A while ago I posted a map of our trip on social network. Just after that I received a bunch of messages and questions, how do we make it. Do we really have so much money saved? The answer dissappoints everyone. For a long term travel you don't necessarily need a lot of money. To make it even more paradoxical, I claim that slower you travel, cheaper it can be.
Already for three weeks I'm discussing how to travel cheap or for free. But a theory without practice is worthless. That's why I will reveal actual data about the costs of this trip in the first ten months and for one person.
Not to finish the article too quickly, let's categorize and check what kinds of expenses we have.
This is by far the highest expense. We hitchhiked more than 17 thousand kilometres, but not all the time it worked out. For four airfares, gasoline of campervan between Perth and Melbourne, ferry to Koh Rong Sanloem and a couple of busses and trains we had to spend 1,598 €.
We needed visas to enter the following countries:
- Russia - 76 €
- Mongolia - 65 €
- China - 40 €
- Vietnam - 56 €
- Cambodia - 35 €
- Laos - 32 €
- Australia - free
Additionally we had to pay to cross the border of the countries that don't require visas:
- USA - 13 €
- Mexico - 24 €
All together sums: 341 €
Overseas insurance (all year): 360 €. National mandatory insurance I don't count as an expense of the trip because we have to pay it even if we just sit in a living room watching TV.
Not more than: 398 €.
You can't find it free of charge everywhere: 171 €.
To be honest, a bit higher value as I would expect: 408 €.
To this group belong all beers, coffees, chocolates and other treats (that can be hardly categorised as food), entrance fees, higienic items, etc.
Total: 3,276 € in 302 days. It gives average daily cost: 10.85 €.
We have to add that, thanks to all of you who ordered a postcard, we managed to collect 635 €! When we put also this to equation, daily average decreases to: 8.75 €.
After 410 days of traveling we returned to the same spot where we started. Total cost of trip rised to 4,794 €. This gives daily average of 11.69 €. We also received donations in the value of 711 €. When we reduce total cost for the donations we get daily average of 9.95 €. From the above we can make a conclusion, the last quarter of the trip was more expensive than first three. Anyway we still manged to finish it under 10 € per day. Mission Accomplished :)
Now I ask you to calculate how nuch you spend at home. Do you still think traveling is an expensive way of living?
I read the stories about people traveling completely without money. At a first glance I would say it's possible. In first three articles we saw that we can find free options in categories Transport, Accommodation and Food. We avoid paying visa fees by traveling in a limited range of countries. Not recommended but theoretically possible is to ignore health insurance.
The problem in my opinion does not lie in the numbers mentioned above. It's more psychological in nature. I tried to travel for 5 € per day. I failed. I realised that travel which means too much sacrifice doesn't make sense. Of course you can't spend for just everything. The trip will end too soon. You have to find a compromise between the two. Each has to find it for himself. I hope those articles will serve as a help doing so.
In the last article expect an epilogue with a list of websites which will make our trip cheaper.