The Cost of Travel

I know what you’re thinking. How much does a trip like this cost? Well, our knowledge of this at the moment is not exactly first-hand, so we’ll get back to you in a year. But, from everything I’ve read and everyone I’ve talked to, it doesn’t cost as much as you think. 

Fortunately for Americans, the dollar goes a long way in so many places around the world. Lots of people do this for $1000-$1700 a month. (That’s all in.)

It Really Depends Where You Go and How Fast You Travel

Which countries you travel to really impact your budget. Imagine the difference between spending a year in 6 countries versus 30. Your transportation and VISA costs will be MUCH higher the more places you go.

Let’s say you spend a couple months in Australia versus a couple months in India. The difference in cost is dramatic.

To help keep us on track, we did some research and came up with a daily budget per person for each place we’re going to. The daily budget is all-inclusive except for flights. For example:

  • Mumbai – $25/day
  • Vietnam – $27/day
  • Istanbul – $50/day
  • Dublin – $85/day
  • Hawaii – $120/day

A really useful website to help you determine your costs by country is The Price of Travel.


Our most expensive place will surprise you… East Africa. That’s because we’re doing a guided tour the whole time we’re there. The second most expensive place will be New Zealand, given our transportation costs driving the campervan every day. So, activities play a big part too.

Putting Together a Budget Doc for a RTW Trip

You’ll want to consider your pre- and post-trip expenses, as well as your costs during the trip. Here’s a handy template you can use, based in part on our own budget document. 

Get in the Travel Hacking Game

At my current job I manage marketing for a company that sells data security solutions. I’ve learned a whole lot about hackers. But only recently I learned about travel hackers…and there is a huge community out there of people who know how to play this game and get free flights, hotel nights, upgrades and perks. It’s truly amazing what you can get once you get into it. I wish I had been doing this for years.

Check out these three great sites to see how the game is played and keep up with all the latest deals:

Earlier this week, we showed you how we saved more than $20,000 on our four longest flights. We also:

  • Booked our flight from Hong Kong to Delhi with 25,000 United miles per person and saved $844
  • Booked 1 free night at a Marriott in Hong Kong
  • Booked 1 free night at a Hilton in Tokyo

Plus, we’re planning on buying our flight from Hawaii to JFK with AA miles. And I just earned 2 free nights at a Hyatt by getting the Hyatt VISA credit card.

Ultimately, the cost of travel is not what the travel industry would have you believe. It can be done on the cheap, or with as much money as you care to throw at it. Either way, the experience is priceless.