In my blog post “Our $66,019 RTW Budget”, we disclosed our budget for this trip and how we got to the numbers. Today, we’re coming back to you with our new budget. Our first budget got us to a point where we could figure out how much money we needed for this trip to do most of what we wanted. But we also had bunch of small oversights that added up to a lack of funds to see gorillas and do more safaris (we love animals!). So we drilled down on our assumptions, applied lessons learned, and created a new budget for the remainder of the trip.
Here’s what we learned and applied to our new budget:
- We underestimated the costs for activities and transportation. We assumed our daily budget could cover the costs to get between cities in the same country and activities (outside of tours), but the reality was our daily budget was too tight to cover any of the transportation costs between destinations, visiting museums/local sites with entrance fees, or adrenaline activities. This translated into us overspending by $1,000 in South America and doing more budget eating/cheap accommodations than we prefer. While it was worth overspending, we didn’t want to a tight budget going forward because we didn’t want to waste our energy thinking about how ice cream or coffee would impact our budget.
- We know more of what we like. What’s this mean? After South America, we both really understood what types of budget meals, accommodation, travel method, gear, and activities worked for the both of us while doing long-term travel. This led us to improve the quality of our research (i.e., cost estimating).
- We can research quicker with better accuracy. What took a few days of research to assemble a general itinerary for a country can now be done in about five hours. In the beginning, research took forever as we were unsure what to look for, what we both wanted, what our questions were, and what to think about when selecting itinerary, accommodations, transportation, activities, and ultimately cost.
- We’re more creative in planning. At this point, we’re starting to get good at maximizing tours or other activities to save on costs, like having a tour drop us off at a different location than the start location, at no extra cost (i.e., saving on transportation cost and travel time).
So what do all these lessons learned mean? It means we can drill down faster on cost by better understanding our travel styles and doing better research, which means maximizing the value out of every dollar.
So with that said, here is the breakdown of the remaining time of our RTW trip (Africa, Europe, Asia), which excludes health insurance, renter’s insurance, pre-trip costs and my upcoming scuba class:
Please note we kept the remaining time for our travel consistent in the budget, but swapped a few countries. We dropped India, Egypt, Tanzania, Portugal and Croatia from our itinerary. We added France, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cambodia and New Zealand.
Lastly, you may be wondering how we will pay for this increased cost since we are keeping to our original plan of return cash of $40K. This is coming from increased value of our stock investments, reduced cost of our health insurance, some extra cash lying around, plus some part-time consulting that Laura is doing on the road. There’s still a gap of about $1,300 in our budget, but we have plenty of time to narrow it down.