Pie Chart Showing How Much We Spent in Each Country we Visited

How Much Did 15 Months of Travel Cost?

We spent an incredible 15 months backpacking through Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, but how much did this trip cost us? We’ve tallied up the figures to reveal how much we spent including pre-trip costs, flights and visas; we’ve also broken down how much money we spent in each country we visited.

Jumping Shot! Andrew on White Sand Dunes

So, How Much Did 15 Months of Travel Cost?

Here’s how much money we spent during our initial 15 month trip through Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia:

  • Pre-trip costs (minus flights, visas etc) = £2,222.86
  • International flights = £2,768.50
  • Travel costs within countries (including domestic flights) = £21,208.71
  • Visas = £424.20
  • Total figure of how much spent during 15 months of travel, including flights, visas and pre-trip costs = £26,624.27

That means, on average, our trip cost £1732.60 per month for two people (or £866.30 per person) including all pre-trip expenses, flights, visas and all of our day-to-day living costs while we were travelling. Here’s a pie chart to illustrate in percentage terms what we spent that total £26,624.27 on:

Pie Chart Showing How we Spent our Travel Money

Notes on Flights and Visa Costs

You can find out all of our international and domestic flight costs in this separate breakdown. When it comes to visa costs it’s important to note that these will vary depending on what passport you hold and how long you intend to stay in a country; we hold British passports, here’s a breakdown of what we spent on visas:

  • Two 30-day Laos visas each, which we got on arrival = £86 (£21.50 per person per visa).
  • One 31-day Vietnam visa each, which we got in Luang Prabang in advance = £80 (£40 per person per visa).
  • One 30-day Burma visa each, which we got in Bangkok in advance = £38.20 (£19.10 per person per visa).
  • One 30-day Cambodia visa each, which we got on arrival = £30.50 (£15.25 per person per visa).
  • One 60-day Indonesia visa each, which we got in London in advance = £70 (£35 per person per visa).
  • One 60-day Thailand visa each, which we got in Kuala Lumpur in advance and extended by 30 days in Thailand = £119.50 (£22.25 per person per 60-day visa and £37.50 per person for visa extension).
  • All other visas were free up to certain amounts of time.

Country Cost Comparison

We thought it would be interesting to break this total figure down to see how much we spent in each country we visited, that way other travellers can get an idea of how expensive each place is. The countries in the table below are listed in order of how much we spent per day starting with the cheapest (Laos) to the most expensive (New Zealand). Bear in mind that the costs are for two people.

It’s important to note that the figures in the table below do not include flights into or out of the country or visa costs as these will vary depending on where you’re travelling from and to, which passport you hold and how long you’re staying in the country for. However, these costs do include any domestic flights we took within each country.

Country Days Spent there Total Cost Per Month (30 days) Per Day
Laos 44 £1,280.40 £873.00 £29.10
Philippines* 46 £1,356.54 £884.70 £29.49
Vietnam 31 £978.00 £946.45 £31.55
Thailand* 133 £4,690.91 £1,058.10 £35.27
Burma 20 £708.00 £1,062.00 £35.40
Cambodia 27 £965.50 £1,072.78 £35.76
Indonesia 45 £1,618.26 £1,080.00 £36.00
Taiwan* 25 £908.60 £1,059.84 £36.34
Malaysia* 23 £1,310.55 £1,709.41 £56.98
Australia* 35 £3,466.00 £2,971.00 £99.00
New Zealand* 32 £3,925.95 £3,660.00 £122.00
Total 461 £21,208.71
Average     £1,380.00 £46.00

* = There are no visa costs to enter these countries for certain periods of time.

Money Spent in Each Country Per Day

Be aware that some of the countries may appear more expensive than they actually are when looking at the total cost column in the table above. For example, we spent £4,690.91 in Thailand but this high cost is due to the fact that we spent 133 days there, the average per day figure for Thailand is actually a pretty reasonable £35.27 for two people. So, we think it’s most useful to look at the per day costs to see how cheap or expensive a country is, as illustrated in this pie chart:

 Pie Chart Showing How Much We Spent in Each Country we Visited

How we Spent our Money

So what did we spend all of that money on? While we were travelling we used the fantastic Trail Wallet iPhone app to record all of our spending, this allowed us to see exactly where our money was going. You can read all of our detailed cost break-downs by country on this page but here’s an overview of how we spent our money in each country we visited. Note that domestic flights are included in the transport costs listed below.

Country Activity Food Accommodation Transport Miscellaneous
Laos £1.38 £12.66 £7.58 £5.25 £2.24
Philippines £1.16 £10.39 £8.93 £7.52 £1.49
Vietnam £5.90 £11.43 £8.31 £4.69 £1.22
Thailand £2.29 £11.97 £11.47 £6.69 £2.85
Burma £4.47 £7.23 £16.05 £6.75 £0.90
Cambodia £3.99 £14.00 £11.11 £6.32 £0.80
Indonesia £4.68 £9.94 £12.12 £7.24 £1.98
Taiwan £0.89 £13.41 £14.04 £6.98 £1.02
Malaysia £7.64 £10.09 £15.66 £21.34 £2.25
Australia £16.47 £16.47 £33.43 £31.95 £0.74
New Zealand £48.32 £16.52 £29.81 £28.93 £0.76
Average £7.22 £12.16 £14.10 £10.65 £1.87

Quick Cost Facts

The following figures are based on our per day costs.

  • Our cheapest country for activities was Taiwan (£0.89); the most expensive was New Zealand (£48.32).
  • Our cheapest country for food and drink was Burma (£7.23); the most expensive was New Zealand (£16.52).
  • Our cheapest country for accommodation was Laos (£7.58); the most expensive was Australia (£33.43).
  • Our cheapest country for transport was Vietnam (£4.69); the most expensive was Australia (£31.95)
  • Our cheapest country for miscellaneous costs was Australia (£0.74); the most expensive was Thailand (£2.85).
  • The most expensive country on our trip was New Zealand (£122); the cheapest was Laos (£29.10).

On average we spent £46 per day for two people during our 15-month trip. If you take off Australia and New Zealand and count just what we spent in Asia, our average daily costs plummet to £35.07 per day for two people – not bad!

Notes about our Day-to-Day Travel Costs

Everyone travels differently and your costs will vary depending on factors such as whether you like to eat cheap local food, whether you prefer to stay in hotels or hostels and guesthouses and whether you fly everywhere or take trains and buses instead. Here are some notes on how we travel to help you make sense of our costs:

  • We stayed in mid- to low-range accommodation such as hostels, cheap hotels and guesthouses which sometimes included breakfast.
  • We ate out for most of our meals but in more expensive countries like New Zealand and Australia we cooked our own food from the supermarket most of the time.
  • We used local transport as much as possible travelling by bus, train and boat. We also took domestic flights in large countries like the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • Our miscellaneous costs include such expenses as laundry, toiletries, medicines, gifts, clothes and various other costs.
  • We tried not to skimp on activities and we did everything that we wanted to.

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26 Comments
  • Kerri
    Posted at 11:12h, 19 August Reply

    Amy thanks for sharing! This is a great breakdown on cost for traveling for 15 months. It looks like Laos and Philippines were your cheapest countries. I am also impressed that Taiwan was one of the cheaper countries you visited. So the question now becomes, what country would you definitely go back to in the future?

    • Andrew
      Posted at 17:01h, 19 August Reply

      Well Kerri, we’re flying to Vietnam via Bangkok on Thursday so that’s part of our answer there! We would love to return to the Philippines and New Zealand though. Our favourite countries of this trip.

  • memographer
    Posted at 12:23h, 19 August Reply

    Great stats, Amy! There are some surprising numbers…
    £26,624.27!! – Holly Cow!! But, when you think it’s £866.30 per month/person… it is not that bad at all!

    • Andrew
      Posted at 16:59h, 19 August Reply

      You’re right, £866.30 per person per month isn’t too bad, and that average includes Australia and New Zealand, thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    Posted at 15:08h, 19 August Reply

    This is seriously impressive! I think it’s one of the lowest budgets I’ve seen for a long-term trip, so well done to the both of you. What is of course most important is not so much what you spent and whether or not you came in under budget, but that you took the trip you wanted and have no regrets!

    • Andrew
      Posted at 16:58h, 19 August Reply

      Thanks Steph, we completely agree; we could have spent even less if we were only worried about our budget but we did everything we wanted to and had a blast, we’re off to Vietnam in two days to start saving more money!

  • Rob
    Posted at 16:01h, 19 August Reply

    Excellent break down guys! Bet when you started in NZ and started hammering through the cash it was panic stations. But like you say you did all the activities you wanted so got the most out of your adventure.

    • Andrew
      Posted at 16:57h, 19 August Reply

      Thanks Rob, yes – we did think that we can’t carry on like we started in NZ but we knew we would spend more there and in Australia than any other countries so we were kind of prepared!

  • Kendra Granniss
    Posted at 20:40h, 19 August Reply

    That’s a lot of math! Thank you for sharing this. I find posts like this are extremely helpful as I plan my adventure for next year!

    • Amy
      Posted at 13:43h, 20 August Reply

      It was a lot of maths; luckily Andrew is good with that kind of stuff. Glad you found the post helpful 🙂

  • Nomadic Boys
    Posted at 00:52h, 20 August Reply

    So you’re headline figure is around £13,500 per person for 15 months of travelling?

    • Amy
      Posted at 13:45h, 20 August Reply

      Yep, that’s right, this figure includes pre-trip costs, flights and everything else. Not too bad we think considering all we did and saw 🙂

      • Nomadic Boys
        Posted at 18:36h, 20 August Reply

        Wow! You’ve become our new – “well THEY did this” gurus to aspire to 🙂

  • Charlie
    Posted at 16:03h, 20 August Reply

    Thanks for sharing this, guys! Really interesting to see a detailed break down by country too. Shows that long-term travelling like this isn’t as expensive as people first think.

    • Andrew
      Posted at 18:24h, 20 August Reply

      No problem Charlie, when you take into account the cost of New Zealand and Australia at about £7,500, Asia was really cheap for the remaining 13 months of our trip. 🙂

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    Posted at 14:58h, 25 August Reply
  • [email protected] The British Berliner
    Posted at 06:05h, 27 August Reply

    Brilliant break-down and enormously reasonable. It just goes to show that for people who money is an issue, when you look at the break-down, it isn’t an issue at all!
    Well done!

    • Amy
      Posted at 06:54h, 28 August Reply

      True Victoria, travel doesn’t have to be mega expensive, especially if you go to places like South-East Asia. I hope this inspires people to get out on the road 🙂

  • Nicole D
    Posted at 21:55h, 06 September Reply

    Hi guys – thanks so much for sharing this! My soon-to-be husband and I are a couple of months away from starting our own 12month RTW travel adventure so your summary is incredibly useful 🙂 I have been worried that our savings won’t last as long as we need them to, so your Asia costs are reassuring.
    P.S. As a proud Kiwi, I hope you’ll be back in NZ very soon!

    • Amy
      Posted at 04:42h, 07 September Reply

      Hi Nicole, thanks for commenting, it sounds like you have an exciting trip ahead! I’m glad you found our costs useful; if you’re extra careful you can make your money go even further than we did in Asia but we spent a bit more making sure we did the activities we wanted to and splurged on meals occasionally. New Zealand is one of our favourite countries and we can’t wait to go back there one day, you have a beautiful home country 🙂

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