BUDGET THE TOUR
HOW TO PLAN IT, KNOWING THAT YOU WILL EXCEED IT ANYWAYS
Before you start planning the budget, you will firstly need to think about the maximum amount you can / want to spend and, simultaneously, the tour. The money you will spend depends, among other factors, primarily on the countries / regions you will be visiting.
We had an unlimited list of places we absolutely wanted to cover during our world tour – unfortunately we quickly had to acknowledge that we do not have an unlimited amount of time and money. So before actually starting with the finance part of our travel project, we had to seriously narrow down our “lifetime travel bucket list” to a realistic selection of places that we could potentially visit in 8 months.
Setting the Limit
After we had made this decision – or better Bianca had democratically decided by asking only herself – we started to think about the budget. We have had a serious savings plan for the past 3 years always having in mind we wanted to go on a world tour one day. So, our maximum amount of money we can/want to spend in this 8 months is 35.000,– Euros together, actually we decided it’s gonna be 33.333,– Euros because it’s a nicer number.
As mentioned before, the budget you will need highly depends on the countries you visit – the more time you spend, for example, in Asia, the less budget will be required. And on the mode of transport you will be using. Travelling by car is more expensive than travelling by bus, especially when it comes to long distances which requires more gas. Travelling by campervan is even more expensive because of higher rent and higher gas consume. Nevertheless, you can sleep in both, which saves you the hotel. That is important because the budget also depends on how you prefer to spend the nights. We prefer the car/campervan wherever it is possible because it makes us more independent. And we love to be in the nature – camping at a lake, the sea or on a mountain with a view is just a priceless experience – hopefully we will still think so once we camped in Africa and Australia sharing our spot with many dangerous and mostly lethal animals.
If you, however, enjoy the comfort of 5-star luxury hotels, you will be forced to calculate the one or other extra Euro. Do you prefer to dine in restaurants or cook by yourself? Cooking by yourself really saves money but if cooking and vacation are two things that do not go together for you, you will choose the restaurant experience – which is more convenient but also more expensive. To put it in a nutshell, your budget and what you actually spend will, primarily, be influenced by which type of traveler you are.
Defining the Budget Positions
When going on a world travel, you need to consider lots of different cost factors, we grouped them in to the following catagories for easier budgeting:
Our equipment contains three different types of stuff: technical equipment, conventional luggage (clothes, shoes, cosmetics etc …) and important travel documents (including our Lonely Planets). For more info and an in depth overview about our technical equipment and where to get it, click here. Once we have decided which bag we will be using (we have been reflecting upon that topic for months now and still struggle with the decision) and what to pack (even harder to decide especially for Bianca who if she just could would take her entire closet with her), you will find this info here as well.
Travel Insurance is a very important topic. Bianca has gained a lot of experience with incidents – accidents – on her travels (including an operation in Bangladesh) and that is why she is totally aware of the importance of a travel insurance. There are many different providers, prices differ but not so much and basically there are two types of travel insurances: worldwide including or excluding USA. And that is what makes the difference. We are still collecting offerings and comparing prices and benefits (because it’s not only the price that counts – it is really important to know what you need and what you get), but as soon as we have come to a conclusion, we will let you know.
If you need to spend money on Visas also depends on the tour. Many countries can be visited without visas and valid passport is sufficient. Then there is countries that require a visa but it’s easy and cheap to get and then there is countries that require a visa that’s a hassle and expensive to get. So you need to budget money and time in order to be able to travel certain countries. On our tour, we will need visas for Zambia (where we will be visiting the Victoria Falls), Australia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, USA and Canada. More info on the type, costs and how to get it will follow in the respective country guides as soon as we get to there.
How are you going to fly? Do you purchase an around the world-ticket or book individual flights? Choose between your preferred way of ground transportation like bus, car or a campervan. Do you need any ferries? Going on vacation and especially on a world trip doesn’t only mean you have to get to the destination, you also have to make a lot of miles on the road. There is a lot of things to be considered when it comes to transportation and we will provide you in-depth info on that topic soon.
Various factors have to be considered here, e.g. accommodation, gas, food/drinks, entry fees/guided tours and of course the miscellaneous everyday purchases. The monthly budget is the toughest to plan – at least we perceived it like that. The more countries you visit, the harder allocating a monthly budget becomes. We basically planned the monthly budget according to the experience we have gained so far. We set the same budget for each month and think there will be months were we will spend more and there will also be months were we will spend less (in Asia for example). So, under the bottom line, it should even up and the 2.000 Euros we calculated / month should be sufficient.
Controlling the Budget
Before and during the journey, you should make sure to control the monthly budget on a regular basis. We recommend collecting all receipts and whenever there’s time list all expenses. We always use an excel sheet (we will provide a template here soon) because basically you just have to insert all figures and the program does the rest – no need for a calculator. We also use graphs to see where we spend most of the money and how our expenses are spread over the different budget categories.