A little over one year ago, we left Boston for what was suppose to be a year long trip around the world. Fourteen months later, we are still going. We have posted a quick breakdown of our living expenses from the year prior to departure compared to a year of travel. The numbers may shock you.
This figure does not include transportation cost. If you own a car (in our case two) or have a long commute, this can easily become one of your largest expense.
Our total combined living expense in Boston for one year: $53,500
So far our route has consisted of Europe, Africa and South America. We knew what to expect in Europe, but we were surprised at the high cost of some countries in South America, especially the Patagonia region. Regardless, it’s here where we spent the majority of our trip. We expect our expenses to decrease in Asia.
In one year we spent $36,480 traveling around the world (our cost combined).
Perhaps we could have spent less, but a few months into our trip we decided to purchase a 1982 Volkswagen Westfalia with the intent to drive it down to the most southern point in South America and back up to the United States.
At this point you may be questioning our quality of life. We are not dumpster diving if that’s what you’re thinking. For the most part, we eat what we want, do what we want, and most importantly go where we want.
We do not bounce around from one hostel dorm to the next. As a matter of fact, we can count on one hand how many times we did not have a private room or an entire home to ourselves. In many cases, what we get for the money is far better than the small Boston apartment we were accustomed to. Now, with the van, we often get spectacular views as well.
We save the majority of our money on transportation and lodging. We rarely take taxi’s. Instead, we either walk or take public transportation. This is a great way to get a glimpse into the culture as well.
We sometimes use services like Airbnb and Uber, which can be an economical alternative when traveling in pairs.
The obvious observation is that in most cases leaving home results in a loss of income. At first, I questioned it too. I thought you had to be a trust fund baby to do a trip like this. But, we managed to save the majority of our money within a year, even while living in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. We have met people from all walks of life, occupations and income levels including teachers, doctors, bar tenders, bloggers, coders, designers, street performers, etc. Even entire families have managed to make it work.