So, how much does it actually cost to travel around the world? Great question. In this video we're going to answer it and show you how traveling the world for a year can actually turn out cheaper than staying at home. I'm Alex. I'm Marko, and you are watching Vagabrothers, your go-to guide for travel tips, inspiration, and vlogs here on YouTube.
This video is part of our series on how to travel around the world for cheap, and this video addresses one of the most common questions we get about travel: how much does it cost? If you're new here, make sure you hit that subscribe button, enabled notifications, and get ready to take some notes and crunch some numbers. This is how much it actually costs to travel around the world. The short answer is: it depends a lot on you, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, we're going to give you a couple of tools you can use to estimate the cost of your trip, no matter what size.
Let's tackle this one step at a time. First, you're going to have to determine your level of luxury and choose your destinations accordingly. Next, understand your major expenses and calculate your costs per day. And finally, add all this up to estimate your total cost for your trip.
And as a bonus, we're going to crunch numbers on a full year around the world, what's known as a Gap Year. So if you ready, let's get started. First and foremost, you're going to have to look at yourself long and hard in the mirror and ask yourself one question: What type of traveler are you? Are you a high-class jet setter that demands only the best or are you a bare-bones backpacker who will happily dumpster dive for dinner in order to travel forever? Truth is most of us are somewhat in the middle. We got champagne taste, but only beer income.
Wherever you are on the scale, don't worry. There's no right or wrong answer. But, be brutally honest with yourself about how much you can rough it. News flash: some places in the world are more expensive to visit than others.
Figuring out the cost of your destination is crucial to budgeting. Traveling in the developing world like India, Southeast Asia, and Central America is around 2 to 3 times cheaper than traveling in Europe, North America, or Australia. We just published a video on the 31 cheapest destinations in the world. So if you've not seen that video yet, make sure you click up here to watch it for some inspiration.
Generally speaking you're going to have to budget around 25 to 50 dollars per day in the developing world and around 50 to 150 dollars a day in Europe or North America. It's not that simple. India might be cheap, but how much it cost to fly there? The good news is that the internet allows you to get exact estimates on your major cost of travel. Let's start with those.
Plane tickets are by far your largest cost. But luckily search engines like Momondo, Skyscanner, and Google Flights search the internet to find you the cheapest fare. Just keep an eye out for hidden costs like check bags and onboard meals because nothing is free these days. And if you haven't already watched it, click our video here to see how to get the cheapest flights possible.
After flights your next biggest expense is going to be accommodation. Do you need a hotel every night? That can get expensive fast. Can you share a dorm room with seven strangers? Cheaper, but you might wake up with someone snoring, puking, or fornicating,,, maybe all at once. How about couch surfing? Totally free, but potentially sketchy.
Mix and match these options to maximize your budget and maintain your sanity. Use websites like Hotels.Com, Hostel World and Airbnb to check out prices before you go. Next up: activities…. Something most people severely under budget for.
How much would it suck to fly all the way to Australia, to the Great Barrier Reef only to realize you don't have enough money to go scuba diving. Be conservative when budgeting. When you're researching museums, tours, and activities, take a good look at the price. It's also important to identify major bucket list activities that you know you're going to do, like bungee jumping in New Zealand or a yoga course in Costa Rica.
Search online to find the exact price before you go. Add it all up, toss in a little bit extra for the unexpectedly awesome things you might find. And if you don't spend it all, you still have a little bit of cash when you get home. But boss, what about money for food and stuff? I get "hangry." Everyone needs to eat, but where you eat makes a big difference.
Do you need to eat every meal in the restaurant or can you cook at the hostel? And can you brave $1 street meat? Each meal adds up, not to mention alcohol. Okay, Bros. I get it. Fights are expensive.
What about ground transportation? This can be a major cost if you're traveling a lot overland, like taking trains through Europe or doing a road trip across the States. You can search online to find the exact prices of Eurail passes ( in info box) or rental cars. Lastly, don't forget the hidden costs. Do you have a backpack or a suitcase? Mmm.
That's a 100-300 bucks. Is your passport valid for at least six months? Mmm. That's at least a hundred, extra if you need it rushed. Do you need a visa? Vaccinations? Travel insurance? All extra.
Now as promised, we're going to finish this video by answering a very frequent question: how much does it cost to travel around the world for a full year? Let's start with a major travel hack known as an around the world ticket, which literally lets you travel all the way around the world for up to a year on multiple flights for around two to three thousand dollars. But there are some rules. First: the whole trip must be made in one direction. One direction? No, east or west…No zigzagging, either.
Second: you have to complete the entire journey within a year, not a day longer. And last: you have to begin and end the trip from the same airport. So it's a round-trip ticket? All the way around the world, baby. Find out more at the website Airtreks.Com, which has a really useful trip planning tool that lets you mix and match destinations so you can get different estimates depending where you want to go.
There's a link in the info box. So once you've got your ticket, you obviously can't estimate for every expense in every place you go for an entire year. You need to start thinking in terms of your daily cost of travel in your target destinations. This number is basically everything you spend money on, apart from your major expenses like airplane tickets and bucket list items: food, accommodations, activities.
It's super important because small differences between countries can add up over a year. And it helps you decide where to go to maximize your savings. Websites like Budget Your Trip.Com are great for comparing the cost of travel in different places. But remember, always cross-check your estimates with different sources.
Guidebooks are great; so is Lonely Planet's Travel Forum called the Thorn Tree Forum. But the best is of course word of mouth, speaking to people who've recently been there. Also reading the comments section. All of you awesome Vagabonds out there are doing a great job in sharing your tips and your travel information in the comment section.
So if you have any of your own, be sure to drop a comment and help our fellow travelers out. Lastly, traveling for a full year gives you the flexibility to travel slowly, which is cheaper. You can spend more time in places during the shoulder season, travel on the cheapest day of the month, and most importantly work seasonal jobs along the way. This is what we call the Kiwi method because Kiwis and Aussies seem to work all the way around the world making the dream go on for years at a time.
We're going to make a dedicated video to what's known as a working travel visa. But the point is that working along the way means you have to save less before you go. Okay, now let's crunch some numbers. We'll assume one full year of traveling to every continent on earth, except Antarctica, starting and ending in LAX.
So how much do you think it's going to cost? Pause this video, write down a number, and compare it at the end. A shoestring budget means that you're in spend most your time in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and India, restricting your time in Europe to the south and eastern parts, and stopping in Australia to work for a season along the way. Your biggest single expense is going to be the around the world ticket, which for this route comes out to around 3,500 Bucks for around half a dozen stops. For accommodations you'll be staying in dorm rooms in Southeast Asia and India and couch surfing for free in Europe.
You'll be eating street food in Southeast Asia and shopping at supermarkets in Europe, avoiding restaurants whenever possible. You're not partying too much. You're buying most your booze in supermarkets and avoiding bars and clubs whenever possible. You take the cheapest transportation to get around and chances are you're probably going to be walking a lot.
You avoid almost all activities that cost money..$5 Massages in Thailand is a treat, but nothing too crazy. That means that the bare minimum for a full year traveling all the way around the world is 10,000 US dollars, but more realistically It's probably going to be around 15 grand. If you want a bit more comfort, some better accommodation, more meals and restaurants etc, bump that estimate up 20 or 30 percent, which is about 18 to 20 thousand dollars. For comparison the average cost of living in Los Angeles is around $23,000 a year, so traveling the world for a year can actually be much less expensive than staying at home.
But you should remember that you're not going to be earning money while you're traveling unless you're some sort of digital nomad. So you're going to have to save this money up, and that is the major challenge for traveling around the world for a year. But if you travel slowly and work along the way, that can bring the price down by a lot. We're going to address that in a future video.
So what do you think? How does it compare to your guess? Higher? Lower? Let us know in the comments section. In the meantime let us know if you have done around the world trip. Give us some of the most recent info on how much this is currently costing you. Put all the details you can in the comment section.
We're sure other travelers would really appreciate that. Now obviously for most of us, taking a full year off if you have debt or loans or whatever, it's not realistic. So don't be put off by the price tag. Tools we've given you should allow you to calculate a budget for whatever trip of whatever size.
Just start where you can for now. But if you're in the mood for a life-changing experience, hopefully this video has helped encourage you to take that first step for your big trip around the world. If you enjoyed this video, you know what to do: drop a comment, give it a thumbs- up, share it with your friends, and subscribe and turn on notifications if you have not already. Remember this video is just one part of a full series on how to travel around the world.
Check out those other videos. In the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we'll see you guys on the road. Peace..