COST OF TRAVELING FOR A YEAR
November 11, 2019
People back home always ask me how much is the cost of traveling the world for a year. In this post, I will finally reveal my best-kept secret, my budget for this trip. Take note that it got higher because I included Europe. It could've been lower had I just visited Latin America or Asia, but hey! where’s the fun in that? I don’t mind spending more since my ultimate goal anyways is to travel to as many countries as I can. I was able to visit 39 countries on 5 continents with the budget listed here.
FACTORS THAT AFFECTED
MY TRAVEL COST
- When 2018 started, the exchange rate between Philippine peso and the US Dollar was at an all-time high, so the value of my savings got lower.
- November to February is winter in Europe, hence it was low-season too. Because of that, hostels and transportation slashed their prices.
- My US visa helped me a lot in Central America. All the countries there accepted it as a substitute for their own visa. Because of that, I did not need to apply for an individual visa per country, which helped reduce my expenses.
THE BUDGET BUSTERS
United States of America
My travel budget took a toll here because of the accommodation cost. Hostels are more expensive here than in Europe, wherein a bed can cost as high as $50 per night. Luckily, my friends in New York and California hosted me in their house (Special thanks to Jim and Miguel!)
This is also an extremely expensive country. You will drain your budget fast here if you are not careful. For example, a small sandwich with a choco drink already cost ₱520/$10. Another friend hosted me here so I did not spend anything on accommodation (Special thanks to Ate Monette and Ate Jackie).
Same case with Norway. Everything here is expensive. A bed in a hostel costs $40 per night and an average menu item in a restaurant cost $35. I cooked food during my stay to save money.
The United Kingdom
Had my uncle Tito Romy not hosted me in London during my stay, my budget would have had been flushed down the drain. I stayed on my own in Edinburgh though. Luckily, it is not as expensive as in London. Finally, my good friend Shane sponsored my trip to Belfast, so I did not spend much. (Special thanks to both!)
CHEAPEST COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP
India, in general, is a very cheap country to travel to. It is so cheap that it will be silly to cook your own food here because eating out is cheaper. For just $2, you already have a filling Thali meal at a good restaurant, and street food cost less than a dollar. Internet service is also cheap and good. I spent ₱250/$5 for a month of phone data with a data cap of 1GB daily. Where else can you find that?
Colombia is so affordable that my 2 and a half month-long stay here is equivalent to a 3 weeks stay in Europe, and I was living like a king! Normal food cost is around ₱120/$2 per meal and transportation is just 50 cents every time you take a bus/metro. The hostel here is also cheap. In Bogota, I only paid ₱200 per night.
Everyone will agree that Mexico is one of the most affordable destinations out there. I always eat at local joints and it only costs an average ₱120/$2 per meal. I also volunteered for a month at a local English school in Huixcolotla, which helped me save on accommodation (Special thanks to Genie of Genie Language Center!).
Other travelers are surprised whenever I mention that Russia is cheap. It really is! especially in Saint Petersburg. A bed in a dorm only cost ₱200 per night, and food in local Stolovayas (cafeterias that serve Russian food) will only cost ₱150/$2.8 average.
ACTUAL COST BREAKDOWN OF TRAVELING FOR A YEAR
I will show this in Philippine Peso and US Dollar for comparison’s sake. I will also convert this to Php 52, which was the average conversion rate last year. This list is divided into different categories and is summarized by the total amount spent. As for the breakdown per country, I will add it gradually as I progress on this blog. I also did not include my journey from Brazil onwards because they exceeded the one year limit already.
I stay in hostels as much as possible to lower the cost. I don’t mind sharing the room with others, especially if I will be in a city for only a few days. However, I rented my own place in cities where I stayed longer. I also stayed with relatives and friends when I can, but I make sure that I contribute in other ways like groceries and tour costs to compensate.
ACCOMMODATION TOTAL COST – ₱139,240/$2,677.70
This total only includes flights,
train, ferry, and bus ticket from my journey to Manila until Mexico City. For the
transportation cost from Mexico City, Mexico to Leticia, Colombia, I will include it in the General Travel Cost since I started to compute it in a different way.
TRANSPORTATION TOTAL COST – ₱149,538.92/$2,875.75
GENERAL TRAVEL COST
This total includes food,
souvenir, party, entrance fees, toiletries, and other extra items I bought on the road.
TOTAL GENERAL TRAVEL COST - ₱306,161/$5,887
As I mentioned before, I applied for 6 visas before leaving the country – The USA, French Schengen, United Kingdom, Egypt, Russia, and India. The price listed below was the price when I applied for everything in 2018.
TOTAL VISA COST - ₱31,730.64/$610.20
***Russian visa cost includes the travel voucher
ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ITEMS
This list includes all the travel essential stuff I bought before I left the Philippines. I bought some of them during store sales to save money.
TOTAL ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ITEMS - ₱100,599/$1,934.60
- My backpack is Osprey Farpoint Clay 55L. I bought it at ROX in BGC. As far as I know, they are the only store selling Osprey bags.
- I bought a DELL Inspiron 14” laptop in San Diego, California. It came with a 2-year warranty. I now use this for my online work.
- I bought all the medicines in the Philippines. I went to a doctor a month before I left and I asked for a prescription to show when I need to buy them on the road. The most important ones to bring are Ciprofloxacin and Enterogermina (Lactobacillus bottles). Both saved my life when I got extreme stomach problems while traveling.
- I bought most of my travel gear at Decathlon in Alabang. They have cheap and good quality travel items, and I guarantee that they all lasted on the road even after extensive use and abuse.
- I took Yellow Fever, Hepatitis, Cholera, and Flu vaccines before leaving the country.
OVERALL TOTAL TRAVEL COST FOR A YEAR - ₱727,269/$13,985.95
See! You don’t even need a million peso to travel for a year! You don’t need to be rich just to travel; you just need lots of determination, research, and early preparation in order to pull it off.