Budget

Everyone wants to know how much a RTW trip costs. I can’t tell you that. Cost is going to vary dramatically depending on where you go (Europe vs. Asia, for example), what level of luxury you require (hotel room, private room in a hostel, dorm room), how you travel (plane, bus, hitching), what your home currency is and how well it’s faring in the world, and a slew of other factors.

I can, however, tell you how much our RTW trip cost.

First the important factors:

We were gone for twelve months, from October 2008 to October 2009.

We traveled through Central and South America, Africa, and SE Asia.

We used Continental miles to buy a RTW ticket with the following legs: Seattle to Managua, Nicaragua; Managua to Santiago, Chile; Santiago to Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya to Bangkok, Thailand; Bangkok to Seattle.

In Central and South America, we took a number of flights (Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas, Lima to/from Cuszo, Quito to/from Galapagos, Quito to/from Amazon, Quito to Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires to Santiago). We also rode many buses, from the top-of-the-line coaches of Chile and Argentina to the chicken buses of Nicaragua and Ecuador.

In Africa, we traveled by rental car (8 weeks through S. Africa, Namibia, and Botswana), bus, train, matutu (minivan taxi), ferry, and once by plane (Dar Es Salaam to Kampala).

In South East Asia and India, we took a number of flights (Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur to/from Borneo, Kuala Lumpur to Delhi, Delhi to Bangkok, Bangkok to/from Phuket), rode buses, trains, boats, ferries, tuktuks, and rickshaws, and rented a motorbike.

We tended to stay in budget hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. We almost always had a private room and usually had a private bathroom as well. In southern Africa, we camped a lot. In Ecuador, we stayed with a friend.

We ate most meals out, though we rarely at at fancy restaurants. We ate where the locals ate and frequently ate at street stalls. We also cooked some for ourselves in South America and southern Africa.

We splurged when we felt the experience was worth it. Our splurges include: staying in the refugios in Torres del Paine instead of camping; a first-class Galapagos cruise on a catamaran, a mokoro trip into the Okavango Delta, a microlight flight over Victoria Falls,  gorilla trekking in Uganda, and SCUBA certification in the Perhentian Islands.

So, what did all that cost?

In total, we spent about $36,000.

Which breaks down to about $3,000 dollars per month or $100 dollars per day total for the two of us.

Individually, that is about $1,500 dollars per month or $50 dollars per day.

For specific country budgets, see the drop down pages in this section. Unfortunately, not all countries are currently represented, because my notebook with detailed expenses was stolen in India, so I could only calculate overall amounts and not detailed breakdowns.


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