Yesterday I mentioned that one of my options would be getting on the road again this winter, which has me thinking about how much I would really need, financially, to be able to travel for another 5-6 months. So I decided to write a list of travel expenses from last year in decreasing costs. Here it goes:
1. Vaccinations/Immunizations without health-insurance coverage was around $800. This covered a wide-variety of different shots, as recommended by a travel-nurse to me. It also included the cost of Malaria pills for one month (which I still haven't used), general medicines such as Advil, Ibuprofen, Probiotics (for digestive health, if you've traveled you know the importance of these, heh) and a few other general medicines.
3. Camera(s), $600 For me, I actually spent this money prior to traveling, but I know that a lot of people will invest in camera(s) and equipment for traveling so I decided to include it. Personally, this was just a single GoPro Hero 3+ Black, one SD card, and a few accessories. These things add up fast and already I am outdated by the Hero 4...
5. Flight, Each way was around $300 for me, but as I purchased these separately, and well in advance, there is huge fluctuation in this area of travel expenses. Take a look on google.com/flights to see prices ahead of your departure and maybe use sites like cheapoair to find the best rates.
6. Hostels, I primarily stayed in shared hostel rooms, which run for around $8-$16 per night, this price goes up for private rooms and down for tent-space. Prices also change depending on proximity to cities, location in the world (1st vs 3rd world countries) but I would say a budget with $20-$25 per night would do you pretty well in most areas of the world for hostel dorms!
7. Food, this is another fluctuating expense, I tend to be extremely frugal when it comes to food, often eating pasta with butter or several bananas for an entire meal (beans and rice when eating out). I don't recommend eating that way, it simply was another way to save for me. Usually I tried to cook my own meals, and would splurge on a very nice meal once or twice a week to assure proper nutrition! Budget another $15 a day for food in 3rd world countries, more for populace areas.
9. Filler, This is the wiggle-room in your budget, $10-$20 a day should cover most buses under 10hours in Central America, South America was more spread out, so you may need more. Other than that it is good to have a few extra dollars a day in-case of unexpected expenses (boarder crossings, getting sick and buying more medicine, forgotten/lost sunglasses).
Total upfront (first-time) costs: ~$3000 ($200 more if you don't have your passport)
Daily Budget: $30-$40/day for myself last trip, recommended $50-$60/day with ample planning
I know this isn't a complete list of ALL expenses while traveling, and these should simply be used as guidelines for planning. If you have more detailed questions, especially when it comes to travel inside the US or within Central & South America, please feel free to email me!