My 6 months trip through Asia begins on Oct 5. My goal is to tell the story of a female solo traveler's daily life: practical bits, as well as fun anecdotes.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Travel Budget For Budget Travelers
Heights, wild dogs and running out of money - these 3 things scare the living shit out of me. Heights are somewhat of a mystery, though my mom believes that some idiot nurse dropped me (on my head?) in the maternity ward which resulted in a broken collarbone that went undiscovered for years. With dogs it’s rather straightforward: an overgrown mutt attacked me from behind as I was strolling to work one day, iPod in my ears, no sudden moves or loud sounds - go figure. Fear of going broke goes back to my college freshman year: with a $12 monthly expense limit, my weight didn’t go above 42 kg/92 lbs, as eating was the luxury I could rarely afford. Safe to say, it was one of the worst years of my life, for food I love!
Thirteen years later I am about to embark on a six months unpaid vacation. Financial security is still my biggest concern and I dedicate a great deal of energy to budget planning. Weekly updates of this little table (below) appeared to be the best way to calm my nerves. For there’s no better way to protect your money, than staying on top of your expenses. (Working as a producer for 8,5 years teaches you that).
So how much is enough? What amount on your bank account says that now it’s safe to travel? Naturally, it depends on many factors - from your dream destinations to drinking habits - but where do you start? I have read a number of useful articles and blog entries on the subject (the most thorough - again! - here: http://travelindependent.info/b4yougo.htm#cost), but approached it from a slightly different angle. I counted all my savings and started to research what I could afford for the money. The price of basic accommodation and food as well as routes of low cost airlines (http://www.attitudetravel.com/lowcostairlines/asia) went into the decision about the number of countries I visit and the duration of my trip.
I present here my current budget as a sample. Hopefully it plays out well, but in either case, I will be posting per-country reports as I go.
(I used Apple’s Numbers to create this file - I like that you can uncheck certain positions, e.g. things that are already paid for, and they will be deducted from the total, while you can still see how much they cost.)