Money: Pre Trip Travel Budget for 1 Year

As we have been planning this trip for a while now we have a rough idea of how much money we will need to sustain us as nomadic travellers for a year.

Over the past 5 years we have had many holidays overseas, however these were just that – holidays! There was never any budget in place and we just enjoyed our time and indulged when we wanted, because we could. These trips were never long-term and lasted anywhere from 1 week to 3 weeks at a time.

This time is a totally new ball game. Travel is going to be our life for a year so we have to treat it as such.

Earlier this year on a trip to Bali we tried living frugally and within a predetermined budget to see if we could do it. We allocated a budget of $120 a day, I’m not going to say it was easy as we were used to a different level of comfort but we did it.

We were never luxury travellers, but having a budget forced us to look for local food at local places and stay at smaller hotels and guesthouses.  We saw Bali in a different light and found that our experience was not lessened by going budget, it was actually enriched as we met more locals and had a more authentic experience. (Although I did miss the big white fluffy dressing gowns and white slippers)

If you are thinking of long-term travel then this is an excellent way to test out your new budget.

So what is our budget?
We have decided that we need different amounts for different places as the cost of accommodation, transport, food and activities varies from country to country.


We have grouped all the countries we will be visiting in Asia together because for the most part costs are relatively similar. Where one country is cheaper, another will be a little more expensive, thus averaging the figure out.

Our budget for Asia is $120 a day. This includes all accommodation costs for our family of 6, food, transport around the local area and visa’s.

If we can also fit some activities into this budget that would be awesome, however we have allocated a special activity budget to make sure we can do everything we want to do while not having to worry about the days budget.

What kind of trip would it be if we had to miss out on special activities and historic sites to ensure we keep to our daily budget. (We have allocated $5,000 as our special budget for activities and sites.)

UK and Europe:

We figure this will be the most expensive region to travel in given the AUS to Euro and GBP is not that great so we have set a daily budget of $200 per day.  Again this will include all the essentials, however we are hoping to do things a bit differently in Europe.

$200 a day for a family of 6 is extremely tight, so we are looking at hiring or maybe purchasing a campervan. This way we can travel, sleep and cook in it as well.  We figure this will help us save loads of money and doing it this way a budget of $200 a day is more realistic.

Canada, USA and Hawaii:

We have family in Canada and the USA but are still hoping to do a similar thing as we are doing in Europe.  Having our own wheels will give us the freedom to see what we want, when we want. (We are hoping to purchase a van to resell when we are done.)

We are thinking of flying into New York and doing the west coast of the US then going up to Canada, after Canada heading down to the east coast.  We have allocated a budget of $150 a day for these countries.

We hope we can stick to this budget by staying with family and friends when we can.  Accommodation costs are not too steep but we will need 2 rooms. So when we do need to pay this expense it will take up at least half of our daily budget.

New Zealand:

We have friends and family all over the North Island of New Zealand, but none on the South Island.  So for this reason we have allocated a budget of $150 a day.  As it will be summer when we visit we are hoping to camp around the South Island.  New Zealand is generally a very expensive place to visit but we are hoping to cut costs by staying with family and friends, and camping when we can’t.

So that’s a breakdown of our total budget for the year. So what is the total overall figure for the year?

Total Overall Budget:

Asia : 4.5 months @ $120 per day $15,120

UK and Europe: 3 months @$200 per day $16,800

Canada, US and Hawaii: 3.5 months @$150 per day $14,700

New Zealand: 1 month @$150 per day $4,200

Total Amount $50,820


Whats not included in this amount?

Pre-Trip costs like Travel Insurance, Immunizations and Travel Gear. (Approx $2,000)

We have put aside $5,000 as a special activity fund that we can use for family excursions like Disneyland, Legoland and Harry Potter World.

Airfares.  We have found it is a lot cheaper doing point to point fares rather than round the world tickets. We have already booked our first 4 months of flights, so the main flights will be Asia to Europe, Europe to USA and USA to Hawaii and Hawaii to New Zealand.  We are then going to use our air-points to fly home from New Zealand to Perth Australia.  (Approx $10,000)

So if you were to add in these costs we have an approximate cost for 1 year of travel for a family of 6 at $67,820.

We will have a buffer for emergencies etc, but I am secretly hoping we can survive on less than this without sacrificing too many comforts.  We are also planning on working remotely part-time to help our travel fund out. Stay tuned as we travel to see if we are able to keep to this budget, and what ways we try to make money on the road. If you are not already subscribed to our list then please do, that way you will never miss a post from us!



Comments 5

  1. Tau ke! You fullaz are awesome…its so great to see a young Maori whanau that have the kaha to travel the world with their Tamariki. And what an awesome experience it will be for your tamariki.

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  2. Pingback: Money Talk | Four In Transit

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