As with most travelers… the world is, for the most part, unattainable if money is nonexistent. Thus, this was a huge factor when I decided to take on a world tour. There were so many things to take into account, and I will list some below.
1. Pre Trip Costs
Before my trip can take off, there are several things which need to be taken care of. Stuff such as trips to the clinic in my village to get vaccinations, visa application fees, my backpack and the local airport Departure Tax. It is pretty easy to forget about the small things, yet they are critical to the smooth running of any trip.
Antigua, my little island home in the Caribbean Sea, is by no means an international airline hub. This means, that I would be paying quite a bit for my incoming and outgoing flights. It was obvious that my cheapest option would be to fly into USA, then connect on another flight to Asia. I was able to bypass this, by trading in airline miles for award flights on American Airlines. As a result, I paid only the taxes for both my departure and arrival flights. As for the other flights, I searched the web for weeks nonstop, before booking the best deals available.
Now, it would be pretty awesome, if flights and spending money were the only expenses travelers had to incur when trotting around the world. However, unfortunately, it’s not the case. This was quite a concern of mine, as I had no previous experience with guest houses and B&Bs. I was also amazed by the sheer number of youth hostels worldwide. This brought another question to mind. Would I sacrifice name brand hotels, to chill with other travelers from all over the world?? Answer was ‘HECK YEAH!’
An apple a day, keeps the doctor away but not hunger at bay. I love to eat. Eating strange foods? Even better. I knew from the beginning that food was going to eat up quite a bit of my budget (pun intended), so I had to plan accordingly. I’m that person at a cafe or restaurant, who snaps a shot of every dish before I dig my fork/spoon in. I can’t help it. It’s one of my travel quirks! Sue me. 🙂
This career break was engineered to give me time to let my hair down. I am seriously looking forward to going out and having an awesome time. This of course, is going to cost me. Sigh. I’ might sound a bit dramatic, but we’re talking about USD $6 for a cocktail on my cruise ship! Yikes! I plan to offset those high drink prices, by deciding to visit South East Asia. Countries such as Vietnam are way cheaper to have a drink in, with prices lower than $1 for local brews. Score!
In order to maintain my proposed budget, I will be heavily relying on public transport in
all most of the countries that I will visit. I say most, because in cities such as Los Angeles, the public transportation system is very user unfriendly. I am estimating to spend USD $50-$60 for my 25 hour stopover there! 😦 Apart from Los Angeles, other places have great public networks, from the one of the world’s best metro system in Singapore to the crowded buses of Saigon, Vietnam.
This is the bucket which most of my money will be dropped into. When I visit a place, the things I remember most are the fun stuff I did while there. For example, snorkeling off the coast of St. Lucia, climbing a Mayan Temple in Belize and cruising through the Panama Canal. City tours are a convenient way to get your bearings in a new place, and I have all intentions of going on a few. I am all for independent explorations, but sometimes, a group tour does more good than harm.
8. Unexpected Charges
There are many different things that can be placed into this category. They are charges that I never see coming, that I never budgeted for and which show up at the least expected time. Examples are internet fees, ATM fees, tips etc. Since I have no way of estimating an exact figure for this category, I will simply have to put aside a bit of money for ‘just in case’ scenarios.
So, with these ‘money matters’ in mind, I am now working on estimating a budget for my trip. I’ve been reading other travel bloggers budget tips, and I found many helpful tips. If anyone would like to give any advice, it is certainly most welcome!