Hi friends! We’re back!
This week we’re discussing that magical question for Around-The-World trips: how much should I spend?? Obviously, it varies depending on your personal situation and preferences, but here’s our advice on coming up with your own number, a bonus tip to save some money, and a little insider info on how much other families spend to travel for a year:
Take it to the bank: How much money do you want in your savings account at the end of your trip? This will be the biggest factor in determining how much you can allow yourself to spend. Make sure you consider your living expenses for 2 or 3 months after you return (in case you don’t find a new source of income right away).
Look at your expenses. Check out our previous budget posts (link HERE) to make sure you know approximately what your costs will be. Use resources like Airbnb, budgetyourtrip.com, Rome2rio, and Kayak to help with estimates. Look at big costs like lodging, airfare, transportation, and food. Don’t forget about smaller items like excursions, babysitters, clothes, haircuts, and personal care. Be honest with yourself about how much you’ll spend. Consider building in an extra 10% if you’re like us and tend to overspend.
Review your plans. Adjust destinations, time spent in each destination, and number of flights until your estimated expenses hit that magic number!
Look at the length of your trip. If a year isn’t going to work for you, consider cutting it short to a month or two. There’s no rule that says you can’t “test the waters” of full-time travel. For a shorter trip, some companies might even hold your job, which takes away a huge piece of the uncertainty!
Check your math! This probably goes without saying, but be sure to double check your estimates before you book your flights! Ben and I are finance PROFESSIONALS and we still find small errors in our spreadsheets sometimes!
BONUS TIP! Plan around peak seasons! Find out the best and worst time to visit your preferred destinations and try to visit in between these seasons. This is known as “shoulder season” and it’s a traveler’s best friend. You reap the benefits of less crowded excursions and cheaper lodging, and the weather is still close to amazing most days.
How much will you really spend? If you’re still reading, it’s probably because you are curious about the real amount a family spends on a year-long adventure. If you plan well, you’ll probably want to budget about $60,000 (USD) for a family trip around the world. This number isn’t set in stone and can much, much higher if you’re independently wealthy (not us) or as low as $20k if you’re a solo backpacker (definitely not us!). The Bucket List Family famously sold all their belongings and used their ~$45k proceeds to kick off their adventure (before their sponsorships kicked in!), and number of fellow travel families that we’ve talked to are just a bit above that range (around $50k-$70k) for a full year of traveling as a family of 3-5 people.
One thing is for sure; any time you travel, any time you explore something new, or any time you take a risk and go just a little out of your comfort zone, you invest in yourself. I struggle to put in to words what this journey has meant to me, and to us as a family, so all I can leave you with is this advice: get out there and explore!