries.

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2017
      Reply

      Sweet!

  113. Eric
    October 5, 2017
    Reply

    So if you would’ve been traveling by yourself, then the accommodation costs would’ve been roughly double $6962.69?

    • Lauren
      October 5, 2017
      Reply

      Oh no, definitely not! Many of these months were spent travelling alone, and I wouldn’t have spent $300 a night on my boyfriend’s birthday, for starters, if I hadn’t had a boyfriend. Additionally, I wouldn’t have booked double rooms in hotels, either. When I travelled alone, my expenses were $11,000 total for the entire year.

  114. Ashish - Senkay Global
    January 10, 2018
    Reply

    Great article. This will encourage many more to travel with less budget without compromising in Hotel. Thanks for sharing :-)

    • Lauren
      January 14, 2018
      Reply

      Glad you found it helpful!

  115. Berkley Williams
    February 16, 2019
    Reply

    wow, this is a life-changing article with a vast amount of important data that makes me believe I’m going to be able to pull this off. I have envisioned traveling to every country in the world for quite some time. so far I’ve been to 37 countries but I have a long ways to go and want to spend some quality time and places I go. I envisioned my girlfriend and I going the budget route so we can make this work financially but now you have shown me that we will be able to have more comfort. This is significant because I felt we might burn out trying to stay and noisy hostels and eating food that ain’t so good:-) I appreciate your honesty especially about the fact you suffer at times from anxiety as I also have bouts of severe anxiety at times. it would be great if we could all be cured from that who suffer from it. thank you so much for such a wonderful article of such valuable information. I wish you the best in life.

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