“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
After an eight month blogging hiatus, I am diving back into blogspace with the big kahuna of all blogs and answering the ultimate question – “How Much Did It Cost”??
Without further ado, below is the breakdown of our overall RTW spending.
**drum roll please **
How much did it cost? $82,000
At $41,000 per person for 426 days, this means we pretty much came in right on budget of $100 per person per day.
What did this include? Everything.
From all airfare, food, hotels, African Safari, 7 night Mediterranean Cruise, Diving Liveaboard, 15 day campervan rental, Everest Basecamp Trek, etc. Everything.
Here is the further breakdown of our spending within the various buckets:
The total cost of making our way around the world was $22,700. This included every single one of our airfares, long distance bus and train rides. Our 5-Continent RTW Ticket cost roughtly $5,000 CAD each and this included 16 flight segments. This is a very cost effect flight option if you are able to plan your route ahead of time. We did make several changes to our itinerary throughout the trip which resulted in some additional change fees.
In order to save money in this area, we used our One World Explorer segments on long haul flights to/from regional hubs and used discount carriers and/or ground travel to explore the region. We also tried to travel at a slower pace and limit the amount of travelling we do. We also took ALOT of long distance buses…
Activities came in second after travel costs but this is where many of the priceless memories and experiences came from. If we allowed ourselves to splurge, it was all on our activities. We don’t regret a single penny of spending here. If anything, I regret not spending more to do more.
Some of our most memorable excursions include:
(All in CAD, cost for 2 people)
- Hot air balloon ride in Turkey – $440
- Paragliding in Turkey (Sophia only) – $125
- 15 Day Everest Base Camp Trek – $1800
- 5 Day Machu Picchu Trek – $1300
- Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard & Advance Open Water Course – $1200
- 7 Night Mediterranean Cruise – $2000
- Ice climbing tour at Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand – $700
- 3 Night South African Safari – $1300
Throughout our 426 days on the road, we stayed in a variety of housing arrangements. We’ve folded down the seats and slept in the trunk of a Rav4, we’ve slept under the open sky in Jaisalmer, India, but we’ve also slept in London hostels that cost $100 CAD per person per bunk. Many of the excursions we took part in included overnight hikes and camping, which helped lower the overall housing cost.
Every now and then, we opted to treat ourselves to an AirBnB apartment. Looking at the numbers, it seems like a major splurge but in return we got access to laundry and a kitchen where we offset the costs by cooking all of our own meals.
I am a bit surprised at the overall food cost because I thought we ate well but modestly. Some of the more expensive countries to eat in would include: England, Hong Kong, Australia, UAE, and Spain. We did a lot of cooking in New Zealand, Greece, Chile and Brazil.
Street food and snacks are fairly reasonable in Hong Kong but restaurant dining can add up quite quickly. Similarly, I’m sure we could have spent much less in Spain but since food is such a big part of Spanish culture, we wanted to fully immerse ourselves in the gastronomy.
This bucket included all of our transportation from within a city. The bulk of it is from longer term car rentals such as our month long rental in South Africa, 15 day campervan rental in New Zealand, and other short term rentals here and there. And don’t forget the GAS!! If you’ve got the time, renting a car is probably one of the best ways to explore in depth and getting off the beaten track.
Paul and I made every effort to stay away from taxis unless absolutely necessary and taking public transport was one of my favourite things to do while travelling. I love the feeling of accomplishment after learning how to take the local combis in Lima, and taking the local bus in Chinese cities. Google maps was an invaluable tool as it helped us navigate many of the local bus systems. Just load the map and directions at the hotel using wifi before setting off.
Last but not least… is everything else that comes with the cost of travelling. This includes visitor visas, travel insurance and vaccines. The most expensive “other cost” by far was our gear. Paul and I both invested in travel packs and a wardrobe of Ice Breaker outfits and good hiking shoes. $1500/pp sounds like a lot of money to spend on gear but you get good return on investment when you wear these items every day for 400+ days.
And there you have it, our RTW trip summarized in an excel sheet and down to the dollar and cents.
$80,000 is no small chunk of change but no matter what the cost of the trip was, what we received in return was priceless. And I can hardly describe in words how my life has changed from this experience. We’ve been home a little over a year now and there has not been a day where we looked at our bank statements and wished we were $80,000 richer.
If you’re of the camp who believe we should have used the money to buy a house or saved for retirement, etc., ask yourself this: What price would you pay to open up your eyes and heart to the world? To learn to find happiness in the smallest of tasks and accomplishments? To learn that you are courageous and adaptive, if you allow yourself the chance to be?
I would pay $40,000 all over again in a heartbeat.