This is the part of travel that a lot of people get put off by; the actual cost. People can get a bit funny when it comes to discussing money, which personally I think is a real shame. I love to be open about my finances, and intend to be 100% honest about every penny saved and spent on our RTW dream. I hope it will go some way towards helping others in determining the cost of their own adventures, and show that it doesn’t have to cost the earth to travel it.
Our budget is pretty straightforward and has simply been based on one equation: How long we can stand to delay our departure date by, in order to save as much as possible for travelling.
We opted for one whole year of saving. At 36 and 31 years old respectively, Lee and I felt that leaving it any longer would be delaying life for too long, and simply wasn’t an option for us. So we gave ourselves 365 days, no more and no less, and what we can’t save in that time we always have the option of trying to make up somewhere along the road.
For our year of saving (currently we are 3 months in) our lives will be devoted to living as ultra frugal minimalists, squirreling away every penny possible, selling off everything we own and finding extra sources of income from rebates with TurboTax to making sandwiches everyday. Not everyone would want to live this way, but to us our dream is worth it (I will discuss exactly how we are actually saving this money in a future post).
Our RTW Budget
I have set two savings targets – one that is 100% achievable based on our income, and the other that is entirely dependant on how much extra work we can secure, and how much we can make from the the sale of all of our stuff.
Note: All budget totals will be for both Lee and I as a couple, not per person. As most of my readers use the dollar, I will also convert all figures into USD, based on the current figures provided by XE.com (rounded up to the nearest $).
- Realistic Savings Budget: UK £30,000.00 (US $46,483.00)
As of today we have saved £10,140.00 ($15,693.00) – that’s a smile inducing 33.80% achieved. Woo hoo!
- Dream Savings Budget: UK £40,000.00 (US $62,025.00)
Currently 25.35% achieved.
I know we will definitely hit our realistic budget and should hopefully end up somewhere in the middle between that and our dream budget. Who knows though, I’m a pretty determined lady so never say never – that dream budget is still within my grasp if I work hard enough.
How this money will be spent
Our travels start on 30th September 2012. We will be spending our first year away divided between India and South East Asia, with an even six months in each place.
We will begin by living in Goa in the south of India, where our goal is not to go out there and live like kings, but simply to go there and live. We will be renting a house for our six month stay and cooking most of our meals. Between us we have visited India 12 times in the last decade, so we are able to base our budget on firsthand experience.
I have only been to SEA once for a brief holiday, but Lee spent a year there in 2008 so we are determining that part of our budget based on his personal experience. He found it to be a little more expensive than Goa so we have upped our budget slightly to accommodate that.
Our goal will be less about doing, and more about simply being. Living in places for 6 months should definitely help keep the costs down, as you can often haggle for very good long-term rental deals. We also hope to volunteer in most of the places we visit, something that can often provide you with food and/or accommodation in exchange for your hard work.
Daily Budget in Goa
- £30.00 per day ($46.00)
This is to include all food and accommodation. We will also be hiring a moped, which should cost around £1.00 ($1.55) per day, a minimal fee that we have simply included into our daily budget.
182 days in Goa x £30.00 = £5,460.00 ($8,372.00) bi-annual total
Daily Budget in SEA
- £35.00 per day ($54.00)
183 days in SEA x £35.00 = £6,405.00 ($9,882.00) bi-annual total
Annual Grand Total
- £11,865.00 ($18,254.00)
So, to make life easier, let’s say £12,000.00 a year at £1000.00 a month or $18,000.00 a year at $1,500.00 a month.
We hope this budget will afford us 2-3 years of consecutive travel, though in an ideal world we will find ways to sustain ourselves and keep us out on the road indefinitely.
We know we won’t always be able to live as cheaply as we do in India and South East Asia, and obviously our budget will vary a great deal according to where we are, I simply wanted to show how we will be spending our hard earned moolah during our first year out in the world.
Other plans include spending six months circumnavigating Australia by RV, something which would no doubt triple our daily budget. We would also like to travel through South America, which again is more expensive than SEA, though cheaper than Oz. To be honest though, everything is up in the air and our plans following our initial year are as changeable as the wind.
We are also taking the decision not to budget for re-entry back to the UK. If the worst happens and we do run out of money we will be sucking it up and moving back to my mum’s house until we can get back on our feet. Hopefully we will never have to go down this route though (no offense mum!).
It’s a long and uncertain road ahead of us, but really all that matters is that we get out there and do it. Whether we last 12 months, 36 months or longer, the thing that counts is that we had a dream and we made it come true.
It’s the best money we will ever spend.
Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post.