What It Costs to Travel for Six Months

When people learn that we’re traveling for a year without working, they immediately want to know what the costs are and how we’ve paid for it.

In past posts, I’ve talked about how we saved $75,000 over two years by working extra jobs, running side businesses, hosting Airbnb guests and pets for extra cash, cutting expenses and then finally selling nearly everything we owned.

When it comes to what a trip like this costs, that’s a different animal entirely.  After six months of travel, here are our actual costs laid out.

In total, we spent $23,577.26 for two people.  

Our average daily cost was $128.84 (again as a couple).

Lunch by the sea in Tuscany.

Lunch by the sea in Tuscany.

With that, we traveled to South America, Africa and Europe visiting 10 countries.  

This total includes every expense from international flights to toothpaste.  It includes fun stuff like our day wine tasting in South Africa and necessary evils like international health insurance in case (god forbid) something were to happen and we’d need medical care or to be medevaced home.  (Luckily we’ve been very luckily and only had minor issues like bug bites, stomach issues and a surf board incident that resulted in a few stitches).

Exploring vineyards in South Africa.

Exploring vineyards in South Africa.

With this, we got to splurge on some amazing experiences:

  • Two weeks of one-on-one Spanish lessons in Ecuador
  • Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Surf camp in Peru
  • Wine touring in South Africa
  • Scuba diving with a seal colony in Cape Town
  • Cage diving with great whites in Cape Town
  • Resort stay with natural hot springs in Namibia
In Southern Bolivia

In Southern Bolivia

Here are some important ways we saved money:

Most importantly, we kept a budget and recorded our expenses everyday to stay on track.  

We started the trip breaking down our total set aside and dividing it equally among the days we'd be traveling.  This came out to $135/day, our daily budget.  Some days we went over, so others we knew we needed to buy groceries and cook in, walk around instead of sign up for a guided tour or spend time reading rather than paying for expensive entertainment activities.

Here’s what we spent on average each day by country:

What do you think?  Could you live abroad for six months for less than $12,000?