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May 20, 2009

How much does it cost to travel the world for a year?

Ask ten people and you’ll get ten different answers. Part of that is understandable — it depends where you go, how you travel and what you want to do. But what if you just want a solid figure, a rough estimate?

That’s a question long time traveler Nora Dunn recently set out to answer over at Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You to be Rich blog (don’t worry, the site isn’t as obnoxious as the title makes it sound).

Dunn’s conclusion? You can travel the world for $14,000 a year.

Ultra-budget vagabonds might complain that that figure is a bit high, but for those just getting started, it makes a good rough estimate. And Dunn has quite a few tips to help keep your spending down, if you think that’s too high.

Many of the budget slimming suggestions and cheap travel websites will be familiar for vagabonds, but one standout that I’d never heard of before is the budget airline search engine WhichBudget.com. Which Budget is a bit different than most airline search engines in that it doesn’t book flights. Rather the site is designed to help you find small, often regional budget airlines that offer cheap fares, but don’t get listed in the major flight search engines.

Say for instance you want to fly from Bangkok to Singapore. Plug that search into a big search engine like Expedia and you might well miss out on results from Tiger Airways, JetStar and other budget airlines that Which Budget recommends. Which Budget doesn’t book flights, but it is a great tool for making sure you check all your options (even the ones you don’t know about).

The rest of Dunn’s piece covers perennial vagabond tricks like working for accommodation, volunteering, homestays and many other great ways to save some money on the road. Check it out and be sure to add Which Budget to your bookmarks.

Posted by | Comments (6) 
Category: General


6 Responses to “How much does it cost to travel the world for a year?”

  1. Nora Says:

    Thanks for the mention, Scott! I hope the article is helpful for many. Cheers…

  2. Katie, Tripbase Says:

    Gary Arndt, perennial traveler says $15,000 for dorms and eating in, so this figure sounds about right… bargain!

  3. cheap traveler Says:

    Naturally part of the “different answer from everyone” problem is that the biggest variable is where you go. You can live large on $1,000 for a month in many countries–enough to cover a year or two’s itinerary easily–but then you have to double or triple that in Western Europe just to lay down your head and eat enough to get by. Take two travelers who are equally frugal and one could easily spend three times as much by making the wrong choices for destinations.

  4. » More ways to score a better deal on plane tickets :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog Says:

    [...] why it makes sense to be come something of a discount airline guru. We’ve pointed out some helpful websites to save you money in the past, but it never hurts to add a few more to your [...]

  5. » Tame your travel budget with Budget Your Trip :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog Says:

    [...] pointed to a few good, example budgets in the past and suggested that $14,000/year is a good average, but we recently stumbled across a new site, Budget Your Trip, that’s hoping to make it even [...]

  6. alj Says:

    The single biggest factor in determining the size of travel budget you need is the destination(s) you go to. Reliable and up-to-date guideline costs for each destination can be hard to estimate. You might find Roam The World (www.roam-the-world.com) a handy resource, the research is pretty up-to-date and the costs are comparable around the world.

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