Two weeks ago we celebrated the cumulative total of six months of travel and we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t the best time we’ve had of our lives.

We’d also prefer not to lie about just how expensive a life of travel can be when you’re on the road 24/7, skipping from one country to the other, sleeping where you can & desperately trying to keep the costs down whilst making sure you get the best out of an opportunity that not everyone gets to take.

When we rounded-up our first six months and asked you all some questions two weeks previous in – ‘Six Months of Travel – Now What?’ – after a couple of really nice “keep it up” & “we love following you” comments, the main comments we got through emails & over on our Twitter & Facebook pages were more along the lines of; “that’s great! but how much has it cost?”.

So lets see if we can answer that.

Six Months of Travel – The Finances

Our view of Dubrovnik - How Much We Spent in Six Months of Travel

our first day & bedroom view in Dubrovnik, Croatia

September

Countries Visited: 6 – Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine

Cities & Towns Visited: 7 – Dubrovnik, Mostar, Sarajevo, Belgrade. Budapest, Krakow, Kyiv

Trains Taken & Cost: Four – €201.16 / £173.53 / $262.78

Buses Taken & Cost: Six – €151.59 / £130.77 / $198.03

Metros Cost: €4.15 / £3.58 / $5.42

Total Transport Cost: €356.90 / £307.89 / $466.24

Accommodation Types: Hostels x3, Guest House x1, Apartment x1

note : all nights not spent in one of the above were spent Couchsurfing

Nights Couchsurfed: 11

Total Accommodation Cost: €227.69 / £196.42 / $297.44

Times We Ate Out: 14

Times We Cooked: 9

Times We Drank: 1

Total Food Costs: €257.25 / £ 221.92 / $336.06

Museums, Other Activities & Cost: 10 – €87.64 / £75.60 / $114.48

Other Costs:

New Umbrella & Hoodie for a Cold Franca – €16.11 / £13.89 / $21.04
Netbook Mouse for Dale – €1.45 / £1.25 / $1.89
Ukrainian SIM Card – €5.43 / £4.68 / $7.09
Other – €5.04 / £4.34 / $6.58

Other Facts for September:

Books Read by Dale: 1
Visas for Russia Bought: 0 (why no visas?)

GRAND TOTAL: €969.24 / £836.15 / $1266.18

Average Per Day Per Person: €16.15 / £13.79 / $20.83

Summary for September

Our first month was a mixture of precaution & the excitement that comes with finally being on the road after so many months of preparation. At times it was hard to keep our collective coins in our pockets when there was so much possibility for us in each country we went into. Our chief expenses were transport & food, with accommodation a close third. Just imagine how much more expensive our month would have been if we’d got the russian passports & taken the trans-siberian express as we’d hoped.

A large mansion in central Kyiv - How Much We Spent in Six Months of Travel

in old Kyiv during the first days of October

October

Countries Visited: 2 – Ukraine, Japan

Cities & Towns Visited: 13 – Kyiv, Tokyo, Yamadera, Utsunomiya, Nikko, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Osaka, Naoshima, Sandankyo, Hiroshima, Miyajima

Flights Taken & Cost: 2 – €753.81 / £650.30 / $984.75

Trains Taken & Cost: 52 – €1318.72 / £1137.64 / $1722.72

note – €1301.06 / £1122.41 / $1699.65 of this total is the purchase of two Japan Rail Passes (were they worth it?)

Metros Cost: €128.06 / £110.47 / $167.29

Buses Taken & Cost: 4 – €53.49 / £46.14 / $69.87

Boats Taken & Cost: 2 – €10.52 / £9.07 / $13.74

Total Transport Cost: €2264.62 / £1953.67 / $2958.42

Accommodation Types: Hostel x1, Guest House x1

note 1 : all nights not spent in one of the above were spent Couchsurfing

Nights Couchsurfed: 12

Nights Spent At A Friends: 9

Total Accommodation Cost: €112.08 / £97.05 / $146.32

Times We Ate Out: 18

Times We Cooked: 1

Times We Drank: 2

Total Food Costs: €366.09 / £316.99 / $477.93

Total Museums, Other Activities & Cost: 9 – €133.35 / £115.47 / $174.09

Other Costs:

Postcards from Kyiv – €5.70 / £4.94 / $7.44
Fishing in Nikko €14.53 / £12.58 / $18.97
Other – €45.56 / £39.45 / $18.97

Other Facts for October:

Recipes Learnt: 2
Times Franca Was Sick: 3
Religious Buildings Visited: 24

GRAND TOTAL: €2946.72 / £2551.53 / $3846.94

Average Per Day Per Person: €47.52 / £40.56 / $61.28

Summary for October

By far the most expensive month of the six we’ve travelled, it was more than expected from one of the worlds most expensive countries to live.

Japan has always been one of the highest destination points for Franca ever since she began to dream of a life of travel, so when our trans-siberian plan was laying to waste, an opportunity & a cheap(ish) flight to Japan was too easy to grasp.

The chief expenditure by far was transport, in the largest part by the Japan Rail Pass (Our Japan Rail Pass Verdict), but after much consideration before hand we knew that the payment of a bulk some now would work out best for the amount of trains & travel predicted for our month in Japan.

"Artwork covering a street in Beppu, Japan - How Much We Spent in Six Months of Travel

artwork in Beppu, Japan on the first day of November

November

Countries Visited: 2 – Japan, South Korea

Cities & Towns Visited: 6 – Beppu, Nagasaki, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, Seoul

Flights Taken & Cost: 1 – €423.83 / £366.99 / $553.31

note – in order to board our flight at the end of the month, our carrier insisted we buy an ongoing flight which cost us €412 / £356.75 / $537.87

Trains Taken & Cost: 6 – €4.36 / £3.78 / $5.69

note – five of November’s trains were covered by the previous months Japan Rail Pass

Metros Cost: €61.37 / £53.14 / $80.12

Buses Taken & Cost: 6 – €61.05 / £52.86 / $79.70

Boats Taken & Cost: 1 – €207.9 / £180.02 / $271.41

Total Transport Cost: €1188.41 / £1029.03 / $1551.47

Accommodation Types: Hostel x1, Jimjilbang x1

note 1 : all nights not spent in one of the above were spent Couchsurfing

Nights Couchsurfed: 19

Total Accommodation Cost: €78.47 / £67.95 / $102.44

Times We Ate Out: 28

Times We Cooked: 0

Times We Drank: 8

Total Food Costs: €361.62 / £313.12 / $472.09

Total Museums, Other Activities & Cost: 6 – €86.32 / £74.74 / $112.69

Other Costs:

Blog got hacked. Cost of repair: €77.96 / £67.50 / $101.78
Watching ‘Skyfall’ at the cinema: €5.78 / £5.00 / $7.55
Internet fee to book emergency flight mentioned above: €14.21 / £12.30 / $18.55
Others: €39.74 / £34.41 / $51.88

Other Facts for November:

Microbrewery Found & Conquered: 1
Recipes Learnt: 1
Coffees Bought: 4
Times Slept In Airport: 1

GRAND TOTAL: €1834.51 / £1588.48 / $2394.95

Average Per Day Per Person: €30.57 / £26.10 / $39.42

Summary for November

November was another expensive month for us, further sapping away of the little funds we have for travel – we have the total amount typically used for one person over 12 months – with the largest part being the sudden and rather annoying addition cost of a large Asian air company insisting we buy an onward flight for later in the year which took our transport costs past the €1000 mark.

Another annoying & unexpected expense was the cost of having our blog un-hacked by our hosting team Siteground after we were set upon twice by Turkish hackers, adding further strain to our funds.

Food costs were again quite high but we saved a little on accommodation by finding some great new friends & having some unforgettable Couchsurfing experiences for 19 nights.

A box of fried stinky tofu - How Much We Spent in Six Months of Travel

stinky tofu treats on the first of December

December

Countries Visited: 2 – Taiwan, Malaysia

Cities & Towns Visited: 10 – Taoyuan, Taipei, Taichung, Sun Moon Lake, Puli, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Hualen, Taroko Gorge, Kuala Lumpur

Flights Taken & Cost: 1

note – cost covered in previous month

Trains Taken & Cost: 3 – €48.54 / £42.03 / $63.37

Metros Cost: €18.75 / £16.24 / $24.48

Buses Taken & Cost: 11 – €63.41 / £54.91 / $82.78

Boats Taken & Cost: 0

Total Transport Cost: €130.70 / £113.17 / $170.63

Accommodation Types: None

note 1 : all nights either Couchsurfing or with friends

Nights Couchsurfed: 21

Nights Spent At A Friends: 13

Total Accommodation Cost: €0 / £0 / $0

Times We Ate Out: 23

Times We Cooked: 1

Times We Drank: 1

Total Food Costs: €199.86 / £173.06 / $260.92

Total Museums, Other Activities & Cost: 2 – €26.67 / £23.09 / $34.82

Other Costs:

Petrol to Sun Moon Lake – €26.53 / £22.97 / $34.63
New Pack of Uno Cards – €2.12 / £1.84 / $2.77
Live Music in Taipei – €10.44 / £9.04 / $13.63
Franca’s New Sunglasses – €1.24 / £1.07 / $1.62
Other – €31.83 / £27.56 / $41.55

Other Facts for December:

Times Dale Was Sick – 2
Travel Bloggers Met – 2
Books Franca Read – 1

GRAND TOTAL: €441.72 / £382.48 / $576.67

Average Per Day Per Person: €7.12 / £6.08 / $9.18

Summary for December

Best expense of the month? UNO Cards! Having been taught the ways of UNO from a Taiwanese friends daughter who we were staying with in Taiwan, we couldn’t help buy the first brand new pack we laid eyes on & it’s kept us happily busy during the slower days of travel for the remaining 3 months.

Our cheapest month out of the six travelled so far, largely due to the fantastic Couchsurfing community we found in Taiwan & Malaysia. Between locals & ex-pats, we found great new friends and opportunities to be in local areas, eating cheap local food & the watching the life of Taiwanese & Malay people away from the big inner cities.

Largest expense was food, and with more and more street food on the agenda, it’s not surprising that the times we’ve been eating out rather than making sometime for ourselves remains quite high.

A monkey eating a banana at the Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur - How Much We Spent in Six Months of Travel

we spent New Years Day with this cheeky fellow in Kuala Lumpur

January

Countries Visited: 3 – Malaysia, Singapore, Thaland

Cities & Towns Visited: 9 – Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, George Town, Penang, Pangkor Island, Cameron Highlands, Singapore, Phuket, Chumphon

Flights Taken & Cost: 1 – €123 / £106.50 / $160.58

Trains Taken & Cost: 0 – €0 / £0 / $0

Metros Cost: €14.37 / £12.44 / $18.76

Buses Taken & Cost: 11 – €126.61 / £109.63 / $165.29

Boats Taken & Cost: 2 – €21.01 / £18.19 / $27.43

Total Transport Cost: €161.99 / £140.27 / $211.48

Accommodation Types: Hostels x5, Guest House x1, Hotel x1

note 1 : all nights either Couchsurfing or with friends

Nights Couchsurfed: 10

Nights Spent At A Friends: 0

Total Accommodation Cost: €195.14 / £168.97 / $254.76

Times We Ate Out: 36

Times We Cooked: 0

Times We Drank: 1

Total Food Costs: €199.86 / £151.95 / $229.09

Total Museums, Other Activities & Cost: 1 – €18.26 / £15.81 / $23.84

Other Costs:

Mosquito Coils – €0.75 / £0.65 / $98
Haircut for Dale – €1.76 / £1.52 / $2.30
Malaysian SIM Card – €4.59 / £3.97 / $5.99
Other – €44.28 / £38.34 / $57.81

Other Facts for January:

Times We Ate in a Sikh Gurdwara – 4
Airports Slept In – 1
Beards Shaved – 1
Books Read By Dale – 4

GRAND TOTAL: €718.15 / £621.84 / $937.54

Average Per Day Per Person: €11.58 / £9.89 / $14.93

Summary for January

January’s costs for food can be attributed to the large amount of street food eating that is the common habit of Asian countries. More & more we were beginning to learn that cooking at home was something that was rarely done & that eating on small plastic chairs along the sidewalk, in food courts & small restaurants with only two or three walls was the norm. In fact, on asking our hostel manager in Melaka if there was a kitchen he replyed; “who needs a kitchen in Asia? No one cooks at home here”, and he wasn’t far wrong.

The top of a temple - How Much We Spent in Six Months of Travel

the first of many great temples from the first few days of February in Bangkok

February

Countries Visited: 2 – Thailand, Laos

Cities & Towns Visited: 6 – Bangkok, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Luang Prabang

Flights Taken & Cost: 0 – €0 / £0 / $0

Trains Taken & Cost: 4 – €33.45 / £28.96 / $43.67

Metros Cost: €3.10 / £2.68 / $4.05

Buses Taken & Cost: 7 – €50.78 / £43.97 / $66.29

Boats Taken & Cost: 2 – €14.14 / £12.24 / $18.46

Taxi’s Taken & Cost: 2 – €10.51 / £9.10 / $13.72

Total Transport Cost: €101.47 / £87.86 / $132.47

Accommodation Types: Hostels x1, Guest House x1

note 1 : all nights either Couchsurfing or with friends

Nights Couchsurfed: 11

Nights Spent At A Friends: 0

Total Accommodation Cost: €83.72 / £72.49 / $109.30

Times We Ate Out: 20

Times We Cooked: 0

Times We Drank: 1

Total Food Costs: €90.31 / £78.20 / $117.90

Total Museums, Other Activities & Cost: 2 – €6.51 / £5.64 / $8.50

Other Costs:

Hospital in Bangkok €94.17 / £81.54 / $122.94
Blind Massage in Chiang Mai – €7.52 / £6.51 / $9.82
Dale’s Travel Insurance for 6 Months – €375.94 / £325.52 / $490.79
Franca’s Travel Insurance for 6 Months – €359.95 / £311.68 / $469.91
Other – €5.83 / £5.05 / $7.61

Other Facts for February:

Times In The Hospital – 1
Travel Bloggers Met – 4
Hitchhikes Made 4
Recipes Learnt – 1

GRAND TOTAL: €1196.32 / £1035.88 / $1561.80

Average Per Day Per Person: €21.36 / £18.23 / $27.54

Summary for February

What would have been a cheap month on the cost of accommodation & transport alone, the sudden finding of a lump in my chest & the necessity to buy new travel insurance packages for the next 6 months gave a huge & sad shock to us, and especially our bank balances.

Not much money spent on other activities this month as we try to balance the large financial hit we’ve had to take, but we’ve more than made up for it with the amount of great food we ate in Thailand with it’s same ‘plastic chair & sidewalk’ culture, but with lower prices.

How Much We Spent In Six Months Of Travel

GRAND TOTAL for Six Months: €8106.66 / £6920.12 / $10453.54

Average Per Day Per Person for Six Months: €22.39 / £19.11 / $28.87

Filled out Thai visa application - How Much We Spent in Six Months of Travel

March sees us back on the road again heading towards Bangkok

Dollars, Yen & Back Again

How much we’ve spent in six months of travel is a hard amount to look at. €8000 is a hard sum to look at, close to £7000 or $10000 if you’d prefer. But would we change any of it?

No Chance

Each traveler has different requirements, different aspirations & sometimes there’s the possibility that they’ll not be travelling alone. You have to factor in how many beds you’ll need, how many meals you’ll be having out or making in your hostels kitchen, you have to decide if you’re going to sign-up for every tour possible, or just factor in one per city.

We make our financial decisions based on the moment and on our travel dreams & expectations. We try not to look at activities as how they’ll affect how long we’ll be able to travel on the saving we have left – but sometimes it’s hard not too. Maybe our dreams of full-time travel forever is a bit far fetched, but we’d love to try nonetheless.

Hopefully our round-up will give you some indication of the costs involved for travelling, but please bare in mind that we travel as a couple, each person travels differently and if you can make it happen, do it.

Here’s hoping we’ll be able to do another round-up in six months 🙂

Would you like to hear some tips on saving money before you travel?