How Much Does A RTW Trip Cost – Revisited

After my previous post about how much a trip around the world would cost, I’ve come across more examples from the big wide world of interweb thanks partly to Chris and Jodi (from chrisandjodi.net) and Lisa.

I used to do a little statistics during my dark days as an engineer so I was curious to see if I could somehow “massage” the data points to show any pattern whatsoever.

Here are the data points I used:

How much has it cost others to do around the world trip?

$2333 pm/pp
22 countries in 15 months = $35000
Dave from gobackpacking.com estimated to plus/minus a penny or two:

$2200 pm/pp
26 countries in 13 months = $28600
Susan and Grace from our neck of the wood (Bay Area, California):


$1250 pm/pp
11 countries in 9 months = $11250
Chris and Jodi and their amazing, super cheap, RTW trip (could it be because preferred land transportation rather than flying?)


$2083 pm/pp
14 countries in 12 months = $25000
Gillian and Jason who took one giant step away to realizing their dream


$1818 pm/pp
16 countries in 11 months = $20000
Michael Tieso from the Art of Backpacking shared a snapshot of his jaunt around the world


$1250 pm/pp
11 countries in 12 months = $15000*
Jason and Sharon, again Bay Area represents!


$2000 pm/pp
Simon and Erin from Never Ending Voyage (with the coolest blog design I’ve seen)
12 countries in 12 months = $24000 (14584 GBP using 2010 conversion rate)


$1870 pm/pp
12 countries in 9 months = $16800
Christine Benson and her husband, Mike… another couple who decided to go for it.


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-- amalthya

And after about 2 hours of fiddling around with Google Spreadsheet I discovered something that might seem obvious to a lot of people already: there’s is not any strong correlation between any variables. I knew this, but I just wanted to prove it in a more scientific way (that’s my excuse for wasting 2 hours of my life anyway).

How much would it cost to do a round-the-world trip?

It depends…

My failed statistic experiment

There just seems to be way too many variables involved in a trip like such as a RTW trip: where you sleep, what you eat, tours you take, how long you stay in a particularly cheap/expensive country… and not to mention that some people include pre-trip cost (vaccinations, equipment purchase) in their total cost, and some don’t.

Anyway, even if there’s no mathematical correlation that I can prove,

6 out of the 8 examples above show that on average you’ll need $2000 per person per month for a RTW trip.

So I guess that’s a good starting point if you’re looking for quickie estimate.

That of course assumes that you’re going to a large enough number of countries with varying cost of living in order for the law of average to work. If you stick to lower cost countries, such as Jason and Sharon did with their trip around Asia, you can get by with much less.

And if you’re super careful about where you’re staying, manage to squeeze by earning some money on the road, it’s possible to do a RTW trip for $14000 less. This article has a lot of good ideas on how to do that.


Well, my mini statistic experiment failed but it was such a tremendous fun to read other people’s accounts of their around the world trips. And it was really inspiring to see the efforts put into keeping track and sharing it with everybody else who happens to be planning the same thing.

We’d definitely do our part in sharing our trip budget and expenses. But first, we have to go travel around the world first.


I’m in a continuous quest to find other examples… so let me know if you know any RTW cost examples. Including yours!

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