In 2010, I visited 9 countries over the span of 10½ months. I traveled mostly overland, with the exception of a round-trip flight from Miami, Florida to Port of Spain, Trinidad; a one-way flight from Miami to Guatemala; and a one-way flight from Panama City, Panama to Pereira, Colombia.
My Travel Style
Accommodation: hostels, budget hotels, two-month room rental in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Food: local food, preparing at home/in hostel kitchens, occasional splurge on a $4 plate
Transport: overland whenever possible, including the odd chicken bus
Activities: rarely do tours, but do pay to visit museums, art galleries, and ruins; lots of wandering around and talking to people
Shopping: have replaced a number of wardrobe items
Don’t Cheat! Before You Scroll Down…
The minimum wage in the US is $7.25 per hour. (Source: Wikipedia)
The average annual salary in the US is $43,460. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The annual minimum wage salary in the UK is €1169.49. (Source: Eurostat)
In Australia, the hourly minimum wage is $15 per hour or $569.90 per week. (Source: Fairwork Ombudsman)
For 10 months of travel in 2010, I spent $8019.38. This equates to $801.94 per month and $26.73 per day.
Expenses by Month
Note: My trip to Trinidad and Tobago the first two weeks of February, including the round-trip flight from Miami to Port of Spain, is not included. I stayed with my family there and had very few expenses, so it wouldn’t represent an accurate depiction of what a trip to T&T during Carnival would cost.
It’s a common misconception that traveling is expensive. It can be wildly pricey, or it can be unbelievably cheap, depending on your travel style, the countries you visit, how fast you travel, and the exchange rate of the money you’ll be traveling with.
If you choose private rooms over dormitories, fancy restaurants over local street food, and catch flights instead of sit through 10-hour bus rides, you will spend a lot more.
If you sleep in tents, prepare your own food, hitchhike, and try using a flight comparison site to save money, you’ll spend a lot less.
Do you still think traveling is too expensive?