December 27, 2014
Cuenca, Ecuador – The Money – details!
Money! This is one of the big, over-arching questions about a Round-The-World trip like ours.
“How much does/did it cost?”
“How did you save for it?”
“How much did you save?”
“Did you budget for each country or just overall?”
“What’d you spend your money on?”
Bunches and bunches of questions! Like most folks, we don’t normally put our personal finances on social media, but we found that the RTW travel blogs that were most helpful to us were the ones that just fessed up and gave some financial information. As I write this, we’re only in our 2nd month of travel (month #3 coming right up!) and we’re constantly revising our plans, so I expect there’ll be plenty more to say later on, but for anyone considering their own Big Trip, here we go!
First off, we started saving about 22 months before we actually left the US. (We were hoping to save all we needed in 18 months, but it took us a bit longer than expected.) If you know us, we’re pretty planning oriented, so we wanted to make sure we’d have enough saved to take the trip the way we wanted. That meant saving enough to travel relatively frugally, yet be able to make some big splurges like our African safari and still leave enough money for re-entry back into the US after our trip. We know that we are not super-interested in multi-person hostel dorms or eating bread-and-water everyday. You can be sure there will be at least a few really good meals on this trip. Guess that’s what planning this trip in our 40’s rather than our 20’s means!
After reading bunches of books and blogs, going to travel meetings, etc, we found that budgeting really varied from traveller to traveller! Some young backpackers were starting with $5000 and others planned much more luxurious $60,000 trips. Our goal? Saving enough to be able to spend on average about $200/day, including the big splurges and airfare between 3-4 continents – which are both pretty big numbers. If you took those out, we’re thinking more like $100/day. We didn’t focus on where we’d spend the money so much as just that overall plan. Our thought is that we might find some places more expensive than planned, so we could spend extra time in others or housesitting to balance things out. We’ll see how that goes! Already we’ve found ourselves looking at more splurges, so we might need to find some really inexpensive spots to last the entire year we’re planning on!
That’s the basic basics and I expect we’ll update as we go along. In the meantime, we’ll make a post about each country we go through with our expenses broken down and see how we do with our goal. Wish us luck!