The Costs of Doing an Around the World Trip

Jorden rundt reisen

Doing an organized around the World Trip does not have to be all that expensive. This posts shows how much I spent on my 3,5 month around the World trip broken down into flights, trips and “on tour spendings”

 

Now, a month after getting home, we have looked at our bank statements and done a thoroughly calculation of absolutely all our expeses on the trip. The following amounts are in Norwegian Krones (NOK), per person and includes everything except flights and insurance which I have added in the conclusion part.



Skjermbilde 2014-10-10 kl. 17.52.00

Traveling with the Trans Mongolian Railway (21. feb-10.mar):

Countries visited(and duration): Russia, Mongolia, China (17 days)
Booked in advance: Ruski Huski trip 14 500,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 2500,-
Total per day spending: 1000,-

Island hopping in the Pacific (10. mar-25.mar):
Countries visited (and duration): Philippines, Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, USA/Hawaii (15 days)
Booked in advance: Hostels 1500,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 8500,-
Total per day spending: 666,-


Traveling independently in Northern South America (25.mar-14.apr):

Countries visited(and duration): Colombia, Ecuador, Peru (20 days)
Booked in advance: Hostels, Macchu Picchu day trip 2750,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 5000,-
Total per day spending: 388,-



 

Traveling through Western South America with G- Adventures:(14.apr-13.may):
Countries visited(and duration): Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay (30 days)
Booked in advance: La Paz to Buenos Aires Adventure 10 000,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 5000,-
Total per day spending: 500,-

 

 

Traveling through Eastern South America with Dragoman(12.may-1.jun):
Countries visited (and duration): Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil  (19 days)
Booked in advance: Andes & Amazon, Buenos Aires to Rio 8500,-
Amount spent on this part of the trip: 4000,-
Total per day spending: 658,-

 

 

Conclusion:
With flights costing 26 000kr per person and insurance costing 3000 per person, the trip ended up with a total around 80 000 krones/ 10 000 euros for 104 days. That is less than 800kr/100 euro per day including flights and absolutely everything except gifts and souveniers. That might sound like a lot, but it is less than double the amount we spend when staying at home and saving up for trip. So, in conclusion, for less than double the money you spend when working and sitting in your couch at home, you can travel the world and have thousand times the fun.

Get Everything Half Price When Traveling in Argentina!

It is no secret that the economy in Argentina is not going so well at the moment. For the tourists going to Argentina this is good news as everything gets cheaper, but locals are loosing their money from inflation and jobs from poor company turnover. Some people make protests in the street and are not happy with the foreigners exploiting the situation even more by the three steps I am about to tell you, and maybe you will understand after some background information.

Ever since the Argentinean Peso started to drop significantly in 2012, people started to change their whole savings into other currencies to secure themselves against their money becoming worthless. The government was then quick to put a ban on the US dollars and other currencies, and as a result the Argentineans could not withdraw foreign currency or change their currency, even when going abroad. And just like all other illegal things it became available in the underground at much more expensive prices. The profits were big as well, which probably is the reason why you will find (probably) hundreds of people in Florida Street and LaValle Avenue shouting “Cambio”, “Dollars, “Euros” etc in hopes of buying some dollars of you that they can sell to the Argentineans afterwards.


Therefore; when travelling to Argentina bring as many dollars as you can get as you can sell them to as much as 10-12 pesos when they at the official market rate are only worth around 7-8 Argentinean Pesos. Even restaurants and hotels will sometimes accept dollars at the “blue market rate”, which would save you/ give you around 30% extra on everything you buy! If you cannot get dollars at home you can just take a ferry over to Colonia in Uruguay, which costs around 60 US dollars round trip (market rate) where you can withdraw as many dollars as you want from all ATMs. When exchanging on the street you have to be careful to get real notes (not fake ones) be descrete and jump into a taxi once you have done the exchange. How much people offer you for your dollars also depends a littlebit on the amount and shape of your dollars (crisp hundreds are the best), but this link will show you daily updated rates of the dollar on the blue market.

Once you have the money changed you should go crazy when shopping as Buenos Aires is the perfect city with good selection of stores and cheap prices. Argentina, unlike most other South American countries is not a place where bartering is common. But, the economy is not going too well and the shops are very eager to get you to buy from them, so there is some leeway, namely asking for a cash discount, which many places is around 10% which can save you some money if you are shopping a lot. And hey, you already have all your money in cash from exchanging money from dollars, so why not ask for it?

On top of that, all tourists have a bonus when shopping abroad. Namely that they are not obliged to pay tax on the things they buy as long as they are leaving the country for good within three months of the purchase. When shopping we asked for tax free/ tax refund forms so that we could get 17% of everything we bought refunded upon departure from Argentina. We got refunded our tax both at the harbour when leaving to Uruguay and at the border post when leaving to Brazil and if you are planning on flying you can also go to the tax office at the airport to get it refunded there as well.

So if you if you are planning on going on a shopping holiday soon, make it Buenos Aires in Argentina- the Paris of South America, as you will not find as good selection for as cheap anywhere else than here at the moment.

money

Currency Exchange Before and During your Travels

exchange

Exchanging money while traveling can be quite a hassle, where it feels like everyone is trying to rip you off by offering you poor exchange rates. Of course the loss of exchanging currency should be kept at a minimum, but it is important to remember that no one will offer you exchanges at the actual rates, because they then would have made no money from the exchange. To keep you currency exchange costs to a minimum, you should consider the following:

Use currency converter apps or pages such as xe.com to find out what the exchange rate is to avoid being fooled. If you don’t know what the currency is worth, they might be able to convince you that the exchange rate is double of what it really is!
Check rates at several exchange offices. Airports, hotels and travel agencies tend to charge very poor exchange rates; Airports becuase the people exchanging there have little choice, travel agencies and hotels because it is not their main field of business. Usually I look for the biggest banks in the city center to get exchange rates that are fair.
Exchange some money before you go: I usually exchange around 100-200NOK before I go at a currency exchange office that does not charge exchange fees (e.g Forex bank). The rates there are poor so I just want to get enough to cover my airport transfer and the first night at a hostel. After that I either pay by card if possible or do a single withdrawal from the ATM to avoid several transaction fees.
Pick a credit card with no transaction/withdrawal fees. The ATM withdrawal fees vary greatly, and it is advised to check comparisons between banks to find cards offering low or no withdrawal feel which can save you a lot of money.
Exchange remaining money if you have withdrawn too much instead of spending it at the duty free or expensive airport restaurants. Land borders will usually also have exchange offices where you can exchange your remaining cash into the next local currency
Pay with the foreign currency: if you are asked if you want to pay with local currency or your own currency with your debit card, always go with the local currency. You will then use the exchange rates of your bank instead of theirs (with poorer rates)
Always travel with spare cash: the US dollar and the Euro usually have the best exchange rates and will be easiest to buy and sell. I always travel with 100USD and 100EUR hidden separately in my luggage. If I have my things stolen, this should be enough to get me to the nearest embassy to make a new passport and have money transferred from a bank account back home.

This list could have been endless, and these are just my tips. Feel free to share your own below.

Making your Money Last Longer

If you are traveling on a one week chartered trip, you might want to spend as much as possible on your holiday and can just stop reading right away. Are you, on the other hand, a backpacker who is traveling months at a time you might try to save every penny you can to make your trip last longer. I have listed ten tips that might help you run out of money slower:It doesn’t help to save a lot of money if you cannot keep them, so lets start with the “Safety first”

A PASMO card gives you cashless travel when in Tokyo

1. Never show off big amounts of cash
A golden rule that everyone should follow. Flashing money among people is both rude and stupid, as it will look tempting for poorer people. I call it common sense.

2. Split your cash, to lessen the loss
In some situations people might make you open your wallet, and when you do they might demand what is in it. It can be a taxi driver insisting that the taxi should cost 10 times more than it should, or a policeman just using his bargaining power or a seller who wont give you what you want before he knows he has gotten maximum out of you.

3. Bring two credit cards
You might loose one, it might break, be stolen etc. A spare one will make sure that you can just block the other and live on with your spare one. Make sure they are good ones without big fees abroad.

Getting fooled is the most common robbery abroad, and the reason is simply because you don’t know better

4. Learn the exchange rate of the country currency
Do not use the overpriced exchange rate you will see at the airport or at your hotel. Check webpages like xe.com or your converter app with updated exchange rates.

5. Learn the local tipping culture
Tipping is important and you neither want to be a cheap ass giving too little or a dumb ass giving too much. A conversation with your the person sitting next to you on the plane usually helps. Otherwise use the next tip would also help for tipping

One dollar room in Udaipur, India. Found by asking around

6. Ask around for prices
Ask the hotel receptionist for the taxi prices, the taxi driver for the haircut prices, the hairdresser for the whateveryouneed prices. Use the people around you to be better prepared for upcoming negotiation situations.

7. Claim VAT refunds
Many airports have counters where you can hand in receipts and get the cash refunded.

8. Haggle just the right amount
Haggling is important in order to make your money last longer. It requires training and bartering skills to get the best deals as you are not supposed to be rude, as you do in fact have a lot more money than most people you are haggling with. And always remember to get the right price before you get a service done, eg. before you get into the taxi.

9. The best deals are not the ones with the flashiest signs or are highlighted in guidebooks
Most restaurants, hotels or tour companies that get listed in Lonely Planet use this to the fullest. This results in the places being crowded and overpriced. Ask around and you will usually find guesthouses and restaurants run by local families that will give you a more friendly and cheaper experience.

10. Don’t listen silly advise online on how to book cheap plane tickets
As a travel agent I have booked thousands of plane tickets, and I only have one tip that will give you cheap airline tickets: book them early, especially for the most popular flights. The only exceptions are campaign tickets and private fares that travel agents can offer.

 

singapore

Also be aware of local fines. Eating in public places in Singapore will make you 500 dollars poorer.