How to Budget for an Around the World Trip
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
"What is this going to cost?"
I admit, the thought of budgeting an around the world trip can be daunting. The details and tasks laid out before you can make you feel overwhelmed. Where to begin? I can tell you what worked for our around the world trip, and hopefully, it will help you begin your plans.
I started with an excel spreadsheet. I'm sure there are many tools online that have similar capabilities, but a solid spreadsheet worked best for me. I created two tabs. One entitled "Budget" and the other "Travel". For the first tab, I wanted a high level view of all of the items that I could possibly spend in each category. Then, I began to research each item online and other travel blogs to pinpoint an estimated cost. My items on my budget tab are below:
1. Tickets : This of course, our plane and train tickets. I first looked at purchasing an around the world ticket with OneWorld Alliance, but quickly realized that the segment quantities were too limiting for our trip - they only allow 18 segments, including land transfers, and Benjamin and I have 34 segments. Also, the cost was much higher than I anticipated for the around the world ticket versus each individual segment. Please note: booking 34 individual tickets is a lot of work, a ton of research, and a lot of management. If you have time to do this, see my blog post here about airline ticket pricing. If not, buy an around the world ticket - it's convenient! I entered estimates for each ticket using Hopper, and then kept an additional column for the actual purchase price.
I set a budget for us of $75 a night, which I hoped would balance between more expensive stops (London, Safari, etc) and inexpensive stops (Costa Rica, Peru, etc). If you are planning on hotel accommodations, I would use an average of $150 or more, depending on your minimum requirements for hotel travel types. Then, simply build a formula that multiplies this average by the number of nights your are traveling for your overall estimate.
3. Additional Travel Costs - I accounted for $25 a day for the cost of taxis, subways, Uber rides, and more - then multiplied this by the number of travel days.
4. Admissions - I allowed $10/day for museum and tour admissions. I know that we won't visit a venue every day, but the $10/day average will more than account for museums in England that are L20!
5. Food - This was a tough budget to guess. I settled on $35/day for Benjamin and I, knowing that we will most likely spend $60/day in Paris, but $20 a day in Peru. A few of the properties we are staying in provide complimentary breakfast, and some of the flights will also provide meals during our flight.
6. Purchases - Leather in Italy and perfume from Paris? Yes please! Allowing for personal purchases on the trip is a tricky thing to estimate, and it's entirely based on your budget. I allowed for $15/day.
7. World Health Insurance: As an extra precaution, I purchased around the world health insurance for Benjamin and I. Our policy covers us up to $250,000 with a $50 deductible, and cost only $250 for both of us. Worth the investment in my mind.
8. Miscellaneous: Of course, adding a little extra on the end of your budget to account for anything that may arise won't hurt! I added 10% of our overall budget to this line item!
The "Travel" tab of the spreadsheet allows me to manage our travel dates, cost for each leg, and locations of our accommodations and cost. I've created templates for the budget and templates below.