POST TRAIL TRAVELS - MONEY TALKS 2.0

Finances, round two. If you haven’t read our post, PCT - Money Talks, head back a page and give it a glance. It covered how much we’re budgeting for the PCT, and how we’ve saved money the past 1.5 years to afford it.

Since we’ve already covered our money saving tactics, this post will be all about our anticipated costs and budget for our Post Trail Travels.


COST OF 6 MONTHS OF WORLD TRAVELS

My career for the past 4.5 years was with a wholesale travel company. I customized and planned trips to the South Pacific. When creating a trip for a client, the first three details I asked for were Time Frame, Interests, and Budget. These three factors lay the groundwork for planning any trip. When planning our trip around the globe, I took the same approach and we determined the following:

Time Frame: 6 Months

Interests: personal growth through living in other cultures, Witness incredible scenery and nature, experiencing local food (“& coffee” - Jess)

Budget: $35,000 total (NOT INCLUDING INSURANCE & CONTINGENCY)

Since this post is about money, we’re zeroing in on our budget and how we’re going to make this work for us. We have saved $35,000 for our sixth months of post-trail travels. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a logistics person. So lets break out our budget and see how feasible our price point is.

First, lets dive into Airfare. I know booking flights last minute is not advisable. But we’re looking for ultimate flexibility. We’re trying to stay away from being locked into a schedule, only to end up rushing through places to get on the next flight. I hope to book each of our legs a few weeks in advance. Flight costs change daily, but I have been following along this past fall for estimated costs for our anticipated legs. I’m hopeful that we can do our flights (& yes, this includes long-haul international flights) for $300 each, per flight. Some will be more, and some short hops will be a lot less (looking at you, Asia!).

How many flights do we anticipate taking? We’re wanting to experience cultures and live locally, instead of being tourists looking for the next site to check off the list. It’s very likely that we go two weeks to a month between flights, sometimes longer. I’m thinking 10 flights total. If we take 10 flights with an average cost of $300 each, we’ll spend $6,000 on airfare.

 
 World Map with foreign money strewn across it.
 

Lets update our budget accordingly: $29,000 remaining.

6 months is 180 days.

$29,000 / 180 = $161 per day


We’re looking to keep our accommodations under $75 per night. Hostels / Hotels / Air B&B varies in cost widely across the globe. Expensive destinations include: Major USA cities, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Western Europe, South Africa, Brazil, and more. Less expensive destinations include: South East Asia, Uganda, Eastern Europe, Parts of South America, Central America, and more. There will be nights that cost us more than $75, and there will be nights that cost far less. The average hostel price in SouthEast Asia is around $12 a night for a private room. Whereas in New Zealand, the average price for a private room is around $110 a night. Shared hostel rooms are less. The goal is balance, and being cognizant. Taking full advantage of less expensive destinations and spending more time there is a great way to expand our budget and ease our minds.


With accommodations at $75 per night, that leaves us $86 per day for the rest. This will cover food, any experiences, & transportation.

 Hand holding Nutella, orange background
 Someone planting succulents
 Train Station

Food: When I backpacked Western Europe for a month after graduating University, I was living off of Nutella & pretzel sandwiches and a nectarine daily. If instead I had backpacked a less expensive destination, I could have indulged in ginormous plates of street food for the same price. A pasta dinner in Italy will likely set us back $75 or so, whereas an equally delicious Mumbai sandwich is only a few bucks.

When it comes to Experiences, we’re definitely the more “do it yourself” type versus having activities and tours. We love being active, being outside, exploring, looking at plants, getting lost, and meandering our way through new locations. Jess would rather spend time getting to know a coffee spot & local plant nursery than seeing overpopulated sites like Angkor Wat; and I’d rather pull out a list of the “Top 5 Best Views in Romania” than pay for a castle tour. I think our travel style will suit our low price point per day.

Next, Transportation. Uber, buses, trains, boats - you name it. Everything except flights, as those were covered separately above. It’s hard to calculate this out into a daily increment, as some days are travel days and some days aren’t. But it needs to fit into the budget regardless.

We’re also looking to take advantage of the strength of the USD. This means spending little time where our dollar is anything less than a dollar (at time of writing: the Euro, Pound, & Swiss Franc). Increasing our budget without doing anything - yes please!


 Airplane overhead with bright blue sky.

I’m planning on keeping a per penny budget during our travels. Not including accommodations and flights, we have $2580 a month to “spend.” Seems excessive, will likely go quickly, but lets hope it doesn’t. We’ll do a Post Trail Travels budget update afterward, and see just how on point, or naive, we were.

-Sarah (& Jess) // Uphill Adventure