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How to Budget for a Backpacking Holiday Around the World

So your thinking of doing your yearlong round the world flight and leave the 9 to 5 life behind are you? Well that is great, there are lots of people how think of going and never make it. Thinking and worrying about what could go wrong, and the what if’s in life that paralyze them in to doing nothing, like a deer in the head lights. I personally thing you should be worrying my about missing out on your chance, your opportunity, your dream; a lot more than the unlikely worst case scenarios that could happen if you ever went. But that’s me. Your here now reading this which I hope it will help give you that information, the help and advice that you need to move forward in to booking the fight and just saying; “What the hell this will be great!” But who am I? What do I know? I’m just some guy at the other end of the world why should you listen to me? You have a point.

I am just a guy, there is nothing special about me but the places I have been, the things I have done, and the people I have met sure are. At 24 I left my home town of Hull in the UK to go find out what there is in the world. I’m 30 now and in them years I have been to over 30 different countries worked about 2 and a half years of it to keep me funded. I’ve been home to the UK a few times but never for long. At 24 I thought I couldn’t do it but I did it anyway. What was there to lose? There are always jobs if you really want one. But if you’re going to work to live and not live to work who cares, go and find life not the job that supports your weekend but the life that’s supports your happiness.. If all goes wrong you can go back to your old career, back home, and back to the 9 to 5, and be a more interesting person, with some great stories, and a renewed loved for life. So where to start?

Have you picked where you would like to go? There are many option and not just round the world flights. They’re many companies out there offering around the world flights and multi stop flight but also I would look into the normal charter and schedule flights on engines like Kayak.com and SkyScanner.net where the compare the cheapest flights. If you wanted to spend a year in South America, or Asia then this is the best way, you could easy spend a year in both if you have the budget, South East Asia being a lot cheaper. So have a look and get an idea of the cost of flights and when you want to go. I personally go where I have never been before. There is a great place on TripAdvisor.com where you can get inspiration.

Next there are the things you’re going to need. How much of this stuff do you need to buy? How much are you going to spend? You could spend as little as $200 on this stuff and as much as $2000 and upwards. Check out the cost for your insurance too. For backpackers insurance check out comparethemarket.com and other comparison sites as well. Now you know about how much the flight is, how long and where you want to go. You can work out how much money you going to need what you need to make your dream come true. You could be going to multiple countries in multiple months. How do you find the cost of each country? Ask Google, the lonely planet books give you a daily budget for each place too. Now add to the totals you have the insurance, flights, any big trips (e.g. Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu… ), and add the cost of any new gear you will be needed to take with you. Now you have a cost for your holiday. Too easy I’ll give an example of a typical round the world trip from the UK.

Asia; Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, China; 3 months $3,600 to $6,000

Asia; India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Indochina; 2 months $1,500 to $2,100

Australia and New Zealand; 5 months $6,000 to $10,500

North America; 1 month $1,500 to $2,100

Flights $2,000

Insurance $200

Tours $500

Extras $300

Backpack $100

Clothing $200

Totals

Number of Months 12

Total Low Budget $15,600

Total High budget $23,700

Now as you can see there are two very big jumps here, I would aim for the high-end if you can but you can easily do it with the low-end budget but you’re going to miss out on a few things. Also the Idea of going to Australia for 5 months would be to work a bit. They’re lots of jobs there and they pay well. Say you work for 4 months of the 5 at about $15 per hour 40 hours a week that’s at extra $9,600 which you can take off the budget meaning your round the world trip could cost you as little as $6,000 for the year. $15 an hour was the wage in Australia when I was there 2007 for chefs, plus we got tips. Bar staff is $10 – $15, in the mines you’re going to get more. Fruit picking if you want, but the point is with this plan you also get 1 month holiday in Australia as well as experience of working and living in a different country.

Asia is very cheap so you could just swap out the time in Australia down to a month and have more time in South East Asia and have the full year off. What else is there to say on budgeting? Be smart about. If you run out of money or you don’t get the job in Australia you can change your flight and go home early or ask for money from friend family, you would not be the first or the last to do it. You could just get a return flight to Asia and spend the year living cheap and traveling around there, as there are lots of places to go and see. I have never done around the world flight I have always flown to one part of the world and then just got a buses, flights, and trains from there. There is no greater feeling of freedom in the world. You might now be thinking that maybe your too old, too scared, too timid, and the too whatever’s that stop you going. Well if you have read all this way and are still making up reasons (excuses) why not to go. Well why did you keep reading? You want to go!

We do a lot of things in life that we have to do, that we should do. Well isn’t for filling your wants and needs in life something we should… NO, HAVE TO DO! Doesn’t matter if your 18. 60. Boy. Girl. Going with 5 friends. Going alone. Straight. Gay. Black. White. Brown eyes. Blue eyes. Wheel chair user. Have tourrette syndrome. Introvert. Extrovert. If you have the want and the drive you can do it. I’ve seen people from all walks of life in my years of backpacking, and they are following their own dreams of travel, some to see the lost temples of Anchor Watt, Some to see the lost city of Machu Picchu, some to find the perfect beaches, some to find the best parties, some to find inner peace, and some just to find them self’s.

Now you know that money is not the thing to stop you doing it so what else could stop you? Follow the suggestions below and see if it is really a reason to stop you didn’t what you want to do or if it is a way you have justified to yourself not to go.

If you still want more convincing then why not do this; Write out the very worst case scenario of what could happen, and then give it a 1-10 of how bad that would be to your life one for going and one for not going. Then give it a 1-10 sore of chance of that happening. Now do best case scenario same thing. Then do a most likely case scenario, the same again. Write out the scenario and score it.

What was your score? Convinced?


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