How To Plan A Trip Around The WorldEstimating Travel Costs
Travel Cost Guides
Download our travel cost guides to help you plan your trip budget.
As we mentioned earlier, there are many factors that contribute to the cost of your trip and every traveler is different.
If you want to create a detailed breakdown of how much your trip will cost, you'll need to gather some resources. Keep in mind that it is impossible to foresee every expense. Remember, long term travel is about staying flexible. If you plan out your expenses to the very last detail, then you're probably going to have to plan your actual trip to this detail, and that is definitely not "staying flexible".
It is possible and advisable to create a general plan. The most basic steps include:
- Determine an average daily total for each country you plan to visit.
- Reality check that total. Approximate the cost for a hotel, food, entrance fees (museums, shows, etc), and local transportation.
- Think about how many places you plan to visit. How much will each trip cost. Price out as many plane and long distance train tickets as you can
- Add in costs for visas, vaccinations, and new gear. Don't forget to consider health insurance and other forms of insurance.
- Add at least 10% to your total, probably more. This is your budget, and probably a conservative one.
Finding realistic costs for all of these items can be tricky. Sometimes you can rely on other travelers, but sometimes not. Some guidebooks may be reliable, others less so. With that disclaimer aside, we've outlined a few resources below to help you plan your daily travel budget.
- The Budget Your Trip Estimate Costs tool allows you to find out what other travelers are spending. You can search by city, country, and budget type (more options are coming soon!).
- Guidebooks often give you an idea of how much hotels, hostels, or food will cost in a city. It's important to remember that these costs are often slightly outdated. Expect to spend a little more than a price that's quoted in the book.
- Travel forums such as Lonely Planet's Thorntree offer a great resource to discuss expected expenses in a area. The forum stays active and you can usually expect prompt, although varied, responses.
- Travel websites such as Seat61.com offer a fair estimate of costs for intercity public transportation. Seat61.com has a thorough representation from most travel destinations.