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Budgeting for our RTW Trip

A final entry before heading out on our voyage!

View Thanh and Mark's RTW Adventure 2009-10 on malmn's travel map.

July 23nd, 2009
Montréal, Canada


After reading our first entry we assume that some of you may have thought; “Wasn’t there also in H when were taught the W5s?” Indeed, we were also instructed to remember H, for HOW? So, that brings us to the topic of our second blog…how much is this RTW extravaganza going to cost us, anyway?

Besides homesickness, and health & safety issues, our (at least Mark’s) major concern is not having enough funds to last us until next April. With that in mind we know that we must spend conservatively and we need a budget in order to avoid the horror of running out of moolah and being forced to return home in the middle of January or February when it’s freakin’ minus twenty degrees Celsius outside (yes, you read that right: -20C!) …now that would be really depressing!

Now here is a little budgeting planning theory brought to you by Mark:

After having laid out a rough itinerary and timeframe (please see blog entry numéro uno), we then assumed that we have the ability to pay for a budget to mid-range style long-term trip, with a few luxuries here and there along the way (hopefully). After determining that aspect of our travels and carrying out the proper research, we identified our major fixed expenditures such as flights, passport & visas, travel insurance, and vaccinations and our major variable costs such as other transportation (bus, train, etc.), accommodation, meals, cultural & social activities (cooking class, scuba diving, partying). In order for the budget to be dependable, it’s crucial to estimate each of these costs as accurately as possible. Furthermore, there are several other important criteria (some obvious, some not) that will influence the total price tag of our trip, and we considered these in our budget. They are;

- length of trip (number of days)
- each country’s cost of living (very important!)
- exchange rates
- proximity between nations
- type of accommodation (budget, mid, high)
- modes of transportation chosen (flights, rain, bus, public transportation)
- transportation to and from airports and bus stations
- amount of cultural & social activities (partying) partaken
- friends and family that can receive you
- number of people your travelling with
- international bank fees
- international calls (cost and frequency of)
- supplies
- shippping home articles
- replacing broken, lost or stolen items

It’s worthwhile mentioning that we do not have actual RTW tickets. We came very close to buying a pair from Star Alliance (which by the way, is cheapest RTW ticket around) but in the end we preferred the luxury and freedom of buying our tickets along the way. We feel it is still more flexible and adventurous this way. This also see this as an opportunity for us to experience different means of transportation, like long haul ferries and trains, which should allow us get closer to the local people and their way of life. Most importantly, after our extensive research, the RTW ticket didn’t seem offer a significant enough price advantage for the destinations we are headed for. In the end, RTW ticket or not, we will attempt to fully circle the globe in one direction (west) and touch as many continents as we can along the way, hopefully making this a real round the world trip.

So there ya go. Another long blog by us (actually Mark). Hopefully you found it informative, interesting, and entertaining. Please let us know.

Next time we update this sucker we should be somewhere in the good ol’ U.S. of A (most likely Rehoboth Beach, New Jersey) and it should be about our actual adventure and not this prep stuff.

Moi, moi! (Finnish for bye-bye!)

Thanh and Mark

Posted by malmn 17:48 Tagged round_the_world

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