How much does it cost to travel round the world?


In part two of my trip-planning article I go into detail on my pre-trip budget and also share how much it cost me to travel round the world alone for six months. Before we get into the detail though, there are some aspects of my trip that you need to be made aware of, so that you can get a better understanding of my budget.

Round the World Trip Route

My round the world trip route:  London > Thailand > Malaysia > Singapore > Hong Kong > Australia > New Zealand and the USA.  Purchasing the Navigator round the world ticket with was the best option, because it allowed me to change the departure dates while travelling. Within all of the countries, I travelled using local transport and low cost airline carriers. The majority of accommodation was booked within two weeks of my arrival to receive the best rate.

Pre- Trip Budget Breakdown

Based on a six month round the world trip.

£2,000      Round the World flight ticket

£4,000      Accommodation  (equivalent of approx. £25 per night).

£1,500      Food and drink*

£1,000      Emergency fund

£600         Transport (both local and overland)

£500         Tours and activities

£200         Travel Inoculations

£150          Backpackers Insurance

£50            Visas

Budget £10,000

*It is worth bearing in mind that I did not include alcohol into the budget because I didn’t feel comfortable drinking on my own at night, plus after a day exploring, I prefer to relax in the evening.

Trip breakdown

£2,000      round the world ticket in shoulder season (Darren travelled on a Navigator RTW )

£3,000      Accommodation 

£1,200      Food and drink

£600         Transport (both local and overland)

£300         Tours and activities

£300         Mobile Internet

£50           Contact lenses

£250          Camera

£400          Social Life (including alcohol)

£350          Backpackers Insurance (including cover for type 2 Diabetes)

£25            Banking fees

£15            Visas

Amount spent £8,490



Saving money on accommodation

The biggest saving was on accommodation.  In Australia I spent four weeks volunteering (check out for volunteer listings) and in return for 3 hours a work a day, I received free accommodation and meals.  Also, while in SE Asia, hotels were cheaper than expected (avg. £8-£10 a night for a single room).  

Lessons learnt

Lots of lessons learnt; leaving my Canon camera on the platform at Chiang Mai train station was an expensive mistake, because purchasing a new one in Thailand was not as cheap as expected.  While in Australia, I left my contact lenses in a hotel, so had to purchase new ones in New Zealand. 

Avoid the peak seasons

The biggest lesson I learnt though was not to visit countries like the USA in the peak season (July & August) because the price of accommodation increased, and if you want to volunteer to save money, the best volunteer positions are taken. Thankfully, while in New Zealand the mistake came to my attention, and with the Navigator RTW ticket, I changed my arrival date in the USA, phew.

Additional unbudgeted expenses

While in Australia and New Zealand the cost of internet was higher than expected because many of the hotels did not offer unlimited internet access, and I wanted to continue to keep in touch with family and friends while uploading videos to my YouTube channel.

Within my pre-trip budget, a social life was not included. I met so many amazing people while travelling, and couldn’t help but go out and enjoy myself.  It’s important that you factor in your social life, even if you are an introvert like me!  Finally, while I made sure that my bank at home did not charge me for withdrawing money at ATM’s, banks in Thailand and the USA did, so factor this cost in.

Hopefully, this article will give you an idea of how much it is going to cost you for your round the world trip, and help you plan your budget.

by Darren Cronian