The most common question I get while traveling full time is: “How are you able to afford this?” This post will hopefully provide you with some answers 🙂 You will also find out which region in the world has been the cheapest so far in terms of Food costs after 587 days of traveling and spending roughly 30€ per day on average.
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I am tracking all of my expenses in detail since I started to travel full time from October 2014.
It currently sums up to 16.591,64 € during 587 days with an average per day cost of 28,27 €.
859,73€ per month – 10.323,62 € per year
(As of: January 6th, 2017)
This figure includes everything: Transportation, Food, Accommodation, Booked Trips and all the Rest such as buying new batteries or getting a haircut for example. (see Excel screenshot)
Thanks to Couchsurfing and Hitchhiking, I can keep my costs in the Transportation and Accommodation areas generally low. The more useful figure to compare the costs of different regions is Food, which includes everything I eat and drink and averages out to 7,40€ per day:
Keep in mind that I always travel and consume in the same way, but some regions might have more expensive “night outs” than others 😉
I will update this page in the future with a breakdown for each country I have visited since October 2014! (see the Costs page for those)
How to travel cheaply
The most common question I get while traveling full time is: “How are you able to afford this?“
This post will hopefully provide you with some answers 🙂
#1 – Be modest.
Unless you have a blog focused on high quality food, you can avoid fancy Restaurants to keep the daily food costs low. For me personally, I am in a complete different mindset on the road compared to my “normal life” with a regular income. And I do not miss going to Restaurants at all! Every now and then I might end up in one, but on a general basis I always try to eat street food, which is mostly cheap but nearly also very tasty at the same time. Sharing meals from the supermarket can make up for a nice dinner session to socialize with people too. Just note that in some countries it is cheaper to “eat out” than buying in a supermarket, so it always depends on where you are situated.
The same applies for transportation. Of course, taking that taxi to the airport will be much more comfortable and time efficient, but if you can save 90% of the costs by taking a local bus that might consume twice of your precious time, wouldn’t be worth to get up an hour earlier to take that bus and save money? At least for me, it is.
#2 – Be organized.
As you can see in the opening Screenshot, I am a pretty organized traveler. That is not only because I’m German, but also because I use Excel for my job and I’m generally pretty good and time-efficient with IT stuff. But do not worry – you don’t have to be that organized in order to save money! But just some general workflows on how to find cheap flights or hotels for instance will greatly reduce your overall costs and make the time spent very much worth while. I did not track how much money I saved by finding cheap flights, but it is certainly way above 2000€ over the last 2 years!
Finding cheap flights is not hard if you have the luxury of time and are willing to spend hours of research to get the most money-efficient route. Google Flights shows you a map of all airports on the planet and the prices to fly from a specific destination you put into the search bar. If you are more restricted on the destinations, you should use Skyscanner to make sure you get a flight on the cheapest date as it lets you search by complete months or even the complete year! I also love the “Everywhere” destination function, showing you the cheapest destinations from a specific starting location. And not only can you search by airports, but also complete countries, which comes in handy if you can fly out from a nearby town for a much better price.
#3 – Work ahead, or work abroad.
I can personally finance my travels because I have saved up money all of my “working life” and now I am spending it to see the world. But if you don’t have that money and only plenty of time, you can work while you are traveling! Just check the visa policies as well. You won’t be able to move around in my pace, but at least you will have time to explore a place to it’s fullest while making some money. Here are some examples that can get you some money depending on your skills:
- Barkeeper or Waiter
- English,- Dance,- *Insert whatever you’re good at*,- Teacher / Instructor
- Au pair
- Making and selling Art
- Street Musician
- Farm Worker