How Much Does a Round the World Trip Cost?

It’s one of the first questions asked by anyone considering it — how much does a round the world trip cost?

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This article is our best shot at nailing down just how much it costs to travel around the world.Well, it’s tricky to give an exact answer to this question because every trip is based on different variables like destinations, timing and traveling style.

If you want to see our hard number, jump down to that section here. Otherwise read on to see why a hard number shouldn’t be trusted.

What variables affect costs?

These things have the most influence on the cost tally for your trip:

  • When you go – it has a huge influence on the overall cost of an around the world trip. Prices in a given location can vary wildly depending on the time of year you’re there. Also known as seasonality.
  • Where you go – parts of the world are more expensive than others. Europe, the USA, Australia and Japan are going to cost more. India, Southeast Asia and Central America will bring the cost down.

You can estimate your airfare costs with our Around the World TripPlanner

  • What you do when you’re there – going out for adventures every day (or every other day) will bring up the total cost of your trip.
  • Your accommodations – hostels, hotels, guest houses, long-term rentals. Each have a huge effect on your trip’s cost, up or down.
  • The type of food you eat – whether you eat at street vendors, supermarkets, restaurants, local’s houses or Buddhist monasteries will alter your food budget.

What is generally included in the cost of a round-the-world trip?

There are really only a few archetypical things that people spend their money on when they travel and can be summed up easily:

Plane tickets – getting from region to region. The average cost of an AirTrek tends to be in the $2500 – $3500 range per person including taxes. Over the last 20 years this number has actually remained pretty stable. You can estimate the cost of your plane tickets with our TripPlanner or call one of our Personal Travel Consultants at 415.977.7100 and they can get you quick estimate.

Tag a price on your budget spreadsheet around $3300. If your trip comes in lower, that’s a bonus!

Accommodations – where you stay. These can range from the most barebones dormitory-style hostel to a fairly luxurious hotel or resort. Of course you can mix and match, and you will over the course of your trip. After plane tickets, accommodations will be the most expensive part of your travel budget.

Landing in BarcelonaPlan on $20 – $40 per night in inexpensive regions and $90 – $150 in expensive ones. (Less if you plan to sleep in hostels every night.)

Food/Drink – what you eat every day. This item can range from supermarket picnicking to street food to restaurants. This will vary from meal to meal. The less you spend every meal on food the cheaper your RTW trip will be.

Plan on $1 – $5 per meal per person in inexpensive regions and $5 – 20 per meal per person in expensive ones.

Activities – also known as what you do with your time besides eating. These are things like tours, museums, adventure activities (rafting, zip lining, Zorbing), elephant riding. Of course you are going to spend money on doing things.

Can range from $5 – $200 each depending on the activity.

Ground transportation – that which gets you from place to place and is not an airplane. This includes buses, trains, ferries, taxis, moto-rickshaws, regular rickshaws, tuk-tuks, barges, giant catapults.

Costs vary depending on how far you’re going and how fast.

Here is how much a Round the World Trip will cost*

It’s a general consensus from people who have done these trips that a year on the road costs somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000 total.

Let’s just say $25,000 for the sake of argument. If you break that down monthly, a Round the World trip will cost one person around $2000 per month accommodating everything. For many people it is cheaper to be on the road than staying at home.

*This cannot and should not be taken as a hard and fast number since the variables for your particular traveling style are numerous.

Keep in mind that the longer the trip, the less you spend on a daily basis simply because you don’t need to fill each day with stuff. There will be days you don’t spend as much money because you’re not driven to be active.

This is the reason why we’ve said that longer trips can actually be cheaper on a relative basis.

If you want some further hard numbers on how much a round the world trip cost, there is a selection of travel bloggers who have posted their numbers online for all to see, to compare and to evaluate. The travel blog Jack and Jill Travel has compiled some of the best of them.

The blog RTW Expenses put together a yearlong tally of their personal costs for a RTW trip (updated for this year’s pricing).

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