Many people think to travel the world is a luxury and that it is very expensive, I even believed it was. However, I am in shock of the comparison between my cost of living in America versus hopping country to country. This post was originally going to be based around traveling the world for $12,000 in a year; that’s $1,000 a month. Then I did the math of my own expenses and found it to be even lower. To my surprise, even lower than $10,000. Yes, you read that correctly, LESS than $10,000! Since I have readers from all around the globe, here’s a few conversions for a point of reference: 13,000 AUD – 7,500 GBP – 8,500 EUR.
$10,000 in a year breaks down to about $830 each month. I would not be able to survive off of that if I was still living in America. I’m actually saving money by traveling around. Mind blowing, right?! I even lived very minimally in Chicago, my days consisted of working and chilling at home. Yet, at the end of every month I found myself struggling to save. I’m sure you know the feeling.
Monthly Costs to Live in America
- Rent: $600
- Utilities (Water, Electric, etc.): $100
- Car Expenses (Gas, Insurance): $130
- Internet: $50
- Cell Phone: $75
- Groceries: $120
- Total: $1075 a month / $12,900 a year
That was the bare minimum for me to survive. I also split the rent with someone else! That’s not even all of the expenses that arise within a year; oil changes, car registration renewal, medical insurance, the list is endless. Wait, I’m not done yet. Let’s not forget about setting money aside in your savings account, nights out with friends, and for me personally, driving down state to visit home every couple months. That was always a $100 weekend… and at least $60 went towards gas! Anyways, you get the point. I’m clearly above $830 a month.
Depressing, right? If done properly, you can easily forgo many of those expenses and trade it for a life of travel. Read my experience about starting this journey! When I moved out of my apartment, I also sold my car and cancelled my phone plan. The cost of those two items alone can get you a plane ticket to a new country every month and more!
Monthly Costs to Travel the World
- Accommodation: $400
- SIM Card + Data: $20
- Food & Drinks: $100
- Flights: $200
- Total: $720 a month / $8,640 a year
The difference between life in America versus the cost to travel the world is unreal! I’m going to let you in on a secret, flights don’t even cost $200. I just bought a ticket to Bali from Bangkok for about $60. With that in mind, you can up your food & drink budget to $300 a month and still be under $10,000 in a year.
Want my real monthly numbers? Check out all of my cost of living breakdowns!
Travel Smarter with these Tips & Tricks
If you plan your destinations properly, you can maximize your costs for flights. For example, you wouldn’t fly to Germany to Singapore and then France. It’s best to explore the countries in each continent before moving onto another one. Also, do your research and see what countries are cheaper to fly to based on where you currently are. It can open your mind to cities you never thought to visit!
Airbnb is a savior when it comes to accommodation. Most places offer wifi and you don’t have to worry about those costly utility bills. Tip: book your stay for at least one month. Many hosts offer huge discounts for monthly stays! Anywhere from 30% to 60% off the regular nightly price.
Don’t be afraid to live like a local when traveling. In other words, find your nearest supermarket and buy groceries to cook where you’re staying. Sometimes you have to get creative. I’m cooking with only a microwave at the moment, but the cheap pad thai across the street sure makes dinners easy! And I’m talking dirt cheap, I can buy pad thai every day for an entire month and it won’t even be $25!
Maintaining this Lifestyle
Worried about not having an income to travel the world? Don’t stress. Put money aside every paycheck and once you sell your belongings, you will have enough to sustain you for a few months. If not longer! During that time, figure out your skills for remote work to provide an income while traveling in the future. Nevertheless, all you need is a laptop and you are set. This life isn’t difficult to achieve; it’s easy if you allow it to be easy.
Whoever said visiting different countries is expensive is doing it all wrong. So tell me, what places do you want to visit? Leave a comment below because I need more ideas for destinations!