Budgeting for your round the world trip might sound daunting, but it is essential to ensure that you do not have to change your plans, or worse still, return home early. In the early stages of planning, it is important to think about the places you are visiting, when you are travelling, what activities you intend to do, and if you’re going to have an active social life; all of these factors have an impact on your budget.
Essential items to factor into your budget, assuming that you have booked your round the world flight ticket, so we’ll exclude this from budget planning.
Accommodation This will be the most expensive item on your trip, but nowadays you have a lot of options, including couch surfing, volunteering, and hostels. The trick is not to book too far ahead (especially if the hostel has a cancellation charge) or at the last minute. Use hotel comparison websites to find the best deals and save money.
Visas Depending on where you’re travelling to, the cost of visas can be expensive, e.g. India’s e-tourist visa costs approx. £40 and Russia’s visa costs approx. £88. Although, if you have a British passport, you’re lucky that you have one of the most powerful passports in the world, which gives you access to over 150 countries without the need of a visa.
Travel Insurance I cannot stress how important it is to take out adequate travel insurance for the duration of your round the world trip. Also include any pre-existing illnesses so that you are covered. Recently, I have read stories of uninsured travellers receiving huge medical bills (£60,000+).
Food and Drink After accommodation, this is the second most expensive item, but you can reduce the amount you spend by purchasing food from local markets, rather eating at restaurants. Alcohol is cheap in Thailand but expensive in Malaysia, so, bear this in mind. Do your research online and find out the cost in each place on your route; this will give you a rough idea of how much to budget.
Transport (both local and overland) Staying in a hostel outside of the main tourist area will usually save you money, but factor in how much it will cost to get from A to B, as this could make it more expensive. If part of your trip is overland, then this will need to be included in your budget. In some countries, flying is cheaper than travelling by train or coach, but remember that travelling overnight by rail or road will result in saving money on accommodation, and you get to see more of the country.
Travel Inoculations / Malaria tablets It’s important to be up to date with inoculations and take malaria tablets depending on whereabouts you are travelling in the world. The NHS recommends that you visit your GP at least six weeks prior to your departure date. The cost for injections and medication will vary, so contact your GP for more information.
Tours and Activities Want to go parachuting, bungee jumping, or any other adventurous activity, then that is going to hike up the cost of your trip. The same applies with day tours. It pays to shop around and do not necessarily book the tour or activity that your accommodation is selling; the local tourism information office will help you get the best price with other tour operators.
Emergency Fund So, at this stage you have an idea of how much it is going to cost you for your round the world trip, but, it is a sensible idea to times this amount by 1.5 and use this as an emergency fund should anything untoward happens, a spare credit card is also a great way to protect yourself, but leave it with a family member.