One of the biggest questions, before you start traveling, might be “what I’m going to spend?”. And it is also one of the hardest to answer. The answer depends on so many things, and it’s for anybody different – however in this blog entry I tell you what I spent in the various countries, what the most expensive states are, what the cheapest countries are, and I compare the countries to each other. In my next blog entry, I’ll tell you on what I spent the money (food, accommodation, transportation, etc.) and then I’ll give you tips on how to save money and still enjoy any moment.
Of course, I can only talk about the countries I visited, and these are: China, Hongkong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, and Australia. Furthermore, I give you a brief description of my travel style before I describe the situation for every country and talk about the total budget in the end.
My travel style
I do budget travel, but I don’t exaggerate it. Some things like a good night’s sleep and sometimes proper food are essential for me. However, I sleep in 95 % of the time in Hostels and while in Australia, for example, I only sleep on free campsites. If it is possible, I walk instead of taxi of public transport, and I rather take a bus instead of a flight. But I always take the better seats in trains in Asia for example and in Indonesia taxis where so cheap that I often choose to take a taxi.
Furthermore, I try to save money and protect the environment by using my reusable bottle of water and my reusable cup of coffee, and when I cook, I don’t waste food. I love sport, and it’s essential for me to stay fit, so I often spend some money on Gyms. And mostly I organize things myself instead of going with a tour (it’s more fun and cheaper).
To resume it: I do budget travel and save where I can, but I’m not willing to give up all comfort.
Country by Country:
China was actually not that cheap. It’s a vast country and to get around you need to take the high-speed trains. These are super good and fast but also sometimes expensive. Hostels have a price range from 4 euro in Chengdu to 12 Euro in Shanghai but are mostly very good. And the food can be cheap if you eat in the streets but also costly if you go to better restaurants (I advise the street food restaurants they are the best). The most expensive thing in China are the attractions – often you have to pay up to 40 euros for national parks or other entry fees. Use your student card if you got one to get some discounts.
In average I spent 62 euros a day in China.
Hongkong and Macau:
Both cities are costly, and especially the Hotels prices in Macau are out of this world (There is no Hostel in all of Macau). Luckily, I found a couch surfing place, if not the cheapest hotel was 75 euros a night. Also, in Hongkong, the cheapest Hostel was around 20 euros a night and food is comparable with European prices. I only stayed 2 days in Macau and 4 days in Hongkong, so it didn’t hurt too much. But please don’t let you out off the idea of visiting these countries it’s totally worth it.
In average I spend about 80 euros a day in both countries.
Vietnam is until now the cheapest country I visited and at the same time one of my favorite countries. Everything is just super affordable. A meal as cheap as 90 cents and a beer for 50 cents is nothing unusual. Hostels are not more than 8 euros but also sometimes only 3 euros, and even a private hotel room was only 12 euros. Buses will cost you between 5 and 15 euros however they are not good at all, instead take the slightly more expensive train if it is possible, here is why. And all the activities are also super cheap.
In average I only spent 31 euros a day in Vietnam.
I found Cambodia to be very expensive in comparison to other countries. Hostels are more expensive; food is a lot more costly and also the activities are way more expensive. Take Angkor Wat as an example – it cost you 37 USD for one day. I have done by far fewer activities in Cambodia than in Vietnam, but my average is still higher.
In average I spend 45 euros a day in Cambodia.
Thailand is my absolute favorite country until now. Here are my reasons for that – and it’s cheap! I’ve done the most activities in Thailand simply because they where so cheap. Rock climbing, trekking tours, elephant bathing, white water rafting, floating markets, rooftop bars and partying new years eve in Bangkok where just a few of the activities. We got a two-day trekking tour with all food and accommodation inclusive for 45 euros. Pad Thai for 80 cents and the best fresh fruit smoothies for 1 euro – freshly cut and mixed in front of your eyes. Transport is a little more expensive, therefore also so much better than in the neighboring countries. Hostel prices are also a little higher with rates between 5 and 12 euros a night – but again the best quality from all of southeast Asia.
In average I spent 51 euros a day in Thailand.
Laos is also very cheap. Especially food and transport are cheap. Therefore, the Hostels are more expensive and very bad, and transportation was the worst of all the countries. Activities are also affordable in Laos. Here I did also rock climbing, tubing, and trekking.
In average I spent 36 euros a day in Laos.
In Indonesia, there are two parts – the island Java where everything is super cheap but also not that amazing and the Islands like Bali and Lombok which are fantastic but with prices a lot higher than in Java. In average it’s cheap, and also if you only go to Bali, it won’t break the bank. But especially food is costly in Bali. 10 euros for a meal in a restaurant is, and that’s the highest I paid in all of Asia until now. But taxis are incredibly cheap for example, especially Grab. Accommodation is also reasonable; both in Java and Bali and tours are expensive. The cheapest train I got was for 3,20 euro 8 hours and over 500 km – that was from Malang to Banjuwangi.
In average I spent 36 euros a day in Indonesia.
Can we please skip that one? It hurts too much to think about how expensive Australia is. Yeah, I knew before that it is more costly, but I had no idea how crazy it is. I live the most basic live here I ever lived – living on free campsites without any shower, cooking cheap food and don’t do any paid activities and it is still the most expensive country by far. I bought a car and the people who travel with me help me with the gas. I only stay in a hostel when it is, and then I have to pay 22 euros a night for a hostel that’s under a human’s dignity. Gas is cheap compared to Europe but if your car needs 10 liters per 100 km and you drive 7000 km that doesn’t help. The only reasonable thing in Australia is the coffee from 7eleven – 1 AUD coffee, and it’s good. I don’t enjoy Australia simply because it kills my budget so much and there are so many unforeseen expenses. For example, I had to pay 160 euro fine only because I parked the wrong way in the street – not even the wrong spot, just the wrong way. And I was fortunate with my car that there were no problems – until now.
In average I spent 69 euro per day in Australia.
The overall average lies at 58 euros per day if I include all the expenses – also expenses like travel insurance and the first flight from Europe to Asia. I hope that this average will fall a little bit after Australia and that I spent something under 20.000 euros for one full year. In my next blog post, I’ll describe on what I spent the money (Food, transport, insurance, etc.) and after that, I’ll give you some tips on how to save money, so stay tuned.
- Total countries I visited until now: 34
- Planes: 8
- Busses: 36
- Trains: 18
- Boats: 20
- Km driving: 5000
- Km running: 1800