How Much Does a RTW Trip Cost?

Golden gate bridge -- Jack and Jill Collection

How much would it cost me to do an around the world trip?

Difference in Standard of Living

With the huge difference in living standard between countries (just giving you an example, Lonely Planet estimates that you can get by in Mongolia for $10/day. Russia, its neighboring country, however, could set you back $150/day), the different styles of travel, and other variables, well, it is hard to estimate…

I spent 2 days looking for was real-life examples from other budget-obsessed people – and banking on the law of average to take care of the rest. Specifically, we were looking for a budget break down per country, per day, including the unexpected costs, the big item “most-do’s”, all that good stuff… And since we’re both into spreadsheets (well, not really) and lists (lists are okay)… if they come with those, that’s even better.

2 days of Googling and I could only find three such examples.


How Much Has It Cost Other People?

So thank to these 3 groups of people (and Google), we know the answers to questions such as:

How much did it cost for one person to travel 22 countries in 15 months?
The answer: $35000 – $2333/month/pp

How much did it cost a couple to travel 21+ countries in 13 months?
The answer: $57200 – $2200/month/pp*

How much did it cost for a couple to travel 11 countries in 9 months?
The answer: $22500 – $1260/month/pp

*Adjusted for inflation since the trip was taken in 2006

These three groups of people have a similar type of traveling style. Budget, but not really sleeping-in-airports-and-eating-bread-every-day kind of budget. All are into staying in hostels, but allow themselves to go on some organized tours every now and then. In short, they sound just like us.

I thought it’s kind of interesting to notice that the cost per person per month seems to correlate much stronger to the number of countries visited than the number of days spent traveling. It makes sense in a way: inter-country travel (usually by air) adds up really quick, but does it really matter that much?

I really wish I had more data points to compare. Three data points really don’t tell much.

Please let me know if you have more examples, either from your own experience or a site you came across on the interweb… would love to hear them!

Update: This site found an example of a couple spending $3000 pp/pm in 6 months! That seems like a lot! But from their description, it sounds like they stayed in hotel and flew a lot.

Update: Christine and her husband traveled to 12 countries, in 9 months.. and it cost them $33605 — $1870 pp/pm