Hi again! We’re back with part 2 of our series on #family_travel_tips! Today we’re talking about how much it costs to take an “Around the World” trip.
Since no two trips are the same, we came up with a list of questions you can ask to get started. Be honest! You can adjust these inputs as you go, but the last thing you want is to quit your job, sell your house, and find yourself half way around the world with no money left (not speaking from experience or anything)!
So open up a spreadsheet or get out a pencil and some paper and let’s make a plan!
How long will you be gone? Are you planning a month, a year, forever? This is the biggest piece of the equation. It can make or break your budget, but is also the most flexible. Remember, there’s never any shame in hitting “pause” on your adventure, especially if it’s going to put you in a questionable financial position!
Where will you go? Do you want to road-trip the US, explore every village in Europe, island hop in Asia… or all of the above? Writing down all the places that you’d like to visit will help you organize your journey so that you can figure out your ideal route and research costs in each location.
How many flights will you take? Are you going to fly every week, or will you slow travel and fly once per month? When looking at flights, make sure you review all your frequent flier programs and see how you can leverage your existing points and rewards!
How much will you need for lodging? This one involves a little research. Our starting point is finding the cheapest places that will make us feel comfortable. We select a few “non negotiable” amenities and search our target region and dates using resources like Airbnb, HomeAway, Kayak and Agoda. We use the results to get a good feel for the nightly cost of lodging in that area. Some options that could help you save big include visiting in the off-season, house-sitting, house-swapping, and camping as you travel!
What will your day to day expenses be (food, groceries, train tickets, rental cars, excursions, etc)? This is probably the hardest expense to budget because there are soooo many variables! We made ballpark estimates based on what we typically spend in day-to-day life and adjusted a bit up or down based on the cost of living in certain areas (Hawaii and Europe are generally more expensive, Asia is cheaper). Along the way, we found out about www.budgetyourtrip.com, which has been hugely helpful when researching costs of new destinations!
What costs will you still pay back home? Your house, car, cell phone plan, insurance, utilities, storage unit, etc? Are there costs you’ll need to pay when you are done traveling like a security deposit on a new apartment or new car? Luckily, this is also where you can identify some passive income. You can rent your home to cover a mortgage, rent your car, leverage your home for a house swap, and put the money in your savings account into a long-term investment to earn interest. You’ll also want to consider any tax expense or refunds that will be due as you’re traveling.
Other: The two other biggest “surprise”expenses that we’ve encountered so far are (1) medical expenses (a couple last minute vaccinations, a chipped tooth on a sidewalk in Michigan, and a small toe injury added up quickly!) and (2) purchasing “things” (camera upgrade, new flip flops, small birthday gifts for family, etc). Make sure you have a small allowance for unexpected expenses!
There’s no one-size-fits-all magic number for a trip around the world. By being honest and thoughtful as you enter the planning stages, you CAN figure out a budget that works for you!
What did I miss? What do you think? Have any other questions or suggestions! Share them in the comments!