2013 has been nothing short of epic when I comes to my backpacker travels – I’ve had a truly awesome year covering 11 different countries full of sun, snow, surf, diving and a whole heap of other memorable experiences.
One of the things you guys keep asking me about though are finances – you’re all keen to be kept up to date on how much I’m spending and where I spending it! I understand how important the bank balance of a backpacker is so I’ve been documenting it all in my monthly summaries, which I hope you’re finding useful!
However it’s the end of the year so I thought I’d take the time to tally up all those air miles, overland travel and most importantly to you guys the sheer amount of dollar I’ve spent over the last 12 months…
First off though in the interest of full disclosure I’ll pass on my stats for the final month of 2013…
December Quick Roundup;
Thailand – £30 over 2 days = £15 per day
Indonesia – £586.03 over 18 days = £32.55 per day (including my free diving course @ £210)
UK – £181.53 over 8 days = £22.69 per day
Switzerland – £50 over 2 days = £25 per day
TOTAL SPENT; £847.56 over 31 days = £27.34 per day
Flights – BKK-DPS (Air Asia), DPS-SIN (Air Asia), SIN-LON (Emirates) LON-ZRH (Easyjet)
Air Travel – 16718km
Overland Travel – 939.86km
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELLED – 17657.86km
2013 Summary, Stats and Expenses;
Ok – now that December is out of the way let’s get cracking on how 12 months in the life of a backpacker look…
Morocco; Taghazout, Agadir, Essouria, Marrakech
Switzerland; Zurich, Einsieldeln, Flims
Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Perhentian Islands
Thailand; Phi Phi Island, Krabi, Railay Beach, Koh Tao, Bangkok, Khao Lak, Similan Islands
Cambodia; Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, Kep, Kampot, Phnom Pehn
England; London, Devon
Total Air Distance; 59790.31km
Total Overland Distance; 15450.03km
Total Distance Travelled; 75240.34km
Flights (individual legs); 26
Flight Tickets; 11
Airlines – Iberia, Emirates, Jetstar, Air Asia, Easyjet, Ryan Air
Cheapest Ticket; Bristol-Dublin (Ryan Air) £40 return
Most Expensive Tickets; Brisbane-Singapore//Bangkok-Zurich (Emirates) £1066 one way
Average Cost Per Flight – £276.81
Transport Taken; tuk tuk, taxi, dive boat, long tail boat, night ferry, day ferry, overnight bus, mini bus, campervan, train, sailing boat, raft, surfboard, helicopter, kiwi experience, speed boat, tube
Least Expensive Countries – Morocco (but i was working) & Cambodia – £16-20 per day
Least Expensive Place – Koh Rong less than £15 per day per day
Most Expensive Place – Singapore £45+ per day
Least Expensive Month – Jan = £50 (I was working in Morocco which included free accommodation and food!)
Biggest Splurges – £500 new surfboard + £530 iPhone 5S
Biggest Travel Splurge – SSI Freedive Level 2 Course – £210 (it would have been my campervan hire for a month in New Zealand, but I was travelling with my parents…and they paid!)
Biggest Unforeseen Expense – £300 replacement camera lens
Overall Highlight – It’s hard to pinpoint my overall highlight this year as I’ve done so much. Travelling with my parents in New Zealand was amazing, as was my time travelling with my brother through Asia. If I had to pick a single experience though I’d say discovering the world of free diving was my overall highlight though…I’m totally hooked!
Overall Lowlight – Apart from goodbyes I’ve not really had any massive downfalls this year. Being ill in Singapore sucked, but nothing that ruined my trip. I’m stoked to have had such a carefree, healthy year on the road – I couldn’t have asked for more!
Right, now on to the bit you’re all super eager to know about…MONEY!
TOTAL FLIGHT COSTS – £3045.15
TOTAL ON THE GROUND COSTS; £8616.12
AVERAGE DAILY SPEND; £23.60 per day
WOW – I managed to meet my average daily target of under £25 per day for on the ground costs! I’ll admit now though that this was helped massively by the fact I was working (and spending bugger all) whilst in Morocco for a few months and the fact that the bulk of my NZ bill was taken care of by the parents – which was epic of them. Still I had a few blow out months in Australia which more than compensated for what I should’ve been spending!
**TOTAL YEARLY COST INC FLIGHTS; £11661.27**
This makes my overall average daily cost £31.94
To be frank I was caught totally of guard with how much my flights have cost me over the course of the year – it’s heaps more expensive than I had anticipated. But in saying that I’ve covered some HUGE distances! I think my goal for 2014 will have to be cutting down my flights, and hence saving some money.
I was however pretty stoked with my total yearly spend (even including flights!). I’ve done so many amazing things (and yes I’m aware I do manage to wangle some freebies and discounts along the way) but even still I thought the final figure was going to be much higher!
And my goals for 2014 money wise?
I guess I want to get my total flight costs under £2500 and strive even harder to keep my spending in check – maybe try for NO MONTHS over £1000!
Hopefully my yearly backpacker spend will help give you guys a better idea of what to spend on the road. I’ve covered a good mixture of countries that I feel would easily represent a good RTW trip, mixing cheaper backpacker friendly places with higher cost western destinations too.
Still everyones trip will be personal. Everyone has their vices when it comes to spending and some of you will easily smash the backpacker target of £1000 a month whilst some of you will find it no worries to scrape by under that.
Here’s to 2014 – where my pace will be slower, hopefully my spending will be wiser but the chaos will still be by the bucket load! Roll on my 3rd year on the road…!