While writing theses lines we are sitting on a beautiful terrace in our Airbnb apartment in Florianopolis, Brazil. It is fall here and still 29 degrees during the day and pleasant cool nights. As we decided to travel only in the summer, we are flying back to Europe to spend this season there before we will resume our around-the-world trip in Ecuador.
Beautiful sunset in Florianopolis
After visiting Sugar Loaf in Rio, amazing São Paulo with all the wonderfull museums, art and food and finally the Iguaçu Falls our absorbability has come to a limit and we need to chill for a while. We are leaving South America from Brazil, the country where our trip started in February 2017.
Did you win in a lottery?
While travelling and meeting new people along the road, often the conversation, sooner or later, comes to the point where the question rises „how do you fincance your travels?“ We thought we should talk about the money subject a bit more in depth. But let us just mention one thing before. The most obvious thing that would prevent you to start a long journey is not the money, it is the decision to embrace that path of life. And no, we did not win in a lottery.
There are different ways of long-term travel and of course also different phases of your life where you might want to wander and leave your current path. For example after university before starting your professional career, between two jobs or after something has affected your life and you might think you need a break. These different stages of life will most probably also determine the way you want to travel. Are you able to sleep in a dormitory with 11 other travellers or do you need the privacy of your own room?
Your style of travel, your budget.
Based on our experience, and after discussing with many other travellers, it always comes down to three different categories of travel. Being a budget traveller is probably the cheapest way to explore the world. Sleeping in hostels, many of them are actually fantastic, staying with friends (couch surfing), house sitting or even carrying your own house (tent) is the cheapest way to get around. And it is definitely a fantastic way. When we were staying in hostels, we always easily connected with people around, shared dinners, drinks or even did activities together. Exploring together will lower the costs of transportation, to sights or to your next destination.
Our way of travelling is being the intermediate traveller. We stay more in private accommodations / rooms, we rent an Airbnb or a hotel room, which is often not more expensive. This way of travel offers more privacy; having said this, also Hostels provide private rooms and the possibility to connect at the same time with other travellers. We have choosen this way of travel as often a private room is the same price as two bunk beds.
The last variety of travel is the luxury traveller, where obviously the possibilites are endless. If you have won in the lottery this might be your style of travel. There sky is the limit.
Budget is everything
For us the budget is very important. Otherwise you will never be able to control your assets. A simple spread sheet will do and it will take you about 15 minutes a week to keep it up to date. After a while you will see that you have basically three different categories of spendings: Accommodation, Transport and Food/Activities. We have split these into 40 % for accommodation and 30 % and 30 % for the rest. We will write later about ways of saving in each of theses categories.
Different notes cumulating in our wallet
Let´s talk about money
Our monthly budget is CHF 2´500 per person which gives us CHF 83 per person per day to spend. Split into the groups this means CHF 33 per person per day for shelter and equally CHF 25 for moving around and food/activities. Of course these are just static numbers and you will have days lazing at the beach without any need to spend money for transportation or you cook your own food in your Airbnb or hostel kitchen, but in average and over the month it always comes out the same way.
The big picture
Going to Machu Picchu or Iguaçu Falls will definitely explode your budget. Traveling in Costa Rica might burst it as well, but that is fine. When your control your spendings you will realize that you have months below and months over limit. Over the year it will counterbalance.
A year of traveling the world our way will cost you CHF 30´000 or EUR 25´000 per person. For the budget version you will spend half of this number and you will save mostly on housing and food as the rest will stay the same.
Slow traveling will also keep you in budget but as mentioned before, we will write about ways of saving later in a more detailed way.
Think now about your budget and your way of travel and start saving some money every day. Having this money on an account after saving it over a year will give you a very good feeling and a sense of freedom. The next time your boss misbehaves, just think about your freedom of leaving right away for a year of adventure.
As far as we are concerned, we have saved and in addition to this, we both have rented our flats away in Switzerland which gives us extra income. But once back home we will need to work again. And behave. Oh no, let's never go home!
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