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How Much Money Do I Need to Save Before I Go Traveling? (A Budget Tip for Travelers)

There are two questions I’m asked on a weekly basis.   How much money do I need to travel and how far can I travel for a given amount of money. If you look through my previous posts you can find “11 ways to save money while traveling” but I still receive regular questions about money BEFORE traveling.

I’m confident that everyone planning a backpacking trip has already googled “how much money”  “backpacking budget” etc.  I’m also pretty sure that on every page you found a different answer was given. Unfortunately, there is no answer as to how much money do you need to travel around the world.  Everything comes down to you, how picky are you and what are willing to live without?

I know people that have lived for less than 10USD a day in Norway and Switzerland and I know people with a 150USD a day budget for Thailand, Mexico, and India. Again I will say how picky are you and what can you live without?

A Spanish friend that I meet in Iran had made it from Ferrol in far western Spain to Iran for less than 100Euro, he hitchhiked and did volunteer work all the way.
In the end, did he make it all the way to Singapore with spending LESS than 500Euro (plus visa fees) on a 10-month journey.

I remember the first time I went on a trip.  I had worked for a few months and I was very concerned and nervous that I didn’t have enough money for even two months of traveling, but I managed to travel for eleven months on that trip.

So save as much money as you can at home before going away.  Live as cheaply as you can for some time. Buying a new smartphone can cost the same as more than one month of traveling in Nepal.   Clubbing (In Norway) just one Saturday will cost you more than one week of traveling in most Asian countries. A cinema trip could cost three days of traveling.  Can you walk or bike to your job instead of driving?

Check out this post from Mary about how she traveled 6months in Asia for 2000usd

Ask yourself the question ‘do I really need to travel for a whole year is six months enough?’  Is it not better to do a short trip if you have a limited amount of money (as most of us do) than to do no trip at all.

I seem to spend less and less money on my trips but most of that is from experience and the first week on the trip is always the most expensive one.

Don’t forget to check out this post about traveling ruined my life

So to answer the question ‘How much money do I need to save up before I go travelling?’  I never spend more than 10,000USD a year traveling, but I have friends that do the same for 1,000USD.   Could I spend less than 10,000USD a year? Yes, definitely!

You can also read my post ” 5 Destinations you can live for less than 20USD (US Dollars) a day”, to get some ideas about where to go or how to save money on food while traveling

Everything You Need To Know About Being A Digital Nomad | Modern Money Life

Wednesday 22nd of August 2018

[…] decide if it’s a lifestyle you can afford, it’s worth working out how much money you would need to travel for a year. The answer will vary depending on where you want to travel, but there are some areas which are […]

Apoorva Singh

Monday 9th of April 2018

Fantastic post, after reading your post I must say running a blog is not a tough task. I would like to request you to provide guidance for my post- thanks in advance

Dave Robison

Tuesday 20th of September 2016

I'm going to share this on my Facebook page, On The Road With Dave. Came here from the Recent Post thread. My wife and I are traveling the Camino in two years.

Arpan Modi

Friday 4th of December 2015

What I believe is you can't be sure that this much will be enough as I thought..!!


Wednesday 18th of November 2015

I think it doesn't really matter that much where you go. I know some people who hitchhiked all the way to Asia and all of them said that they spend most of their money in India - even if it is the cheapest country on their trip. Why? Because it is so over populated and dirty that they had to check in in hostels and hotels. In other countries they were able to stay outside or just go camping. for me it was about the same. I hardly didn't spend any money in Alaska while Ecuador was quite expensive. I traveled with 9000 Dollar for 17 month :) Everything is possible.

Christian L.

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

Hii. I do agree that it does´s rally matter where you travel, with a few exception. Especially west Africa where all/most cheap guesthouse/hotel doesn't accept foreigners. On India do I only half agree, If you visit the main touristy areas, like Varanasi, Goa, Rishikesh and Rajasthan etc.

In those places will the hotels be expensive (its the most overpopulated), but if you head of the tourist trail, especially to the north east, so will it be a totally different world. It´s actually clean up there, no begging, no hassle, but VERY few tourist goes to that area. India has the problem that 99% of all tourists only go to the same places, nobody goes out to explore.

And it's absolutely no problem to camp in India, but like I said 99% of the tourist in India don't visit those places.