More money or better life? How to finance a trip around the world


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Three years around the world - “does not work!” will be the reaction of most of us. Or is it? How does it look financially?

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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The dilemma with traveling

Travel is not only a beautiful and enriching experience, but you also learn for life. The thing about traveling, however, presents many people with an organizational dilemma:

Most of those who are part of a regular work schedule earn enough money to travel, but often do not have the time. However, people who have enough time, e.g. because they are freelancers, do not have the necessary money. Incidentally, a dilemma that I see in many areas of our society: some have no money, but time; the other money but no time.

Minimalists counter the dilemma

What to do about this dilemma? The answer is simple: be brave, rethink old habits, try new things and develop creative ideas. Some even renounce a large part of their possessions and partly also a permanent residence, but they travel around the world.

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Now I can really get a lot out of minimalism, it could even become a future trend. Future researcher Matthias Horx has long predicted that after the “consumer-oriented industrialization phase” a time will come when there will be more inner contemplation and experiences, experiences and personal services will become more and more important and we will be more willing to spend money on them than on material ones Possession.

The fear of letting go

And yet: The thought of not having a permanent residence scares many people. There's a fear of letting go of things. Probably also completely normal and human. And maybe worth considering. That is exactly why I found the report by media creator Lisa Lubin from Chicago, who had quit her job as a TV producer for her world tour. Lisa describes the philosophy behind it as follows:

“I’ve managed to avoid the other American dream – to be a sucker for marketing and feel the need to run out and buy the latest iPhone, Plasma screen TV, DVD or even the latest latte.  I am simply not much of a shopper…especially when it comes to clothes and shoes. I like cute stuff, but don’t need name brands and don’t need a million pairs of shoes.”

How do you finance a trip around the world?

In her blog post How could you afford to travel around the world? describes in a fairly detailed manner how she managed to finance her three-year trip around the world - starting from the question that was obviously asked very often: “How could you pay for such a trip. Are you rich?" And Lisa gives interesting answers.

  1. Travel saves money: Lisa spent around 2000 euros a month on her trip around the world and even saved money. Because at home in Chicago she would have spent money on rent, utilities, and a car, including various repairs and everyday small things, such as toilet paper. Although I have to say that I would still have some of the costs that Lisa lists, such as internet or insurance. But still an interesting consideration.
  2. She did not have to deal with unnecessary ballast and also saved time, for example when choosing clothes. Or as Lisa simple states: “No stuff - no worries”
  3. Organization is everything: Lisa admits that travel can be expensive - if you don't plan accordingly. In any case, the most expensive part of the trip is transportation and sometimes you can find really good deals and discounts.
  4. Money in the account only serves the subjective sense of security: Lisa, as she says, also worked a lot and saved money. However, that had mainly practical reasons - subjectively she felt a little safer with the money. In the end she says: "So, don't let anyone scare you."

What does a trip around the world cost?

Florian Blümm wrote how much such a trip around the world costs in his book “Around the world with little money”, published by MVG in 2019. The short version is: It depends.

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The most common question about an adventure around the world is how much it actually costs. It's like asking what a car costs. You can spend 20.000 euros for a mid-size car or 10.000 euros for a small car. If you are undemanding and pragmatic, you can also find an older used car for 6000 euros. On the world tour, the costs also depend on your needs and wishes. The price range per month can be between 500 euros and 2000 euros. Most world travelers get by with 1000 euros per month and person. If you follow the tips, you will stay on average under 30 euros per day, i.e. 900 euros per month and person. This includes flights, overnight stays, insurance and all other costs. My own trip around the world cost me 9249 euros for the first calendar year. That is exactly 25,34 euros per day or 771 euros per month. I visited sixteen countries, five of which were only in transit. The food and drink that cost me the most this year was 1991 euros. Other major items were overnight stays for 1182 euros, flights for 1192 euros and other means of transport for 1260 euros. There are also other expenses for, for example, visas, insurance and activities totaling 2227 euros and "luxury costs" for, for example, beer, good coffee and electronics of 1410 euros. Is it less money than you thought? If you add up your daily expenses, you will probably get a higher monthly amount. So traveling can be cheaper than staying at home. Of course, you don't make any money while traveling and you have to save your entire budget beforehand. My first year on a trip around the world cost 771 euros a month. I have been traveling non-stop for almost eight years for an average of 684 euros per month. Yes, I counted every euro, it's all inclusive.


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