On 9th April 2017 we set off on our worldwide roving retirement having sold almost every possession we owned. We had taken an adult gap year (read about it here) during 2016 and had an idea of what our full year costs would be and budgeted accordingly. We had hoped that we could travel the world full time for less than $100 per day. The final figures are in and we’re very happy with how we’ve done considering all that we’ve done and seen over the past year.
(NOTE: these are total costs for 2 people and in Australian Dollars)
The first 6 months
I wrote a post a while back documenting the costs of our first 6 months of travel. This covered our travels through Malaysia, England, Spain, France, Scotland and Jordan. If you’d like to review the details you can read the post here.
In summary, the total cost for our first 6 months was $18,386 or $99.92 per day. Less than $100 per day!!! This included all of our costs including our one-way airfares from Melbourne to London ($2,465) and 6 months pro rata apportionment of our travel insurance policy ($542).
This was frankly, amazing when you consider that almost a quarter of the figure was taken up by our nine-day Jordan tour!!
If we excluded the Jordan tour, the total falls to only $14,161 or $80.92 per day.
So what did we do after our first six months?
We flew directly from Jordan to Thailand for a few months and did a few house sits and rented a condo for 2 months. We then hit the road again and had a great time touring through Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore before returning to Australia for a couple of months of house sitting.
Here’s the break down of the costings for our second six months.
NOTE: General expenditure includes groceries, eating out, tourist attractions, entertainment, public transport, parking fees, fuel, local SIM, etc. It does include alcohol (though Jacqueline doesn’t drink) and we eat out perhaps once or twice a week.
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER expenses: (excluding Jordan tour)
Following our tour of Jordan, we went to Chiang Mai, Thailand and completed two house sits. We then moved into a 1 bedroom condo for 2 months.
General expenditure – $2004
Accommodation – $2240 (incl bond for condo)
Airfares (Amman-Chiang Mai) – $1380
Total costs for October/November were $5624 (or $108.16 per day)
We spent the whole of December enjoying the delights of the Northern Thai city of Chiang Mai.
General expenditure – $958
Accommodation – $1120
Total costs for December were $2078 (or $67.03 per day)
We spent the majority of January in our condo in Chiang Mai before doing a one week house sit to conclude the month. Glenn also did a short 5 day trip to Luang Prabang in Laos.
General expenditure – $1003
Laos trip – $772
Total costs for January were $1775 (or $59.17 per day)
February was a busy month that saw us spending time in Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore before returning to Australia for a series of house sits. We toured through Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) and the capital Phnom Penh in Cambodia and then flew to Kuala Lumpur and caught a bus down to Malacca for a few days. From there we caught another bus to Singapore where we did a 6-day house sit. Finally, we flew back to Australia for a house sit for old friends.
General expenditure – $2491
Transport (bus/taxi) – $89
Accommodation (13 nights) – $902
(Chiang Mai – Siem Reap) – $400
(Siem Reap – Phnom Penh) – $155
(Phnom Penh – Kuala Lumpur) – $180
(Singapore – Melbourne) – $1277
Total costs for February were $5495 (or $196.27 per day)
The entire month was spent house sitting in Melbourne, Australia (and visiting family and friends!).
General expenditure – $1678
Total costs for March were $1678 (or $54.15 per day)
We continued house sitting in Australia until our departure on April 17th.
General expenditure – $899
Total costs for April were $899 (or $52.88 per day)
Countries and Flights
During our first year, we visited 11 countries and took 16 international flights. Most of our flights were one-way and therefore more expensive than an equivalent return flight. The total costs for all of our flights was $8083.
The most expensive 5 legs totalled $6074 and were:
Melbourne – Kuala Lumpur $1143
Kuala Lumpur – London $1322
Barcelona – Amman $952
Amman – Chiang Mai $1380
Singapore – Melbourne $1277
The other 11 flights totalled $2009 and were with low-cost airlines flying within Europe and Asia.
The amount of time we spent in these countries was:
Malaysia – 9 days
England – 69 days
Scotland – 11 days
Spain – 66 days
France – 22 days
Jordan – 8 days
Thailand – 105 days
Laos – 4 days
Cambodia – 9 days
Singapore – 5 days
Australia – 70 days
Over the course of our first year we only had to pay for a total of 88 nights accommodation. This included 60 nights in a rented condo in Chiang Mai and 12 nights in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival when accommodation is very expensive!
In addition, we also did an 8-day organised tour of Jordan.
The other 279 nights were ‘free’ as a result of our house sitting services.
In total, we only paid $4920 for accommodation for just over a year.
For the 88 nights we paid that’s an average of $55.90 per night.
But if averaged over the whole year it’s only $13.15 per night
Total costs for one year
As mentioned at the start of this post, we are very happy with our first year’s travel costs. We had a nice split of house sitting in various countries, independent travel, organised touring and staying “in situ” for 2 months in our ‘own’ place in Thailand.
The grand total for everything for our year came out at $36,615
This equates to $97.90 per day!
In putting these figures together I noticed an extremely surprising thing. This final figure is almost exactly double our first 6 months costs!!! I have not manipulated the costs in any way – it’s just the way it has turned out. It’s amazing as we did quite different things over the course of the two 6 month periods.
These figures prove that it is possible to travel the world full time for less than $100 per day.
This costs us less than living in our (mortgage free) home in Melbourne, Australia and paying for all our associated living costs.
When questioned why we do this we answer “why not?”.
It costs us less to travel the world, see wonderful things, meet amazing people and have wonderful experiences than just sitting at home as retirees.
If you’re retired (or not) there is a way to have an exciting life with the world as your oyster. We’re proof that it can be done.
If you want to learn more about how we achieve this feel free to contact us or take a look at our Introduction to House Sitting page.
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Feel free to share this post too so more people can be aware that there are alternative ways to spend your retirement. Glenn & Jacqueline