What's the biggest challenge in planning your trip so far?

Day 8 - What are your initial budget thoughts? Are you having any trouble with this step?

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  • Sabrina commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'm just starting to book accommodations and am trying to keep the costs down by booking through VRBO. I've also found some good deals on Expedia, as you can book hostels through them. My rough estimate pre-trip is $1,000 a week on the road, but that seems a bit tight, as we will have a lot of overland expenses. Still working through it all.

  • Denise Silzer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    My initial plan is to have my salary (I have been on a salary deferred plan for 4 years) and our house rental income to cover all costs of travel except airfaire. Our monthly income is 3800 while we are gone with about $600 going to ongoing bills such as property taxes and interest so that leaves $3100 per month for a family of four (kids 10 & 13). At $100 per day, this is likely a tight budget in some countries but, hopefully, can make it up in cheaper countries. Airfare and anything above the $100 per day will be going on our LOC to be paid off after the fact. My husband and I are currently in discussion on what figure we are comfortable owing by the end but my assumption is that it will be between $60k - $100k - alot of money but we will be mortgage free (sort of) before leaving.

  • Tom commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Like Paige I went thru alot of other people's RTW budgets and I've come to the conclusion that $300 per day for the 5 of us should be more then suficient. Still alot of planning to do, so maybe this figure will change...

  • Adam Seper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Great, thanks so much for the insight, Paige! These resources will be helpful for the community here.

  • Paige Conner Totaro commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The app I use to track expenses is Trail Wallet. It is very simple and fast to use, and you can record things in either the local currency or your home currency, and change currencies as you move from country to country.

    For my daily budget, I looked at other people's RTW budgets and did just a little bit of preliminary research on lodging costs to come up with a number I thought we could work with. For the record, our daily expenses have been about $150 per day for a family of four, with a mixture of staying in hostels, hotels, rental apartments, couchsurfing, and staying with friends. That includes our time in the expensive countries, too. Some days in Asia our expenses were much lower - more like $40 or $50 per day, while some days in New Zealand were more like $300.

    And I must say, as we've been traveling my ideas about lodging have changed a lot. At first I didn't want to stay in hostels, and when going to a city I was hesitant to try the super-cheap airbnb options. But now, I'm just really careful about reading reviews of places before staying, and many of the super-cheap options have been really great, not the flea-bitten party houses I had feared.

    And couchsurfing has provided us with some of our fondest trip memories, though it's not always easy to set up for families.

  • Adam Seper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks for the comment, Paige! Where did you get the daily budget number for food, lodging, etc.? I think that's a spot where a lot of people struggle - finding accurate daily costs in a particular country/city.

    Also, could you share what smartphone app you use? We're always looking for good resources to share with everyone.


  • Paige Conner Totaro commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I made only the most general budget outline before leaving, but it turned out to be not wildly inaccurate. I came up with a rough estimate for our airfare costs, and a daily budget for food, lodging, etc., which we've kept to pretty well, except in expensive countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

    I really underestimated the costs of overland travel when I was planning for our trip. And those costs are not inconsequential!

    We've found that tracking our expenses with a smartphone app as we're traveling really helps keep us on budget. The one we use tells us if we go over budget on any single day, and gives us our daily average for the month, so if we're overspending we can cut back as needed.

  • Jennifer Miller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Can I just say... I hate budgets and planning the money part. HATE IT. But... it's a necessary evil. I am getting better at it, the longer we travel. The things that I tend to leave out of the planning are things like airport fees and visa costs. Those always slap me in the face in the moment... like... WAIT???!!! You're charging me to LEAVE the country?? How can that be?!!

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