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How Much Does It Cost To Travel The World?

Are you dreaming of traveling the world but you're unsure about the costs? This post is for you!

During my long term trip with my husband, I recorded all our expenses down to the last cent, resulting in this in-depth budget guide focusing on the question:

How much does it cost to travel the world as a couple?

How much does it cost to travel the world?

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World travel budget

I had dreamed of traveling the world for years! While I had taken many great trips within Europe, exotic faraway locations kept calling to me.

I wanted to learn about other cultures and religions. Eat exciting new foods and meet people from all over the world.

And after saving up for a long long time, my husband and I finally embarked on our dream trip: 5 months of traveling through New Zealand and Southeast Asia!

Organized as I am (*cough* understatement of the year *cough*) I recorded all travel costs and expenses during our round-the-world trip.

And put together this extensive budget breakdown to answer the burning question: how much does it cost to travel the world?

Be warned, this is a long post and I will be honest with you straightaway: traveling the world for 5 months isn't free!

The good news? You don't have to be a millionaire either and even on a tight budget, you can have a great trip. Long-term travel is an amazing experience and in my opinion worth every euro we spent on it.

Plan your trip like a pro with these tools:
✈️ Find the best flight deals on
? Get the best car rental deal for your road trip on
?️ Find your dream accommodation on or Agoda.
? Book the best tours via Get Your Guide, Viator or Klook.
? Plan your journey with the Lonely Planet.
?️ Travel safely and get reliable travel insurance from Safety Wing.

How much money do you need to travel the world as a couple?

6 months travelling around the world

The short answer is: it depends on your travel style and your intended destinations (do you plan to visit cheap countries or expensive destinations).

The long answer? Continue reading this travel expenses post!

I spent a lot of time researching that question online, read a lot of posts, and made lots of spreadsheets (my brain is wired that way) trying to figure out exactly how much to save for our trip.

How much money would we need to travel for 3-6 months? How expensive is New Zealand? How much money to budget for a weekend in Hong Kong?

How much would we spend on an average travel day in Southeast Asia? How much money would we spend on plane tickets? Or on accommodation? How about the cost of food?

I didn't have a clue…

In the end, I just figured a ballpark number would have to do and the worst-case scenario was that we would have to cut our trip short. Luckily that didn’t happen!

I saved about €20.000, the rationale behind this number was:

Travel budget:
5 months (143 days) * €100 a day for us as a couple = €14.300

Adding around €5000 for our Round-The-World tickets, travel gear we had to buy, vaccines, and the PADI dive course we wanted to do, I figured €20.000 would be enough, give or take. Turned out it was!

During our 5-month trip around New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, and Malaysia we spent €16.183/$18.053 to be precise.

how much money to go travelling for 6 months

I tracked our expenses every single day, so putting together a detailed budget breakdown was not difficult, but it was a bit (okay, a lot) of work.

Luckily I already made travel budget posts for each country we visited.

This made writing this post a case of adding everything together and adding expenses that I didn’t allocate to a particular country, but which are part of our total world trip budget breakdown.

How much does it cost to go traveling for 5 months?

Average daily costs per country

First of all the country statistics, in the table below you can see the countries in visited order stating:

  • The number of days in a country.
  • The average amount we spent per day in a country.
  • The total amount spent in a country.

I list the expenses in and $, there may be slight differences between this total budget breakdown and the budget travel breakdowns for the separate countries due to the exchange rate.

5 Month Budget Breakdown Travel Around The World

I put the countries from most expensive to least expensive. You can see New Zealand and Singapore were the most expensive countries we visited.

It’s a tie between the Philippines and Laos as the cheapest countries during our trip.

Dividing our total amount spent by the total number of days brings me to an average of €73/$82 per day for us as a couple! Not bad for 5 months:-).

You can find the budget posts for each separate country on the blog:

For us, combining an expensive destination (New Zealand) with cheaper countries in Southeast Asia enabled us to travel longer.

Additional travel costs for a round-the-world-trip

It would be great if this €10.397/$11.666 would be it, but unfortunately no. There are a couple of things that are not included in these numbers.

Traveling around New Zealand and Southeast Asia for 5 months cost us €16.263/$18.141. Check the detailed budget breakdown per country and category on Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog.

Our RTW ticket and other flights

We bought an RTW ticket, flying us from the Netherlands to Christchurch, Auckland to Hong Kong, and from Bangkok back home. Cost per ticket: €1400 (sum for the two of us = €2800).

There are a couple of flights between countries I didn’t include in the country budget posts because it would not give a proper estimation of how much you can expect to spend in that country.

Also, I found allocating the cost of flights between countries to just one of those countries an unfair inflation of the daily budget, so I choose not to include them in the country breakdowns.

In conclusion, flights within a country are included in all the country budget posts, flights between countries are not included in the country budget breakdown, but of course, they are part of this overall travel budget post.

I’ll get to the specification for transport costs later, but the total for additional flights between countries is €470/$518.

How Much Does It Cost To Travel The World For 5 Months As A Couple?

The cost of scuba diving

Diving was something my husband, really wanted to do.  I am so happy I got over my fear and tried it because I completely fell for it… We went diving 3 times:

Dive sites and costs in the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand

I also bought a mask and snorkel for €80/$88 on Tioman, which I already put to good use several times since purchasing it.

In conclusion, diving is awesome and we happily paid the total cost of €1.611/$1.784.

Sea Snake Perhentian Islands scuba diving

The costs of travel gear

We had ahem… never really backpacked before… Traveled yes! Camping, city tripping, even hitchhiking. But backpacking no.

So neither of us actually owned a backpack. Or packing cubes. Or a microfiber towel.

You can find my entire packing list in this post, but long story short, we had to buy some stuff. Total costs: €528/$582.

Packing List For A RTW Trip - what to pack for a long term trip - packing for unlimited travel

Vaccines and medication

One thing about the Netherlands (my home country) that I really started to appreciate in preparing for our trip is the healthcare system.

We have a pretty kick-ass healthcare system and if you choose your health insurance wisely a lot of vaccines will be paid for by the insurance company.

I took great care in selecting the company with the most generous vaccine policies (for the least amount of money obviously;-) which resulted in a total cost for all our vaccines and preventive medicine of €123.

The actual cost for all the vaccines and pills was almost €550 so we definitely saved some money there:-).

International driver’s license

Because we planned on renting a campervan in New Zealand, which we did and it was awesome, we got an international driver’s license.

Once in New Zealand nobody ever asked for it, but better safe than sorry… Total costs: €36.

how much money needed to travel

Letter of approval Vietnam

Because we were flying into Vietnam we could make use of the letter of approval system and didn’t have to get our visa beforehand.

We paid $16 for the 2 of us together to Vietnam Visa company and got our letter 3 days later.

Miscellaneous costs while traveling

Things like laundry and detergent, our little espresso maker, conditioner, souvenirs, etc.

Just little things of which I don’t exactly remember where I bought what but OCD as I am I did write down the costs. Total amount: €284/$315.

All the additional costs together came to €5.786/$6.387. Adding the €10.397/$11.666 we spent in the 9 different countries we visited this brings me to our total expenses.

Traveling around New Zealand and Southeast Asia for 5 months cost us €16.263/$18.141. Check the detailed budget breakdown per country and category on Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog.

Total of 5 months of traveling as a couple: €16.183/$18.053

This includes all the money we spent preparing for, and during our 5-month trip.

Divided by 145 days (we spent the first 2 days on a plane from the Netherlands to New Zealand) this comes down to a daily average of €112/$125.

What do you think about this amount?

I wasn’t too shocked. I know it’s A LOT OF money, but for me, our trip was worth every penny.

A future long-term trip would probably be somewhat cheaper because we wouldn’t have to buy gear, we probably wouldn't do more dive courses (though we would do more diving) but most of all:

I think we would do more slow travel, which would reduce our daily expenses.

how much money to travel for 3 months

If you want to know exactly what we spent all this money on, keep reading for more details about:

  1. Accommodation
  2. Transportation
  3. Food, drinks, and groceries
  4. Activities
  5. Visa

Our budget to travel the world

Below you can find more information about the cost breakdown per category.

Accommodation costs

In total, we spent €3.869/$4.336 on accommodation. The most expensive hotel we stayed at was the Tarna Align resort in Thailand, and the cheapest hotel was Monesavanh Guesthouse in Laos.

In New Zealand, we stayed many nights at free campsites, but we obviously had to pay for our camper van.

how much do you need to travel for 6 months

We mostly stayed at budget hotels, though I always try to make sure the accommodations have good reviews and we didn't just book any cheap accommodation we could find.

Therefore, there aren't many places I didn’t like, and only a handful I wouldn’t return to.

I usually booked through Agoda or Booking. We also stayed at a couple of Airbnb places and often we just walked into a hotel and asked for a quote.

We pretty much always booked a private hotel room, preferably with an ensuite bathroom.

Bohemiaz resort best budget accommodation in Cambodia

Below you can find a list with basic information about the hotels I stayed at during our 5-month trip.

I provided links as well if you would like to check out the hotels, but only for the accommodation, I would return to myself (and which are listed online;-).

You can find more information about the accommodation we stayed in these posts: the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, LaosMalaysia, and campsites in New Zealand for more details about the hotels.

Budget hotels in New Zealand

  • Auckland ⇒ Ibis Budget hotel Auckland Airport, €59/$64, Agoda | Booking
  • Christchurch ⇒ Jailhouse Accommodation, €61/$66, Agoda | Booking

Budget hotels in Hong Kong

  • Peace Guest House* ⇒ €40/$45
  • Hong Kong Hostel ⇒ €40/$45, Agoda | Booking

Budget hotels in the Philippines

  • Batad ⇒ Hillside Inn Batad, included in our hiking tour, Agoda
  • Puerto Princesa, Palawan ⇒ Tia Mers Guesthouse, €11,5/$12,65, Agoda
  • El Nido ⇒ Camp Talusi Hills, €18/$20, Agoda | Booking
  • Puerto Princesa, Palawan ⇒ Palawan Village Hotel, €14/$15,40, Agoda
  • Cebu city ⇒ Skypark Pensionne, €16,5/$18,15, Agoda
  • Loboc, Bohol ⇒ Fox & Firefly Cottages, €28/$31, Agoda | Booking
  • Panglao, Bohol ⇒ Ananda Resort, €25/$27,5, Agoda | Booking
  • Tagbilaran, Bohol ⇒ Casa Rey Francis Pension House*, €15/$16,50

Budget hotels in Vietnam

  • Hanoi Airport Nội Bài ⇒ Bong Sen Airport guesthouse*, €10,37/$11,40
  • Hanoi ⇒ Hanoi Serenity Hotel, €10/$11, Agoda
  • Hanoi ⇒ Golden Orchid hotel*, €12,9/$14,20
  • Tam Coc ⇒ Tuan Ngoc Hotel , €16,77/$18,45, Agoda | Booking
  • Hue ⇒ Hue Charming Hotel €10,1/$11,10, Agoda | Booking
  • Hoi An ⇒ Jolie Villa Homestay, €10,72/$11,80, Agoda | Booking
  • Hoi An ⇒ Sac Xanh homestay , €11,19/$12,30, Agoda | Booking
  • Dalat ⇒ Cam Ly homestay, €8,58/$9,45, Agoda | Booking
  • Ho Chi Minh ⇒ Thao Nhi, €12,5/$13,75, Agoda | Booking
  • Phu Quoc island ⇒ Fortuna Hotel, €14,67/$16,14, Agoda | Booking

Budget hotels in Cambodia

  • Kampot ⇒ Bohemiaz resort, €12,30/$13,50, Agoda | Booking
  • Phnom Penh ⇒ Diamond Palace II , €14,50/$16, Agoda | Booking
  • Siem Riep ⇒ Hak Boutique Hotel, €13,20/$14,50, Agoda | Booking

Budget hotels in Laos

  • Huay Xai ⇒ Sabaidee Guesthouse, €10/$11, Agoda
  • Pak Beng ⇒ Monesavanh Guesthouse, €5,50/$6,50, Agoda
  • Luang Prabang ⇒ Sengphet Guesthouse***, €9/$10
  • Vang Vieng ⇒ Vang Vien Boutique Hotel, €17,50/$20, Agoda
  • Vientiane ⇒ Mixok Guesthouse****, €11/$12

Budget hotels in Singapore

  • Vintage Inn, €34,20/$37,60, Agoda | Booking
  • Fragrance Hotel Rose*, €47,93/$52,70

Budget hotels in Malaysia

  • Mersing ⇒ Mersing Hotel*, €10,50/$12
  • Tioman ⇒ Ella’s Place**, €18,75/$21
  • Tioman ⇒ Bamboo Hill, €25/$28,50, book via their website
  • Kuala Lumpur ⇒ Lantern Hotel, €25/$28,50, Agoda
  • Langkawi ⇒ Rasa Senang Chalet*, €25/$28,50
  • Langkawi ⇒ NR Langkawi Motel, €25/$28,50, Agoda | Booking

Budget hotels in Thailand

  • Bangkok ⇒ Au Bon hostel, €16/$18, Agoda
  • Don Muang airport ⇒ DMK Donmuang Airport Hostel*, €16/$18
  • Surat Thani train station ⇒ Queen Hotel*, €7/$7,50
  • Koh Tao ⇒ Jomthong Guesthouse, included in PADI course, Agoda
  • Koh Tao ⇒ Tarna Align resort, €88/$98, Agoda | Booking (this is a 4-star resort so not really budget but worth every bath!)

* Not recommended (thus no link provided;-)
** Recommended but not bookable online (thus no link provided either;-)
***In Luang Prabang we stayed at Sengphet Guesthouse, unfortunately, it’s permanently closed. The Elephant Boutique Hotel is a great and affordable alternative.
**** In Vientiane we stayed at Mixok Guesthouse, however, ratings have gone down significantly since then. That’s why I recommend staying at the well-reviewed Viryla Boutique Hotel instead.

Angkor Wat at sunrise Angkor Wat travel guide

Transportation costs

In 5 months on the road, we spent €2.142/$2.412 on transportation in total, including petrol for our campervan in New Zealand, flights, buses, trains, minivans, and whatever other public transport was available.

You can find more details about the costs and other useful details about getting around in my itinerary posts for New Zealand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, and Malaysia.

A note about flights: I use Kiwi to find cheap flights and try to be as flexible as possible regarding the flight dates to get the best deals.

✈️ Click here to find the best flight deals on

Food, drinks, and groceries

All our food, drinks, and groceries together cost us €3.000/$3.363. In New Zealand, we cooked our own breakfast, lunch, and dinner which greatly reduced the costs.

In Southeast Asia we did no such thing, cooking your own meals there would be crazy because there is so much delicious street food and highly affordable restaurant options available;-).

We really enjoyed trying the local cuisine, buying snacks from street vendors, and drinking fresh fruit smoothies pretty much every day.


We did a lot of fun things, like a 3-day hike through the rice terraces of Batad, mountain biking in Laos, and sightseeing in Singapore. The total cost of all these activities was €1.173/$1.316.

Batad rice terraces Philippines


Finally, we spent some money on visas, €210/$230 in total:

  • Vietnam ⇒ 1-month single entry visa: €41/$45 per person
  • Cambodia ⇒ 1-month single entry visa cost €32/$35 per person
  • Laos ⇒ 1-month single entry visa cost €32/$35 per person

Lucky us, being from the Netherlands we didn’t need a paid visa for:

  • New Zealand ⇒ free 3-month visa on arrival
  • Hong Kong ⇒ free 3-month visa on arrival
  • Philippines ⇒ free 30-day visa on arrival
  • Thailand ⇒ free 2-week visa on arrival
  • Singapore ⇒ free 3-month visa on arrival
  • Malaysia ⇒ free 3-month visa on arrival

Travel insurance costs

I didn't include the cost of travel insurance in our world trip cost because we use this for all our travels, not just for this journey.

However, that doesn't take away the fact that making sure you have proper travel insurance is super important.

It helps protect you and your belongings in the event of a mishap during your travels. Furthermore, it provides coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost or stolen items, and more.

Also, having good travel insurance will provide you peace of mind, knowing that if something goes wrong, you have a safety net in place.

With so much to consider when planning a trip, having the right travel insurance can help ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey without stressing out about things that can go wrong.

Cost for a round-the-world trip: in conclusion

So that it, every euro, dollar, peso, dong, baht, kip, and ringgit we spent. I hope you found this breakdown and travel tips helpful!

Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment or sending me an email.

What do you think about the total amount we spent on 5 months of travel?

This post was updated in November 2022.


Thursday 4th of August 2022

What an amazing experience! Thanks for sharing this with the world. Very inspirational!


Saturday 6th of August 2022

Thanks so much for reading and for your kind words Adam:-) Happy travels! Lotte


Saturday 13th of June 2020

What does it have to do with the world? You traveled in New Zealand and south east Asia, not the world as you call it. So deceptive


Sunday 14th of June 2020

Dear Mia,

I'm sorry the post hasn't met your expectations, however, in the first paragraph of the article you can immediately read which part of the world the budget breakdown is about. You're free to click back to google and find a search result which better answers your question.

Also, if you had taken a bit more time to explore the blog, you would have seen that I've written a lot more budget breakdown posts (for example for Japan, Canada, and Australia). Perhaps one day I'll have traveled all 196 countries in the world and will be able to give an answer to the question of what it costs to travel the world, but even then it will always only be a representation of what I've spent.

As you can see from other comments the article has helped many other people gain insights into the average costs needed to travel to these countries. Of course, you're entitled to your opinion but the post isn't deceptive, it's clear what it's about. If that's not for you, that's fine. Happy travels!

Best regards, Lotte

Paul Ryken

Tuesday 20th of February 2018

Nice article. Glad that other people in the world are as anal about statistics as we are. We published our article on our 11 months on the road in a different part of the world, but it is nice to see that the way we all break down the figures is similar.

Question: Did you know that you would only be in New Zealand for six weeks? Did you consider the option of buying and then selling a campervan as opposed to renting one (for more than $3,000)?


Saturday 24th of February 2018

Thanks Paul and yes, always nice to find a fellow numbers geek;-). We knew beforehand we would only be in NZ for 6 weeks and therefore decided not to buy a camper van as we wanted to optimally use the time we had. For our 5 month trip around Canada and the USA we did buy a car as it's much cheaper than renting one for a longer trip.


Thursday 11th of January 2018

Thanks Lotte, That helps a lot. Your blog is now saved on my phone screen and looked at it almost every night when I do my plan bits by bits.


Friday 12th of January 2018

That's awesome to hear Sandar! Enjoy planning your trip and keep me posted when you hit the road:-)

Sandar Vanya

Thursday 11th of January 2018

Hi Lotte, Thank you very much for this blog. I am planning for our RTW trip (from Russia to China then India and NZ and move on to South America) in 2019 but a bit worried about the budget not knowing how it will turn up. Your blog gives me ideas, practical tips and confidence. I have a couple of questions though. 1. How far ahead have you organised for the flights? 2. Did you plan ahead exactly how many days to stay in different places or just go there and stay or move on as you see fit.


Thursday 11th of January 2018

Hello Sandar,

You are most welcome! Your travel plans sound amazing, I haven't been to Russia, China, India or South America yet, so much more to see... About your questions:

1. We booked our RTW ticket (which included 3 flights: Amsterdam - Christchurch, Auckland - Hong Kong and Bangkok - Amsterdam) about 9 months before our trip. The ticket for the Philippines I booked around the same time. All the other tickets we booked a couple of days before the actual flight date, in SE Asia there are so many cheap tickets we choose maximum flexibility over saving a couple of bucks (and still the flights were very cheap;-). 2. We knew how long we would stay in New Zealand (because we booked a campervan) and in the Philippines. After we landed in Vietnam we had no plans whatsoever and just made up our plans as we went.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and enjoy planning your trip:-) Lotte