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Cost of traveling around the world
Old 10-30-2011, 09:21 PM   #1
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Cost of traveling around the world

How much does it cost to travel around the world for 1 year? This is a question we faced over 3 years ago when we discovered for ourselves that life is short and we better live our dream now. We had no idea what it would cost but knew we had to do it.

On October 1 2011 we completed our first year of travel and now I know the answer. For us to travel full-time is cost us $24,140 for the entire 12 months. We traveled very slow, enjoyed our time immensely, and got to know the places more than we ever could on our previous week long vacations.

Also, we are not your typical 25 year-old backpackers. We virtually always stayed in private rooms with private baths, with the exception of long treks when that was not possible. We camped just a couple times (once on Antarctica) and did a lot of house-sitting.

The thing that I love now is letting others know that this is not only possible but it is a fraction of the cost we expected when we first started planning. I know our style of travel is not for everyone but I hope our story and financial figures will encourage others to explore the idea in earnest.

Have a wonderful Halloween and great week.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:16 AM   #2
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Please do some posts and tell us more about this adventure. Route you took, how you saved, mode of transportation, food, friends along the way, interesting things that happened.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting and please, tell us more!
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:39 AM   #4
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please post about the house sitting thing and how you hooked up to houses that were on your route when you were going to be there.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing your story.

Please let us know if you worked to offset part of the cost ? Because I know some people teach English in some foreign country.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:05 PM   #6
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please post about the house sitting thing and how you hooked up to houses that were on your route when you were going to be there.
Frank, see Warren's thread about housesitting for more details.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by LuvSouth View Post
Thanks for sharing your story.

Please let us know if you worked to offset part of the cost ? Because I know some people teach English in some foreign country.
For the majority of the trip we have not worked to offset the costs, but instead spent 25 months saving every nickel we could to make this dream a reality. We started a company as a side business about a year before leaving developing websites in order to fund our big splurge, Antarctica, which we did in February.

Since leaving I did build a few websites in order to fill up the fund and let us travel for more than 5 years.

In June we decided we really like this lifestyle and want to turn it into something permanent. So we evaluated our options and turned our focus to some options. We just released our first book on October 18th and started our second yesterday. We'll see how it all goes but our goal is to share our story as much as possible in order to let people see how we did it. Plus, I think it is good to show that it is not only 20 somethings traveling the world with all their belongings.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by l2ridehd View Post
Please do some posts and tell us more about this adventure. Route you took, how you saved, mode of transportation, food, friends along the way, interesting things that happened.
Excellent questions and I could write for pages about any one of those components. I don't want to spam the boards but we do have a website that can give you more details than you ever cared to know - Live the good life | Married with Luggage. We started it over 3 years ago and there is a ton of detail on the preparation, money savings, etc.

In short the path we ended up taking was not even close to our "plan". We left with an idea to start in South America, and at least that part went off correctly, but just barely. The day we were leaving for this trip there was an attempted coup in Ecuador (our 1st stop) and we had no idea if we would be able to land in Quito as the airport was closed. That was just the 1st of many crazy turns on our adventure
  • Volcano eruption the day we arrived in Banos, Ecuador
  • City wide power outage in Chucgulan, Ecuador
  • City wide water outage (Pasto, Colombia)
  • Bribes to get into a country
  • Historic flooding in Colombia (and now Thailand)

And that was all the first 3 months

Our plan was to stay in South America for a year. However, as we were finishing our trip to Antarctica I started talking with the crew to find out there future plans. Turns out they were heading to the Arctic, with a stop in the UK, for their summer. I asked if we could ride along and after some discussions they agreed. So we ditched our plans to tour more of South America, changed our destination from Africa, and headed up to England.

It has been a crazy ride and one that is so different than we ever expected. However, the memories and friends we have made in 1 year are enough for a lifetime and we cherish each new day.

As we have said for years - Life is Short. Live your Dream.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:26 AM   #9
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In my view, the opportunity cost (i.e. the cost of loss wages for one year) is higher than airfares, hotels, etc.
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How much does it cost to travel around the world for 1 year?
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:44 AM   #10
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The Kaderli's have done a lot of extended foreign travel to targeted geographic locations on a similar budget.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:08 AM   #11
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In my view, the opportunity cost (i.e. the cost of loss wages for one year) is higher than airfares, hotels, etc.
I am not arguing that you cannot make more money in a year than you can spend traveling around the world. My point was to provide insight into the costs of our decision to see the world in case this is a dream that others want to pursue.

I made the decision to leave a career making great money in order to start living my dream life and my hope is I can share the information in case others are interested.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:13 AM   #12
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I agree with Warrentalbot that one can't compare between "see the world or live your dream" and "the opportunity cost" ! It's like comparing orange and apple !

To make it simple, it is a choice of lifestyle: Live your dream or ... continue to work till the day one dies ... like Steve Jobs.

My choice: Live my dream ... to a certain degree as I know I will not be able to fully live my dream -

LS
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:51 AM   #13
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On October 1 2011 we completed our first year of travel and now I know the answer. For us to travel full-time is cost us $24,140 for the entire 12 months. We traveled very slow, enjoyed our time immensely, and got to know the places more than we ever could on our previous week long vacations.

Was that $24,140 the total amount or was it $24,140 in addition to your normal budget ?
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:32 PM   #14
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Was that $24,140 the total amount or was it $24,140 in addition to your normal budget ?
That money represented everything we spent for the year while on the road. The only thing that was not included in the total was our Antarctica trip which we paid for about 3-4 months before leaving from funds from second jobs.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:54 PM   #15
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That money represented everything we spent for the year while on the road. The only thing that was not included in the total was our Antarctica trip which we paid for about 3-4 months before leaving from funds from second jobs.

That makes me want to start packing !
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:50 AM   #16
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I'm in! Sounds affordable, and more importantly, fun!
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:10 AM   #17
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I'm in! Sounds affordable, and more importantly, fun!
It turned out considerably less than we expected as our very first budget was $75,000 for a year on the road. We did a lot of refining to get a number based on our travel style and plans and were so happy to come in over $10,000 less than that.

Also, it is more enjoyable than we could have ever hoped. Every day is a wonderful adventure and we now truly live in the present. It highly recommend it if travel is your dream.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:06 PM   #18
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Warren, you have a fascinating story. You have the guts to do what many of us may dream of but may never do. I have too many questions to even start here. Can't wait to pick up your book.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:58 PM   #19
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Took a year off from July 1992 to July 1993. Started in London finished up in China before returning to US. It cost about $16,000. Do it. Great fun.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:00 PM   #20
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Warren, you have a fascinating story. You have the guts to do what many of us may dream of but may never do. I have too many questions to even start here. Can't wait to pick up your book.
Hi Lightspeed, thank you for the kind words. Feel free to ask anything you may like or drop me an email if it gets too long. All my contact information is available on our blog, which is listed under my profile. In addition, there is a link to our book there about how we saved enough to go on this adventure.
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