Hi! After a few months of preparations for my year of solo travel around the world, It’s now time to start traveling! just like you, at one point I was looking into how to go travelling on a budget for a long time.
If you are questioning this yourself you’re already on a good track. And I can tell you, travelling for a year or more is super easy! there are so many resources nowadays to help us explore the world!
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The most important thing you actually need to go travelling the world is just to bring down the invisible mental barriers we all have at some point.
It’s completely normal to think “it’s too difficult”, “I need to be rich to do that”, “I can’t quit my job”, etc. But I can guarantee you that all those negative thoughts are baseless and you can start travelling today if you really want to do so!
This post is about my learnings so far. But I can already tell you in a nutshell: you don’t need a huge amount of money to travel the world and it’s very easy to find jobs on the go. Contrary to my previous shorter trips, which tend to have a high component of improvisation, I have had a pragmatic approach on this planning as I wanted to make sure everything will be fine whenever I decide to go back to an office life.
Everyone’s situation is different, I have decided to take this trip of a lifetime for different reasons.
Mainly, after having done a few trips in my life, I have met wonderful people everywhere and most of the time I was the only one travelling for just a couple of weeks as I had to go back to work (I still consider myself very lucky to be able to travel often!)
When you meet many people that travel the world solo for several months or even years you can only think of what would something like that feel, so I decided to prepare myself and do it now as I have no attachments or commitments and would never allow myself to grow old and ask myself why didn’t I do it on my thirties!?
Not only you need to budget your trip (transport, food, accommodation, activities, etc) but if you’re planning to go back “home” at some point, you will also need to put aside some money for whenever that happens.
The amount for this will of course depend on your city and lifestyle so it’s pointless for me to start putting numbers here as they will differ greatly if you’re in London, Barcelona or New York.
I have put aside money that will allow me to survive, on a humble lifestyle, for 6 months which should be more than enough to find a place to live, a job, etc. If you have any other things to consider, such as taking care of your family, loans, charities you support, etc you will of course have to add this as well to the equation.
In terms of the budget for the year, it will also depend completely on your lifestyle and where do you like to stay, what do you like to do, which countries are you planning to visit, for how long, etc.
I have read several blogs mentioning that you can travel a year from as little as US$10k, which comes to $27 per day, so I decided to set my budget on $40 per day which in some countries will be a lot and in some others not so much (*update: after more than 2 years of travelling, I spent an average of US $20/day, this includes flights, visas, experiences, everything!)
I also include on this daily budget all transportation and activities (dives, museum/parks/attraction entry fees, any other activities…). I also plan to do some “volunteering” with workaway in some places.
This budget is generous enough as I normally stay in cheap hostel dorms and I’m also planning to camp a lot, couchsurf, travel by land and hitchhike. But I know very well that you can easily travel the world on $10 per day by hitchhiking more, cooking more at hostels in certain countries rather than eating out, doing more volunteerings or finding workaways, etc.
Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to be working in something that I’m passionate about, if you’re in a similar situation just communicate your plans with plenty of notice as maybe you can arrange to have a sabbatical and eventually go back.
Leaving a job because you’re travelling could never be taken badly (as if you were moving to a competitor) and leave the doors open as you never know when you may need to knock on a door even if you end up somewhere else.
If you still need to make some money while travelling, just google “remote jobs” and you will find an incredible amount of options. No matter what you do in life you can go travelling the world and still make a living!
If you have moved to a new house in the past few years, you know how many things we accumulate overtime.
As I have moved quite a few times, I’m not exactly attached to “things” and have a quick approach of “if I have not used it for a year then I don’t need it”.
For a couple of months I have sold a lot of stuff on eBay, donated a lot of other ones and only kept a few life-memories that I sent to my family for storage and a some clothes for whenever I decide to go back.
I have also given a lot of stuff to friends such as plants, books, homeware stuff, etc.
Once all this was sorted, I started looking into what sort of stuff will become my-life-on-my-rucksack. This is an important section on the how to go travelling checklist. Do not make the mistake of overpacking stuff you don’t need.
Most of the things I carry are related with the regular equipment that I’d normally pack. This is what I will be carrying on my shoulders of the next 12 months:
-Rucksack: Osprey Kestrel 68l
-Daypack: Salomon Trail 20
-Tent: MSR Elixir 2
-Sleeping bag: Haglof Tarius -5
-Head torch: a good selection here
-Cooking equipment (pans, stove, spork, knife)
MY CAMPING ESSENTIALS
-x1 Roll of toilet paper
-Sunglasses: Oakley EvZero
-Book (check out my post about my travel books)
-Quick dry towel
-Toiletries (tooth brush/paste, deodorant, clipper, etc…)
-Plastic bags for wet clothes, dirty clothes, clean clothes and for rubbish when camping
-Chargers and batteries
-x4 Pairs of socks
-Hiking trousers (zippable to shorts)
-Waterproof shell trousers
-x1 Pair of quick dry shorts
-Base layer top and bottom
-Mid Layer top
-Down liner jacket
-Waterproof shell jacket
-Hiking boots: I love my Salomon Boots!
I’ve normally not taken backpacking travel insurance for short trips, except on a couple of ocassions.
Of course, solo travelling for a longer time increases the chance of something happening and because of this I decided to take a not really expensive policy that covers many outdoor activities with TrueTraveller
You can read my honest feedback on this post about travel insurance for backpackers
If you’re starting to think on how to go travelling or doing a long term trip and are a bit concerned with where to start or what to do, feel free to reach out, I’ll be more than happy to extend myself more in detail!
One thing I can guarantee is that as soon as you decide to go for it, that’s the moment your adventure begins!