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How much is this going to cost? | The Time to Go Is Now
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How much is this going to cost?

Good question.  After doing quite a bit of research the magic number out there for a person traveling alone averaged out to be under $50 a day.  That included food, a place to stay, transport in country, and any other activities or admission fees.  Travel gear, airfare to your starting location and travel visas aren’t calculated into that.  Johnny Vagabond was living comfortable enough in Laos for under $20 a day.  Of course, there’s a big difference between a single guy living on the road and a couple living on the road.  The good news is that couples have more buying power because we’re splitting costs so private double rooms and apartments are now an option.  However, even with those savings there are places I would personally stay that I would never think of even trying to convince Julie to stay.

Taking that into account along with what my many years in project management have taught me (it’s better to quote high and come in under budget instead of the reverse), I’ve set our average daily budget at $125 a day.  The goal will be to stay under that budget as much as possible in less expensive places like South America & Asia and stay as close to that budget as possible in more expensive places like Europe & Australia.  Over the course of the year, we should be able to come in under that.

Before you break your brain trying to do that math on that, $125 a day for an entire year comes out to $45,625.

Wow, that’s a lot of money.

Yes, yes it is.

You could buy a new car with that….a couple of new cars if you really wanted to.

Yes, yes I could.  And I could drive it to the same loathsome cube everyday and be miserable.

Do you know that if you invested that you could….

Yes, compounded with the industry standard 7% interest until my retirement date it would come out to be $285,837.91.  Yes, I am quite aware of that.  Now, here’s some math for you.  There are 52 weeks in a year.  At the rate of three weeks a year it would take you just over 17 years to do all the traveling you could do in one year.  If you like staying at nice places or traveling to far away places with expensive airfare that can add up pretty quickly. Assuming an annual travel budget of $6,500 and accounting for 3% inflation, the cost for all of those trips over the next 18 years will cost you over $150,000*.  When it comes down to it, it’s pretty much a push.  You can spend it now or you can spend it later but unless you can give me a signed & notarized certificate from God stating that i will be alive, healthy and living in a relatively safe world in 20 years….well, bon voyage.

* I tried calculating this a couple of different ways, none of any I think were correct.  I’m just not that smart.  Feel free to correct me.


2 Responses to How much is this going to cost?

  1. You calculated just fine. 45K is easy enough to make up. And with mode of ‘work’ today, consider your trip an investment into other opportunities. I agree with the Tim Ferriss attitude toward work (their is not retirement per se anymore and how boring is that anyway) and the approach of Seth Godin…create Art. You guys are creating art. So look forward to more of your finger paintings and no worries about staying within the lines.

    • I don’t know if I’d throw the “A” word around, but yeah. It is practice and experience. For what I have no idea. But if I can’t at least use this site as my resume in eight months I’m doing something wrong.

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We're Mark & Julie

We quit our jobs at the end of 2013 to backpack around the world. We're sharing our stories, travel advice and hopefully some inspiration. Read more...

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