Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Budget and Expenses

When we tell people that we're take a year-long around the world trip, we often get two reactions: 1) I'm jealous, followed quickly by 2) How much will that cost?

I started saving for this trip before I even knew if it was really going to happen. About two years ago when I was working at Microsoft, I stumbled across this blog of two people who worked at Microsoft who were taking a year-long Honeymoon around the world. Even though I didn't know them, I followed their blog as they cruised around the world. Although I'd always wanted to do a big trip, I think reading their blog helped me realize it was really possible and you didn't have to be a millionaire to do it. Reading the finance page of their blog gave me a rough idea of the costs we could expect.

Of course, we're not biking everywhere so we don't have the bicycle expenses, and we plan on saving money by camping, staying with friends and couchsurfing (see our profile here). Even with these savings, it seems that the "magic" number for a trip of this scope is about $20,000 to $30,000 per person. I recently stumbled across a family of four who took a round the world trip and they said the same thing.

So, long introduction to say that we'll update the spreadsheet posted below as we go along. As I kind of like numbers and personal finance I will probably post other entries regarding money but you can always come back to this post to see how much we've spent so far.


  1. I would love to travel the world as you two are doing. That would be so cool! I'm intrigued by this budget page and I'm curious to see all your expenses because it does seem so amazing that you could travel for a year on such a small budget. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. :)

  2. I have a quick question as we plan our Australia/NZ leg, what camper van company(s) did you use? Were you happy with them? Thanks for the info.

  3. Keith - be ready for sticker shock when you get to Australia. We rented a camper van for 21 days, and although it was great fun, it was not cheap. We went with Wicked Campers, mainly because, well, we liked them. It was a pretty no-nonsense process to get a van, no one-way drop-off fee, several places to pick-up/drop-off, good customer service, etc. We also ended up buying the top-notch insurance since we were paranoid about something happening. We drove over 5,000 km and had zero problems (other than a sticky 3rd gear sometimes). I'd definitely recommend them. In NZ we never rented a van. We were there in peak season so the prices were just too high. We ended up renting cars from small towns and found the rates to be really good (NZ$35/day and NZ$50/day inclusive of taxes/insurance). The little cars were great on gas and even though we then had to stay in hostels, the total cost was less than a van. Can't wait to follow your journeys in Aus/NZ. Have fun!


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