My Travel Expenses

Nutshell 6 months into the trip (October 2016-March 2017):

  • About $50 a day, NOT including all flights.
  • About $55 a day INCLUDING all flights.

These are approximates for South Africa, Indonesia, and Australia for 4 weeks):

  • 30% on accommodation-30% of travel has included free accommodation
    • Would be about $22 a night if I had ZERO friends to visit. lol
  • 30% on food- $17 a day.
  • 20% on necessary travel- $11 a day
  • 20% on fun-$11 a day

All Numbers are based on US Dollars. I’m sharing this so people with similar travel goals can learn from it in budgeting and planning for their travels!

Splitwise is an incredibly helpful app that lets you split up group travel, budget, and see breakdowns of expense categories. I didn’t use this in the 1st 3 months of my trip, but I’m going start at the beginning of 2017 breaking down categories into: Travel, Accommodation, Food, Booz, Extra (tours, sports, etc.)

Mint.com is another tool I’ve used in the past for managing spending, investments, assets, and budgeting.


From now on I’m only going to post groupings of time with outlier expenses and lessons learned from them. Here is the 1st:

Stop 10: Croatia and Hungary June 19-July 10, 2017

Traveling with a friend from home who is making money will probably be expensive. I blessed that I’ve save well and this doesn’t break me, but for a lot of Africa and SE Asia traveling friends, bad planning like this would definitely have ended their trip early.

After this I’m definitely going to lay low  and focus on living simply.

What I learned never to do when you’re on a budget:

  • Let your friend book everything and bill you. At the very least take half of the responsibility.
    • Big mistakes: automatic rental car, renting a car in cities without free parking, booking 2 rooms for 6 nights when 1 room had accommodation for 3 people, booking car transfer when a bus or train was available for cheaper, booking parties when equal parties were free.
  • Travel to tourist traps (Croatia in the summer, music festivals, big events like Octoberfest, etc.)
  • Don’t commit to festivals and crowded places unless you’re going with a veteran  of the event and really understand what it’s all about.

$1,690 (Pre-booked by friend. Below + $353 car rental) + $1,182 (Credit Card) + 631 (Cash)

=$3,503 or $167 a day! And these aren’t even the most expensive European countries. I haven’t been counting over the last 3 or 4 months because I’ve been well under $2000 a month, but now I’ll have to reign my spending in big time.  I’ll take it as a challenge and have some fun with it! 😉


STOP 1: My Ireland costs ($1=1.1 Euro during my trip)

  • $52 a day includes everything

10/5-10/24: $350 cash+$630 credit card=$980 total / 19 days=$52 a day

This did not include accommodation or airfare. I did eat very well, I bought my cousin a gift, overpaid for a rental car because we got insurance (get an Amex and it will insure you cheaper.) I stayed with my cousin on Lower Baggot St. and my flight was $220 on Wow airlines.

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STOP 2: Southern Africa ($1=14 Rand during my trip)

  •  $46 a day
  • Includes in multiple road trips (some rentals some with friend’s cars), 7 days in Tofo, Mozambique & a week in Zambia, Zim, & Botswana.

10/24-1/2: $2100 cash+$2510 credit card= $4610 / 100 days = $46 a day

My flight from Dublin to Joburg was $274.  I stayed with my friends Stan, Stewie, the Friedmans, the Baragwanaths, & Nico for approximately 30 nights of free accommodation out of 100.

Tofo, Mozambique: $320 in 7 days is about $46 a day. Pariango backpackers was about $5 a night, meals range from $1-10, and scuba diving cost about $40 per dive. Another expenses outside of these expenses was the visa for Americans, which cost me $98 at the airport. Tofo is a place you could live off $15 a day comfortably if you don’t spend a lot on activities.

Summary: Booz can put a big dent in your wallet if you make a daily part of life and not just a treat.

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STOP 3: Indonesia ($1= 13,333 Rupiah during my trip)

  •  $37 a day
  • Savings: 4 nights sleeping at a friends house in Jakarta.
  • Includes: Flights from Jakarta to Bali and Lombok to Bali, boat from Bali to Gilis to Lombok, 5 scuba dives at about $40 each, scooter rental ($4 a day & gas is around $2 a day), much better meals than the 1st world at about 25%-50% the cost, a lot of alcohol and going out.

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STOP 4: Australia ($0.78 NZD=$1USD during my trip)

  •  $53 a day
  • Includes
  • Savings: 10 nights sleeping at a friends house in Melbourne, 3 nights staying with people I met on the beach in Sydney for $30 a night instead of $40.

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STOP 5: New Zealand ($0.71 NZD=$1USD during my trip)

  •  $46 a day
  • $1100 / 24 days
  • Big expenses outside of normal living: Gas, car rental, Milford Sound tour, Abel Tasman trek fees.
  • Savings: 3 days in $1 p/day rental car relocation, 10 nights sleeping at a friends house in Nelson, hitch hiking, grocery stores instead of restaurants, not much alcohol.
  • Things I skipped that other tourists often do: Sky dive, Bungy Jump, rent a camper van.

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Reflections after 1st 5 stops:

When I’m in a place that’s less expensive, with more young, broke travelers, I tend to pick up more bar tabs, buy more people meals, spend more on myself in general. This makes the savings per day very little, even though the perceived savings is huge before you do the math.

When I treat someone, I’d rather give them a gift or do something with them they’ll be more likely to remember. Rather than just picking a tab that they’ll likely forget the next day.

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