How much it costs to travel for 1 year

In January 2017 I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime!

22 flights. 12 countries. 12 months. 345 days. 1 stolen bag. 1 hospital visit. 3 rounds of food poisoning. 2 new tattoos. Countless friends and unbelievable memories completely changed my life forever! So how much did all that fun cost me? You’re about to find out … 

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Don’t worry – it isn’t out of reach!

Asia felt like home the minute I landed, this continent stole my heart long ago with it’s friendly smiles, crazy roads and incredible spirit. Oh and did I mention … its EXTREMELY affordable.

I jetted off to Thailand with a rough idea of budgets from previous visits but this time I had no return flight home so it was time to make budgets my best friend. I had saved enough back in the UK to keep me going for 12 months without much worry but I didn’t want to blow it all on beer and market sarongs, plus there should always be wiggle-room for spontaneous trips to the Maldives (read how much that trip cost here). 

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The Petite Passenger in The Maldives

I decided £1,000 per month / £32 per day would be sufficient for my lifestyle (hostels and buses rather than domestic flights and 5* hotels) but to be honest, I rarely reached that, in fact even if I ate 6 meals per day  – in most countries I never would have reached that!

Here are some tips to stay on the road for as long as possible … 

Accommodation

I personally LOVE hostels. There is nothing I enjoy more than coming home to the little family that you form in each stop. Sharing your bedroom with like-minded wanderers who you grow to love … unless you’re the hostel snorer! So for me sticking to budget accommodation was a breeze, and if you are nervous about staying in hostels then read this post, it will change your mind.

Dorms come in all shapes and sizes, from girls only to en-suite bathrooms and mixed dorms of 25 people. I discovered (through a dodgy period of trial and error) that the best rooms were mixed dorms of 8. They weren’t so small that you’d end up being stuck alone with a large group who all knew each other already but they weren’t so big that you don’t catch a wink of sleep.

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My hostel in Lombok – Indonesia

There’s also a perfect price bracket that I nailed for you … you’re welcome. Hostels can start at anywhere from £2 – £10 per night in Asia and I found that the £4-£5 per night rooms meant I met people that were travelling for the same period of time as me, we formed stronger bonds and could journey together for longer. The odd stay at a £8-£10 per night dorm lead to me hanging out with tourists on a 2 week trip so they were going to fancy restaurants and doing all the lavish things that I couldn’t afford. Don’t even get me started on my night at a £2 hostel in Cambodia .. following the ‘stolen bag’ incident I was pretty short on $$$.

I always rely on Agoda for budget hotel rooms if I need some privacy or want to stay near an airport – they are usually a little cheaper than Booking.com. Friends and I would also take turns referring each other and using the £25 off Airbnb voucher – click here to get £25 off your booking.

Travel

Well I’d love to sound more positive but nobody loves 18 hour bus journeys … and if in Asia you may as well add at least 2 hours to every single ride you board – they’re always late. Despite the bumpy, delayed, near-death experiences on overnight buses its a no-brainer. You not only save money in comparison to a flight or taxi but your accommodation is sorted for the night! … £2 hostel anyone 😉 

You can read more about my bus experiences through India and Asia here …

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The Petite Passenger bussing through India

Spending Money

Using a debit card from home around the world can rack up to be one of the most pricey mistakes that people make. I ALWAYS opt for an international credit card – which will also protect against fraud! In the UK there are amazing choices which I regularly use such as the Halifax Clarity Card and my ultimate fave – the Santander Zero Card.

Simply set up a direct debit so that whatever you spend and withdraw is paid off each month. Debt = No Travelling.

When you use a card the machine will ask you if you want to pay in your currency or the local currency, ALWAYS pick local. The credit card will automatically use the BEST conversion rate on that day so you are constantly spending efficiently. Well done you.

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The Petite Passenger at The Taj Mahal

Food Glorious Food

Not that any of you would know *cough, cough – blog name* but I’m rather tiny at 47kg (7.5 stone) and 156cm (5,1″) so I don’t eat a TON and am quite satisfied with 2 large meals per day and a fruit snack in-between. Make the most of FREE breakfast at your accommodation, I always look for this on HostelWorld whenever I book my bed for the night.

Enjoy eating local cuisine! Sometimes the dirtiest looking huts and stalls served the most authentic and beautiful tasting dishes I’ve ever had. Eating like the locals is also incredibly cheap, most meals in Asia cost me less than £2 and tasted heavenly. Of course you can still have a rare treat and go-all-out once per month but even that is affordable in the right destination.

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A delicious Indian meal served on Banana leaf

The Final Figures

After combining my credit card payments (cash withdrawals too), flight purchases online, my initial flight from London and trip home – my total spend for 12 months on the road and adventures in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, The Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, India, The Maldives AND Sri Lanka I spent …..

£11,019

That’s an average of £918 per month – for trips, travel, food, accommodation A LOT of drinks every night and even souvenirs and shopping every now and then! I didn’t miss out on anything I wanted to do and I even fit in a holiday to the Maldives.

I think most of us in Western society can safely say we spend more than that on food and rent/bills per month with NONE of the fun! So stop making excuses and get out there, it’s cheaper than staying home and working your butt off!

***

If you like this, find more of me on Instagram!

Instagram: @the.petite.passenger  |  Facebook: The Petite Passenger  |   Twitter: @petitepassenger  |   Pinterest: The Petite Passenger   |   email: thepetitepassenger@gmail.com

3 thoughts on “How much it costs to travel for 1 year

  1. Thanks for sharing Petite Passenger. These are amazing tips, and truly helpful.
    Tell me, how did you choose where to go in the different countries you went to? i.e. what city? Say in India, after New Delhi, or Mumbai, did you visit Pondicherry? How did you choose? And how long did you spend in each city and country? How did you decide?
    Lastly for the flights, if I do not have the whole year to travel, but I would still like to travel, do you know of agencies which will help for say 1-week or 2-weeks?

    Like

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you found the post helpful! I actually love traveling with minamal plans. Most of the countries I went to I spent 1 month but spent less time in Myanmar, Singapore and Laos (simply because they’re smaller countries) and that allowed me to spend nearly 3 months in India. I usually get advice from other travelers I meet who always recommend places to visit, or sometimes I would make friends and head in the same direction as them. I also use Pinterest to research countries before I visit but I often like going with the flow. I use Skyscanner to book my flights and never usually go to agents as they are often costly – I recommend doing the research and planning it yourself to save money 🙂 happy travels!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much Petite Passenger for the great advice and tips. I will start researching.

        Like

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