GRAND TOTAL TO DATE £35,554
ESTIMATED TOTAL FOR TRIP £46,378
I should note that we spent thirteen years saving up for this trip, from 2000 until 2013. We drove old bangers for cars, lived with rickety appliances, had knackered furniture, put off urgent home improvements, kept personal spending as low as we could and ate a lot of daal. Of course, it’s a massive privilege to be able to spend a year travelling, and we are very lucky to have been born in a country wealthy enough to give us the opportunity, and to have good enough jobs to save up so much. We’re just trying to make the most of that opportunity.
One of the hardest thing about planning this trip was working out how much money we would need, and of course saving it up.
I hope this section will help other families work out their travel budgets before they set off on their own adventures.
As I write this, we have ‘done’ Nepal, Thailand, Laos, the Philippines, and we’re almost out of Indonesia. I will update with the other countries as we move on from them. There will, of course, need to be a Grand Total at the end. Gulp.
Before We Left
We managed to rack up quite a few expenses before we even left the UK. Here’s a few highlights.
Shopping – included travel mats for the kids, rucksacks, sunhats, moneybelts, P20 suncream, a huge supply of Deet and Anthisan (but we still needed more), as well as a huge list of trekking equipment. Of course, if you’re not trekking, you’ll have no need for the sleeping bags, kids walking boots, walking socks, base layers, fleeces etc that made up at least half of this shopping list.
Technology – ‘We’ (my husband) invested in a Macbook Air, a new camera, an ipad, 5 kindles, an external hard drive, mini ipod speakers, and all associated carry bags and protective casings. All have been used extensively.
Admin – Everthing adds up…getting mail redirected, setting up the Blog, even getting the cat’s chip address changed…
Jabs – We saved a lot of money (about £500) by finishing our course of immunisations in Nepal on day 1 of our trip. It’s so simple to do and about a quarter of the UK price, at a top notch clinic. Well worth it.
All the prices are for 5 people (2 adults & 3 children) and include all the tax and other add-on charges. We mainly used Kayak and Skyscanner to find the best deals, but also Tiger Air and Air Asia direct for the short hops.
Any domestic flights are counted as part of each country’s expenses, below.
|London – Kathmandu||£2,264|
|Thiruvananthapuram to Colombo||£733|
|Kathmandu to Colombo||£734|
|Colombo to Bangkok||£554|
|CANCLELLED Thiruvananthapuram to Colombo||-£505|
|CANCELLED Kathmandu to Colombo||-£183|
|CANCELLED Colombo to Bangkok||-£356|
|Kathmandu to Bangkok||£1,000|
|Singapore to Cebu||£360|
|Cebu to Kuala Lumpa||£240|
|Kuala Lumpa to Yogyakarta||£185|
|Jakarta to Ho Chi Min City||£241|
|Bangkok to Colombo||£422|
|Colombo to London||£1,085|
|To claim from insurance||£749|
The cancelled flights are due to Scarlett breaking her leg and our associated changes of plans. The refunds shown in red have been paid by the airlines (not the full cost); we are claiming back the balance from our insurance, but there’s no guarantee we’ll get the money at this stage.
Total By Country:
|Nepal||Thailand||Laos||Malaysia||Singapore||Philippines||Indonesia TO DATE||Grand Total|
|Long Distance Travel||£0||£698||£0||£66||£0||£38||£249||£1,051|
|Tourist Fees & Treats||£618||£759||£2||£314||£378||£169||£902||£3,142|
|No of Days||£91||£84||£8||£17||£6||£19||£21||248|
|Average Per Day||£68||£107||£105||£139||£214||£82||£139||£97|
Daily Average By Country:
|Averages Per Day||Nepal||Thailand||Laos||Malaysia||Singapore||Philippines||Indonesia TO DATE||TOTAL|
|Long Distance Travel||£0.00||£8.31||£0.00||£3.87||£0.00||£1.98||£11.85||£4.24|
|Tourist Fees & Treats||£6.79||£9.03||£0.19||£18.48||£63.03||£8.89||£42.97||£12.67|
Footnotes: comments on our spend by country
Tourist Fees & Treats includes an elephant safari (£43); a jeep safari in Chitwan National Park (£54); lots of elephant bathtimes (£0.90 each, but so many!); 2 porters for 3 weeks in the Everest region (£360); 1 porter in the Anaporna region (who we paid handsomely, even though Tettie broke her leg after 4 days) (£60); and entry into the zoo, Durbar square etc in Kathmandu
Other includes some bank charges (about £70) for having to use our Smile visa card rather than our zero-overseas charge Norwich and Peterborough account; about £40 of import duties for receiving a parcel; some clothing; internet use; phone calls; a sarong each; and many other items
Jabs – we went to CIWEC clinic in Kathmandu to have our Japanese Encephilitis jabs, plus the final dose of Verirab (rabies jab) each (so all x 5). The saving v’s doing this in the UK was almost £900.
Tourist Fees & Treats includes a PADI course for 1 (£185); Bubblemakers diving course for 3 (£115); 1 live-aboard dive trip for 1 (2 nights) (£255); and entrance into various waterfalls, caves etc
Other includes a ukulele (£55); a diving mask (£45); lots of bikinis and clothes for the kids, some Christmas presents & decorations, and some internet use expenses (mobile phone top up, a dongle to get online anywhere)
Medical includes one plaster cast change for a broken leg (£250); various follow up X rays (£100); a very expensive ear infection (£90); plus several trips to the doctor, dentist and pharmacy for day-to-day things
Visas includes buying our visas to get into Laos (£130), a 60 day visa each for Thailand (£95), and a 30 day visa each for Vietnam (£235).
Tourist Fees & Treats includes a 2 day pass to Legoland for 5 (£185); Petronas Towers tickets for 5 (£50); plus various cable cars, funiculars and museum entrance fees
Other includes a new camera (£300); camera accessories (£110); shoes for the kids & Ferg (£120); plus clothing, haircuts, a couple of guidebooks and some souvenirs
Tourist Fees & Treats includes tickets for 1 day to Universal Stuidoes for 5 (£221 – rip off!); Singapore Zoo (£50 – good value); Singapore Slings in Raffles – 2 with alcohol, 3 without (£50); and a dinosaur exhibition (£45)
Tourist Fees & Treats includes 3 diving days for 1 person (£50 each); plus a game of 10 pin bowling and a basketball match
Domestic Flights really pushed up our spend here; the average spend of £50 a day on travel reflects just how many miles we’ve clocked up here. We flew Surabaya to Pankalan Bun & back (£350); Surabaya to Lombok (£100); Lombok to Jakarta (£210); and I’ve just booked Bima to Lombok for (£160) (not on here yet)!
Tourist Fees & Treats includes a 3 day river boat trip to take us into the Orangutan research area (£390); a 3 day sea boat trip in Komodo National Park (£340); 2 dives in Komodo National Park (£55); a guided hike in Merapi (£50); entry to Borobudur temple (£35)
Footnotes on Categories
Food – all food, and some drinks if they were bought as part of a meal
Water – pretty straightforward this one, although if water was bought as part of a meal it’s ended up in food
Drinks – drinks bought on their own, either in a bar, restaurant, street stall or shop
Accommodation – includes any tax
Travel – taxis, local buses, tuk tuks, rickshaws, short boat rides to islands and other short distance travel
Long Distance Travel – trains, long distance buses, sometimes includes ferries to islands if they were long journeys or part of a long journey, internal flights (note that all international flights are recorded separately above).
Tourist Fees & Treats – e.g trekking permits; entry fees for museums, temples, zoos etc – basically getting into tourist attractions, as well as some bigger spends such as PADI diving courses, Legoland and other fun stuff.
Toiletries – almost entirely made up of shampoo, conditioner & suncream but you get the gist
Laundry – we did very little hand washing as this was fairly cheap in most places we visited
Medical – note that as well as the bits and bobs of paracetamol and day to day ailments, for us this category includes the cost of paying for follow up treatment for a broken leg (approx. £400) which wasn’t covered by our insurance.
Jabs – we finished our immunization schedule in Kathmandu and saved a huge chunk of money.
Trekking Equipment – we bought a fair amount of trekking gear in Kathmandu, and I also included all the snacks that we bought in Kathmandu and Pokhara for our treks in here (of which there were many).
Visas – this doesn’t necessarily relfect the cost of the visa for the country we were in! For example, in Laos, we bought 60 day visas for Thailand and 30 day visas for Vietnam (that was the main reason we went to Laos) so it really bumps up our average spend for Laos.
Other – what else can there be? Haircuts; internet use; charges for hot showers (yes, really!); clothes; trinkets; snorkeling masks; stationery for schoolwork; postcards & stamps; charity donations; phone calls…