How to Travel the World for Four Months
During my travels and when I returned, the same two questions consistently occurred “How did you do it?” or another rendition of that question such as:
How in the world could you afford that?
Did you hit the jackpot?
What do you do for a living?
Did you work while traveling?
Where do you get your money from?
You must be rich.
Fortunately, all of these questions and comments lead to my determination to initiate a travel blog and write this post. People would question how I could afford to stay in one of the most exclusive hotels in the world, afford to feed myself, take 20 flights around the world and maintain a great social life. Some were unable to fathom the magnitude of space covered and how I was able to afford this trip of a lifetime. It really wasn’t that difficult and you can do it too.
One tip I would advise is to book three of the most expensive aspects of your trip before you leave. That way you won’t get a shock when you have to pay for it on the day and a lump sum comes out of your travel money. It is prerequisite that you are prepared and investigate the prices of most amenities such as hostels and activities before you go. It is absurd travelling the world and not living life beyond expectation; a small budget will hinder opportunity. I made the mistake of not researching prices in New Zealand which was one of the last countries on my list to visit. It ended up being the most expensive and most people wondered the same thing, “have I been robbed?” At least two people said they questioned that as NZ is so expensive. I even had my KIWI experience bus paid for before hand but for instance the jet-boat activity we did cost $300 AUD, so be prepared.
Personally, I have always preferred to travel for a shorter period of time. Three months maximum is perfect for me. You do begin to miss your luxuries, during the last few weeks and travelling for up to a year can prove difficult. After returning I still live by that rule. I compared my travelling lifestyle to people who were travelling for up to 6 months. They couldn’t enjoy the same opportunities as us and one girl we met in a hostel near Noosa, Australia was working there and complaining that she is so broke after 5 months and wants to return home. You need to make sure you feel financially secure during your trip and especially when you come home too.
Before you go
Save, save, save! For every birthday or event, give some subtle hints to family and friends that you would like them to buy you hotel nights as your present. Some of they are so cheap. Try and book the first half of your accommodation before you go so that it eases the pressure. I paid for the first three countries accommodation before I left as I wanted to stay in hotels: Dubai, Bali and Singapore. You are better off waiting until you get to Australia and New Zealand to book it there as you may meet people you want to remain travelling with.
Before I went I saved as much as I could. We decided to travel in April 2016 and we left in February 2017.I figured out how much I could need for three months which was £6500. STA was great to book with as we were able to pay off on the flights in installments. The only reason I would not recommend STA is that their travel advisors are very hit and miss. We went from having an experienced trustworthy advisor to having an advisor that flew us into wrong airports which made things hard for us (more detail in the NZ blog post). Just make sure that you have the itinerary planned out for yourself and that you are certain on the airports and dates. They offer an unlimited change of flight for 99 pound but this offer is deceiving so please read the fine print! We ended up paying your extra flights. As I saved it was getting closer to depart and I knew I wanted to feel comfortable, have the trip of a lifetime and grab every opportunity by the horns by not worrying about finances. I had saved 4000 and in the end I did take out a small loan independently. If you are not eligible for a loan you can use your parents as a guarantor which means there is a higher chance of getting the loan. Have a savings goal in mind and put that much away every week/month. A girl I meet told me she had three jobs to save for travelling. If you want to do it you will!
Out of all the emails I receive in regards to budgeting for travel plans Australia is without a doubt the place people are most worried about or needing information on. With their ever strengthening economy it’s not the cheap backpacker country it once was and it’ll take up a large chunk of your budget.
With most places I usually say around £1,000 per month (my monthly budget for Thailand was even less!) will leave you with plenty of cash to splash…Australia though (and I hate to be the person to break this to you!) will be nearly double that.
So here’s a break down of the main backpacker spends in Australia – accommodation, food, booze, activities and transport – so hopefully you can prepare for an amazing adventure down under…
Most Expensive Bed – Bounce, Sydney $40 £25 €28
Favourite Hostel – Bounce, Sydney
Average nights accommodation (shared dorm) – $30 (£18.75)
Average nights accommodation (double/twin) – $80 (£50)
Average campsite (per tent) – $16 £10
Estimated accommodation costs – $900 (£562)
Food and Drink Costs
Australia is pretty expensive when it come to eating out – so if you’re on a budget you’ll want to mix it up with a good bit of home cooking. Saying that though many hostels offer some great backpacker feeds (like Sydney’s “Wakeup”) for around $5 and there’s plenty of backpacker bars (like Byron Bays “Cheeky Monkeys”) which do the same, so you can grab a budget feed on the go too.
If you’re going out to party again the backpacker bars are the way forward and many of them (like Woody Surf Shack in Byron Bay or The Woolshed in Cairns) offer a whole host of giveaways and competitions, from surfboards to dive courses, so you make your night out well worth the money!k
Cheapest meal – 5 min noodles! – $0.50 (£0.30p!) (add some veggies to pimp it out a bit!) YEs! I did just have noodles for dinner some nights.
Average backpacker meal – around $5-10 (£4-7)
Average meal (based on cooking veggie pasta) – $5 (£3)
Average cost of Wine- $5 £3 ( Probably the cheapest thing to drink)
Average cost of a box of goon (Golden Oaks, 4 litres) – $15 (£9)
Average cost takeaway coffee – $5 £3.12
Estimated food costs (based on cooking lunch, backpacker meal for dinner) – $375 (£318)
Make sure you always factor in activities and the two main ones that everyone does in Australia are Whitsundays and Fraser Island. The price of this was a shock for me, we paid $950 each for the two trips and apparently we got a bargain! An even bigger shock was when Frazier was cancelled after a day because of Cyclone Debbie and most people’s insurance didn’t cover the cyclone.
The best way to travel the east coast is to book the greyhound bus before you leave home. This is so flexible and you can change your arranged trip at any stage before you get on the bus. Most people on it are backpackers too which make sure it all that bit more interesting. The best way to do it is to get a KM pass. You will need a 2500 km pass if you are travelling from Sydney to Cairns. Most people travel up the coast not down, but we are not most and travelled down.
You can find out more about Australia in my OZ blog post (coming soon!). Any other information or details you would like to know about my trip please ask. Below you can see my whole flight itinerary with STA too.