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How to budget for your adventure around the world

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World Travel Planning: How much is this adventure going to cost us?

… And where are we going to get the money?

When budget planning for an around the world trip, the big question is how much will it all cost? Initially, working out a budget was the most challenging part of the planning. Bearing in mind, as described in our About Us page, this is Generation X style travel planning! Too old to set off on a Millennial whim, too young to follow a SAGA flag on a pole. Please think of us as the Buddhist travellers, following the middle path!

planning the budget

World Travel Planning: Flights, travel, visas and vaccinations

First, we got a rough figure on around the world flights, and it was less than we expected. An excellent resource for this is the BA Oneworld website. Here you put in your flight itinerary ideas, and it immediately gives you a price. I spent some time experimenting with this. Then later, when booking the flights, we used a great company named Round The World Flights.

Around the world flights

To give a rough example of cost. You can get an economy four-stop ticket for under £1000 or a 7-stop ticket for around £3000. You choose the number of stops you want to make around the world within one year. There is a maximum number of stops allowed, and you have to keep going in the same direction. We booked 14 stops. However, this included connecting flights, which is good to keep in mind when planning as in the beginning, I had not accounted for this. For example, for our first flight from Edinburgh – Johannesburg, we had to change in London, so that used two flights. Nairobi – Hong Kong we changed in Doha, another two flights.

Where in the world to go?

Choosing the route, while exciting, was a bit of a headache. We were going to include India, but that didn’t seem to fit the plan, and we also wanted to add some islands in the South Pacific but couldn’t seem to make that work either. Once you get started, it’s easy to get carried away! Which is where the lovely James at Round the World Flights came in handy to make sure we kept it all manageable.

(Travelling Update)

As it turned out, through a series of unfortunate events – we did go to India!  And had many amazing adventures, you can read about that here in Incredible India

(Travelling Update 2)

We also made it to Fiji! 

Anyway, next in the budget planning for around the world, I looked at the cost of some budget type tours. Tour Radar provides a lot of good ideas for this and is often cheaper than going to the travel company direct. You can click here for their latest deals Up To 50% Off Travel Tours! While I knew we were mostly going to make our own plans as we arrived, which would be cheaper, I figured if we could afford a year’s worth of tours, we would probably be in about the right budget area. An overland truck across Africa for 56 days, for example, could cost from £1500 per person.

Visas and Vaccinations

Having travelled a lot already, I knew that visas and vaccinations are costly, so I added another £1000. When budget planning for around the world, it is essential to factor this into your costs. So then, with a ball-park figure in mind, I looked at how much money we had, how much we could save, and what we could sell to make up the difference. As a result, it evened up. Good news.

World Travel Planning: Remember the mortgage

But, what about the house, the mortgage, the direct debits? With no income coming in, how would we pay this? Unless we sold the house, we would need to leave enough money to cover all of this for the year. Ughh, I had not thought about this. We already had our house on the market before deciding to march off around the world, but it wasn’t selling, so we couldn’t count on this.

So, now devoted to the idea of travelling around the world and with no way of getting any more money, we would have to make the travel fit the budget. For example, £100 goes a lot further in Cambodia than it does in Australia. A camper-van around New Zealand is cheaper than staying in accommodation. New fixed budget in mind, we started planning the route again — this time to make the route fit the budget.

World Travel Planning: Stop spending start saving

Like many of Generation X, we followed a work hard – play hard philosophy. I have never been materialistic and have had my share of struggling to make ends meet. So, when I earned money, I spent it on experiences I knew I might never have the fortune to have again: holidays, Michelin star restaurants, expensive hair salons. And I appreciated every second. The point being, when we stopped spending lavishly and started saving, the money came in quickly. Realising, for example, that sacrificing a pub Sunday Lunch or a trip to the hairdresser could buy extra nights in Hanoi, we got to appreciate the point instantly!

Consequently, our round the world travel planning took over our lives. We bought less food, instead of using up everything we already had. The lingering stuff, stock-piled for the Low-Fat Diet but a no go for the Low-Carb Diet. Quinoa (pronounced keeen-waaa), no one wants that in any diet. Cauliflower disguised as rice. We had to eat it all. The bonus was also having to consume all the alcohol, and we had a lot. Wine, gin, strange foreign beverages, some more gin. It all had to go.

World Travel Planning: Sell sell sell

It is extraordinary how much unnecessary ‘stuff’ you accumulate over 20-plus years of marriage. Stuff that barely made it out of their boxes. Three blenders, because they can’t seem to blend water, never mind a smoothie. Various bits of exercise equipment that over the years served well to hang your clothes on. And how much crockery did we ever need and why did we never, ever, use the ‘special’ dishes. It turns out people buy all this unnecessary stuff so that they too can store it in their cupboards for a few years!

Clothes also had to go, some sold on E-Bay, a lot given to charity. I kept a few items but as this great clothe cleansing began I realised that no, I would never wear those dresses, pairs of jeans, tops I had kept for the day to arrive that I might actually fit into them. They may have been ‘in the sales’, but they were an entire waste of money. Somewhere in North London, a charity shop is hopefully benefiting from my wishful thinking. Shoes and bags sold best on E-bay and Iain sold a lot of techie type stuff. As a result, with the money coming in, the dream become a genuine prospect.

The final route…or not as it turned out

And so, with the budget planning for around the world done, we turned to the first big step; finalising the route and booking the flights.

You can find out what our friends and family thought of our route here, and they weren’t all in agreement with us! Crime abroad: Stepping out of the Disney Bubble

To find out more on the problem of packing click here How to pack for a year around the world: SheWee 1 Inflatable Pillow 0

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