By Emily Landsiedel
You may have read my post on how “Travel Doesn’t Have to be Expensive,” but you’re probably still wondering exactly how much does it cost to travel to all these countries on a budget? Peter and I read through countless websites to try and get a sense of how much each place would cost us, and to be honest, the estimates varied widely. It is really hard to get a set number because everyone’s traveling style is so different. For instance, Lonely Planet estimates a day in France to cost about $130-200 per person whereas budget backpackers like Nomadic Matt say you can get by with $60-70 a day. Add into that the fact that we are a married couple sharing food and rooms, so it’s not exactly double what a single person would pay, and it gets even more complicated. Even small miscalculations can make a big difference in a budget for two people staying multiple weeks in one location. The whole budgeting thing has been pretty mind boggling, but we’ve looked through enough websites to come to a general estimate for each place we are staying.
Many of you will probably look at these numbers and think we are crazy to believe we can manage on such a small budget in each place, (and maybe some of you think we’re splurging!) but we’ll be reporting back as to whether we were accurate or way off in our estimates later on in our trip. Maybe we are crazy, but only time will tell!
*All of our budgeting is for two people per day and accounts for our food, accommodation, tourist activities, shopping, and inner city commute.
*Our flying, bus, and train budget as well as our pre-trip expenses and visas are separated below the daily budget.
United States: We are budgeting $60 a day in the U.S. because we will either be camping and eating cheap groceries or staying with family the entire time. With gas prices so low, we are estimating about $276 for the gas to get all the way to Texas.
Mexico: $70/day (Once again, this is for both of us combined.)
Peru: $85/ day
Argentina: $120/ day
France: $90/ day (We will be staying with our friend so we budgeted less here.)
England: $120/ day (We are staying with friends here as well.)
Belgium: $120/ day
Germany: $100/day (We are staying with a friend.)
Czech Republic: $80/ day
Egypt: $80/day (We are hoping to stay with a friend.)
Another thing to keep in mind when looking at these budgets is the time of year we are visiting certain places. Our European estimates may seem low for instance, but we will be there mostly during the winter, so prices should be lower than the busy tourist season of June through August.
Flights/Eurail: We are estimating $12,000 (not including the $2,000+ we are using in free credit card miles).
Overland Transport: $2,000 (I recognize this is probably way too low, but I wasn’t sure how much to budget here.)
Visas: $600 (Brazil is waving their steep visa fee for the Olympics if you get there by September 18th, 2016. We will be visiting right after the Olympics, but before the visa waiver ends. Argentina also permanently waived their expensive visa fee for Americans recently. Woohoo! That just leaves Mexico, Turkey, Egypt, India, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam with most of those countries costing about $25 per person per country. )
Pre-trip gear: We budgeted $2,500 for this, but I know we went over . . . I haven’t added it all up, but we probably spent around $3,000. That included a laptop, camera, clothes, shoes, backpacks, glasses, and I’m including our car tune up for the road trip here.
Insurance: $200/month or $1,800 total
So there you have it! It looks like a lot when you see it all at once, but if we could save for this in ten months with two middle class incomes, others can too! See my article on “How We Can Afford to Travel for 9 Months” for more details. Let us know what you think or if you have any questions in the comments below.