It’s hard to believe but has been over 2 years that we are traveling the world. We celebrated 2 years of our nomadic life in April 2016, but only now, during our New Year’s Resolutions that I felt the need to write about it. To celebrate our achievements and to share with you how much does it cost to travel the world for so long.
Life is made of choices! When I look back to these 2 years traveling around the world I feel proud, I feel happy and I’m sure we are following our dreams. This post is part of our how much does it cost to travel the world series, where we share the costs of traveling and living in different cities, countries e continents. We did our 6 months and one year traveling the world round-up, now it’s time to put together the figures of 2 years full-time traveling, how we did it and how much we’ve spent.
Two years traveling around the world figures
It’s hard to choose where to go when we want to explore the world. However, a few things are important to us: safety, nature, beaches and good internet. That’s how we choose the places we want to visit, dream destinations and countries that we can stop for awhile, have fun and focus on blogging. During this incredible 2-year journey, we traveled to 24 countries [15 on the 1st year and 9 countries on the 2nd]. Our style of traveling is a mix of tourist attractions, local experiences, adventures and some free time for blogging.
Here are the places we visited on our second year traveling around the world:
- Continents: Asia and Europe
- Countries: 9 – Bulgaria (3 cities – 54 days), France (5 cities – 6 days), Germany (1 city – 3 days), Indonesia (1 city – 5 days), Italy (9 cities – 15 days), Malaysia (2 cities – 12 days), Spain (7 cities – 11 days), Thailand (7 cities – 232 days), Vietnam (7 cities – 27 days).
- Cities – 42 cities in total
- Different Languages – 9
How much does it cost to travel the world?
The important question: how much does it cost to travel the world for 2 years? Most of people are more curious about how much money it’s needed to travel the world, than actually how to do it. But actually, one thing depends on the other. If you don’t plan your trip around the world wisely, you won’t be able to predict how much it will cost. So the first tip is: when it comes to money, you must keep control of everything.
We keep track of every penny we spend, from accommodation to water bottles, public bathrooms and lockers. There are plenty of Apps that can help you control your expenses, but we are old school, we take notes on our phone and send to each other via WhatsApp. Later on, Rob fill out the spreadsheets and voilà we have our travel budget control. By doing this we know when we can splurge and when we need to tighten the belt.
So, how much does it cost to travel the world? In our second year as digital nomads we spent:
- Accommodation: USD 3,141
- Transportation: USD 3,575
- Eating out: USD 3,008
- Groceries: USD 1,858
- Going out & drinks: USD 2,284
- Attractions: USD 325
- Insurance: USD 2,291
Of course, there are other expenses but the ones mentioned above takes the biggest chunk. The important number to share here is that on our second year traveling the world we spent a total of USD 17,515. That means that as a couple our daily cost of traveling the world was USD 47.98, USD 24 per person per day. This is freaking low, compared to how many places we visited and experiences we had.
Now let’s break down these figures! We were able to travel with such a low budget because we’ve spent most of the year in Southeast Asia. There the food is dirty cheap and you can get amazing places to live for a fraction of what you would pay in Europe or the USA. Have a look into how much did it cost to travel the world by regions:
- Europe: USD 2,557 for 35 days of travels [USD 36.53 per person per day]
- Eastern Europe: USD 721 for 54 days in Bulgaria [USD 6.68 per person per day]
- Southeast Asia: USD 14,237 for 276 days [USD 25.792 per person per day]
Our trip in Europe was on a budget, and we manage to save a lot on attractions by doing free walking tours and joining the free days on museums and attractions. We divided Europe from Eastern Europe because the costs of traveling are very different between the two regions. Also in Bulgaria, we did almost two months of house-sitting, which helped us to save a lot of money and enjoy the stunning countryside. Have you heard of house and pet sitting? Read our article about house sitting and how to travel for free!
While Europe was on a budget, in Southeast Asia we splurged a bit more. We did a lot of activities and tours, and even though we ended up spending less than in Europe. Not only because Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam are cheaper countries, but also because when you stay longer you can get better deals. We saved a lot by renting an apartment for 3 months in Chiang Mai, and in Bangkok, we did 3 months of house and pet sitting, free accommodation again. Also, we worked with some hotels and tourism boards during the year, a total of 26 nights that we didn’t pay for our accommodation, well we paid with our blogging work.
So, how much does it cost to travel the world for 2 years? If we add the figures from our first year of travels we get a total of USD 54,047, an average of USD 75.05 per day for both of us. Or if you prefer, USD 37,02 per person per day. This is less than we would spend back home. I can say that for us is cheaper to travel the world than to live in Brazil. Sounds crazy, but it’s true!
If you want to learn more about the costs of traveling in each country, check out our how much does to travel the world page, there you will find our travel expenses and budget for different locations, from Portugal to Thailand.
Now that you already know how much does it cost to travel the world for two years on a Love and Road style, it’s time to share our travel tips. How we did it, saving money hacks, how to plan and make the most of your travel budget.
How to travel around the world: Planning Tips!
When you become a nomad and traveling is part of your daily life, things become easier. Changing countries, going through customs, packing, unpacking, flights, bus and trains are part of what we do and what we love.
Planning is the key for traveling the world! When I say planning I don’t mean that you need to book all the hotels, transportations and attractions months or a year in advance. The beauty of nomadic life is to live spontaneously, to be free. But even a life full of freedom needs a bit of organization so you can save money and enjoy the world.
Transportation, how to travel the world and save money?
In Europe, we traveled by train, bus and car [renting a car in Europe is a great option if you have time and people to share the costs]. In Asia, we traveled in so many ways that it’s hard to remember: train, bus, flights, vans, big boats, small boats, motorbikes…. To reach some off-the-beaten-path destinations we found ourselves in endless journeys mixing all types of transportation.
To save money we try to book our flights in advance, especially if it’s a long haul. Always keep an eye on low-cost airlines like Ryanair in Europe and AirAsia in Southeast Asia, they have sales quite often. To book the best and cheapest flight we use and recommend two websites: Kiwi.com and Skyscanner. We always find the best price when booking through them.
We are big fans of Eurail Passes, for me, there is no better and easier way to travel in Europe, maybe it’s not the cheapest but I think it’s worth the investment. If you are in Asia, check 12 Go Asia for buses and ferry tickets.
How to choose accommodation when traveling around the world?
Internet connection and cleanliness are our major concerns when booking a room. During these 2 years traveling the world, we have slept in a lot of different places, from airports to campervans, buses, trains, tents, nice apartments, hotels and friends house. We have learned that the secret to saving money on accommodation is to research a lot and have patience enough to read all the hotel reviews.
How to save money on accommodation when traveling the world?
Research and planning are essentials to find good, cheap and comfy accommodation. We already learned that hostels aren’t the cheapest option everywhere in the world. Actually, they can be very expensive, especially if you are traveling as a couple or a group of friends. Rent a room or an apartment via Airbnb is the best option for groups or when you are craving for that homey feeling [get up to 30 USD discount on your Airbnb booking here]. And a 5-star hotel is a well-deserved treat after an adventure trip. There are no fixed rules, when you travel for so long you need to find your own balance, be happy and spend wisely.
To research and book accommodation we use and recommend these websites:
- Agoda: they are the best for hotels and hostels in Asia,
- Booking.com: everywhere around the world, especially in Europe.
- Airbnb: for a home away from home,
If money is not a problem, you can spoil yourself by staying in some amazing 4 and 5 stars hotels across the globe. But even though, research before booking, you can stretch your money and invest in some great and unique experiences.
On the other hand, if you are really on a budget think about doing house and pet sitting. Free accommodation, lovely pets and a great way to travel like a local. We have done it a couple of times and love it. Couchsurfing is another free option, we haven’t done it, but some people love it.
Another good option to save on accommodation and even make some money is to work in hostels. Here is a guide about how to get a job in a hostel.
How to pack to travel the world for 1 or 2 years?
Again, there is no fixed rules, but do a favor to yourself: pack light! You will save money on flights and it’ll be easy to get around. During these two years traveling the world, we managed to decrease the number of clothes and shoes we carry. Our backpacks became smaller and we still look stylish. Become a full-time traveler doesn’t mean you need to turn into a hippie or stop wearing nice clothes. The idea is to be more selective, minimalist and travel better.
In February of 2016, we decided to change our big backpacks [15 to 17 kg each bag] for two carry-on backpacks. It was a big change and we wrote a blog post explaining the whole process and why we did it. For me it wasn’t an easy decision, but so far no regrets. Be inspired by my light packing, watch our video and learn some tips to pack smart and choose the rights clothes for traveling the world.
If you are in doubt about which backpack or which suitcase you should buy to travel the world, my suggestion is: go for a backpack or a suitcase/backpack [the convertible ones]. It’s a pain in the ass to travel with big suitcases! If you travel to urban destinations it is fine, but if you are going to beaches, islands, jungle, boat trips… then it’s a nightmare! We invited 15 travel bloggers to share their tips and recommendations for the best backpack for traveling, from carry-on size to convertible ones. Read the full backpack review here.
Curious about what we use for photography and blogging? All our travel equipment, electronics and camera gears are listed on our Travel Resource page. Check it out!
Health, Safety, Insurance and Nomad Life
As I said before, we are not on holidays, travel is our lifestyle so we need to look after ourselves, stay healthy and safe during this big adventure. How do we do it? Balance is the key and good travel insurance is a must.
At that time we used a 6 months global travel and health insurance from World Nomads. Every semester we renew it, and for us, it’s an investment, not an expense. When I was rushed to the hospital in Chiang Mai – Thailand, they covered the treatment and the days I stayed in the hospital. If I had to pay for it, it would have cost twice the price of our 6 months insurance. Have good travel insurance gives you peace of mind. Doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing, yourself and your stuff are protected. Nowadays we use HeyMondo or SafetyWing, both have good policies and are more affordable than WorldNomads.
Eating healthy and exercising are important for us. We try to run as much as we can. It’s not everywhere that we have access to a gym and we love to combine running & sightseeing.
Learn to appreciate the local cuisine, the vegetable and fruits from the season, this way you can eat better and spend less. Fresh markets are the perfect place to get to know about local food and buy them cheaply. Travelling is all about opening your mind to new realities and possibilities, and that includes food.
Keep in mind that in many countries tap water is not safe and this is something you need to take seriously. If you have food allergies [like me], learn how to explain it in the local language and always carry your medicines. Don’t be a fool!
We have talked about how much does it cost to travel the world, how to plan your journey and ways to save money. But there are other two things that are as important as travel costs: travel documents and visas. If you gonna start a trip around the world, become a digital nomad, or just going for a holiday, please read these 2 important posts:
Now you know how much does it cost to travel the world on our way. Travel budgeting always depends on the personality and style of traveling. There are no fixed rules, you can spend more than us, or doing far more destination with half of what we spent on 2 years traveling the world.
What we want is to prove that travel can be affordable. That with planning you can do a lot, discover amazing places, and have memorable experiences. Hope our 2 years travel budget breakdown will help you to plan your next trip. And let us know how much does it cost to travel the world in your style?
Love this post? Save on Pinterest for later!
34 thoughts on “How much does it cost to travel the world for 2 amazing years? Our budget and travel tips!”
Wow, $24 a day that’s totally impressive! What’s funny is that your total cost for all your food and alcohol is more than the total of your accommodations and transportation combined.
It would be cool to see another post of a breakdown of your entire itinerary. Major travel wanderlust for sure. 🙂
Shame on us, we love a good party and drinks with friends! lolololol
And we saved a lot on accommodation by doing house-sitting in Europe and in Asia, what put our costs of travelling really down.
wow! that’s all I can say.. and well done!
What a thorough, useful, and inspiring post! It’s inspiring in particular to see how much you could do and see on less than $30 per person per day. I remember trying to explain this to people after traveling on $10 per day in Southeast Asia and it just seems impossible from the vantage point of an American city like mine with rent over $2,000 a month… but it’s very possible!
I know Lillie, people than to think that travel is expensive and to go on a long journey you need o be rich. It’s all about choices and planning well. Kudos for doing Southeast Asia on a $10 per day, that’s a super tight budget.
All the best,
Posts like this are my favourite to read as they make me want to pack up and do a year abroad! I’m so glad you mentioned suitcases vs backpacks. I’ve always used my backpack but thought I might take my suitcase to Asia – you’ve convinced me otherwise! Also really glad to see how you broke up the costs of things – makes it seem more manageable to save up that money!
Hi Maddy, if you are heading to Southeast Asia and you plan going out of the beaten path, so a backpack is the best choice! We keep all our expenses organised so we know where we are spending too much, or when we can splurge a bit more.
Wow, you have spent a very small amount of money to travel the world. I am a big fan of Western Europe that tends to be more expensive but still. as you suggested housesitting and planning are great ways to save money.
I love Western Europe too, and this third year of Love and Road won’t be so cheap, as we are going for 3 months in Europe.
I believe the key is to find your balance and plan wisely. House-sitting is a great way to save on accommodation.
Such an in-depth guide! I love this and congrats on making your dollar go so far. Love your adventures.
Being on the road fo long is not easy, but it’s a big fun adventure!
All the best,
It’s a help to see what steps you took to keep going so long. I wonder if your tally includes all the comped accommodations and tourism board treats?
Thanks for pointing these question. I’ve updated the article with the numbers of comped nights 😉
Kudos to you for staying on the road for so long. This type of travel just isn’t for me. I get cranky and want to be in my own home, even for just a few days. And lugging everything I own around is something I just can’t imagine doing. I much prefer 1-2 week long trips and then some time at home before the next adventure.
Totally understand you, long-term travelling is not easy and it’s not for everyone. So far we are happy on the road, but not sure until when we’ll be doing this. Maybe in the future we decide to settle down and do a few trips every year.
All the best,
Wow! These are some great tips, for someone even if they are traveling for a year. I have never thought about traveling for a year, but the costs that you have laid out don’t seem to out of reach.
Long-term travelling is not for everybody, but if you do it with a good planning it’s possible. It all depend on your style of travelling and on how much you want to spend.
Massive congrats on two years of travel! And thanks for sharing your cost saving tips – we like to think we travel pretty frugally, but $50 for a couple beats us by a mile – super impressed!! Totally agree with you that planning is your friend – it’s easy to fall into the romantic notion of spontaneity, but you can quickly overspend if you haven’t done the research to know about the local tourist scams, or that the train is cheaper than a taxi, or even just from getting stuck with expensive flights because you didn’t book early enough to claim a deal 🙂
Planning is the key, for sure. And what you told is so true, we need to be prepared to avoid scams and know where you a travelling to, this way you can save money and time.
Thanks for stopping by!
This is a great breakdown but you were very lucky to have had two house-sitting gigs which lowered your expenses tremendously. Good for you for finding balance which allowed you to travel the way you both wanted. Keep it up!
House-sittings are amazing, not only because you can save a lot, but you have a base for while. You can rest and plan the following months. Gives a great balance during a long journey.
Such a detailed and inspiring post! Looks like you’ve had two amazing years and managed to keep the costs relatively low. i think I’d go insane at the thought of switching to a carry on backpack for such a trip. Still, amazing idea an I am sure it saved you quite a bit of money on plane tickets.
Travel with only a carry-on is not easy, but if you are in hot countries is doable. And as you said, it helps cutting costs and it’s wy easier to pack and unpack all the time.
All the best,
This is a really great and comprehensive guide! I need to look into housesitting as an accommodation option, I have a couple of DN friends who do it, but the only thing that has stopped me from really checking it out is a lack of driver’s license and most of these housesits are in areas that requires you to drive in and out from!
Not all the housesitting require cars, some of them are out of the beaten path, but depending on the season you can get around with a bicycle. Have a close look at the house and pet sitting websites, you will find a lot of opportunities.
All the best,
This story is amazing. Many thanks for sharing your experience
My partner and i are trying to plan a trip for the next 6 months. We’ve save up around $40NZD. 1) do you think this is enough? and 2) how many stops is too many stops? right now on our list we’ve got around 13 countries..
How are you?
1 – You mean 40 NZD per person per day? If so I reckon that in Southeast Asia and in Eastern Europe you will be fine.
2 – It all depends on what you want to see and your style of traveling. In the beginning, we used to change places quite often nowadays we tend to stay longer in a place.
Enjoy your trip!
wow this is shocking …… i add this to my dream list
That is so inspiring guys! A lot of people dream about travelling the world but so few do what it takes to make it happen. With some careful planning and sacrifice you’ve been able to share experiences most people only ever dream about. I will definitely be bookmarking this post for reference for our own travels, thank you so much for sharing.
Absolutely! Safe travels!