RTW Budget

How much does it cost to travel round the world for 1 year?

My very rough initial estimate is £84,000 for a family of four, travelling for one year, based on total costs of around £60 per person/day.

We haven’t previously travelled together as a family on anything longer than a two-week holiday, so it is difficult to know in advance how much we might spend over a full year away.

So hopefully my initial estimate is on the (very) high side, and we will be doing our best to travel more frugally.

I will update as plans progress and we get a better idea of real costs.

Pre-Trip = £4,000

  • Travel Insurance – £1,000 (World Nomads – looks like a good option for long-term insurance)
  • Visas – £500
  • Vaccinations – £500
  • Storage – £1,000
  • Travel kit – £2,000

On The Road Travel = £23,000

  • All flights – £15,000
  • Car hire / fuel 100 days @£60 per day – £6,000
  • Trains / buses / taxis, etc. – £2,000

Accommodation / Food / Other = £57,000

  • Accommodation @£80 per day – £30,000 (Agoda is the best website I have found for making hotel booking for short city stays / Airbnb is our primary resource for booking longer stays)
  • Food @£50 per day – £18,000
  • Other @£25 per day – £9,000


I am also researching how much other families have spent on their round the world adventures, and the following sites have some really useful information:

  1. BootsnAll – excellent article based on the real costs of 11 RTW trips, which shows a wide range of spend, between £23 ($34) and £77 ($116) per person per day
  2. Never Ending Voyage – amazing website and gives a good breakdown of actual daily living expenses for two people in various countries, with the total being a frugal £40 per person per day
  3. World Travel Family – shows that it is possible to take a family of four, such as ourselves, round the world for just $100 per day in total, which would be less than £20 per person per day

One theme that is emerging is that families who have managed to travel slowly have also managed to travel more frugally. This makes sense because slower travel should equal lower transport costs.

I think the key challenge here is how we balance our desire to see “everything” we possibly can, with our equal desire not to blow all of our money in the first 6 weeks racing around too fast.

My next step is to start planning a more detailed budget based on actual living expenses in the places that we would like to visit.


I would really appreciate your help and any advice you can give us on planning our RTW budget:

  • What is your experience of costs for long-term family travel?
  • Are we being too optimistic / pessimistic on costs?
  • What are your best money saving tips?

6 thoughts on “RTW Budget

Add yours

  1. This is really interesting as we plan our trip and turn our attention to budget. We are hoping to get by on about NZ$120,000 for the year which is more like 60000 pounds. As you say in your post, it is tricky making estimates over such a long period of time!


    1. I am planning to update our figures as our journey progresses, and hoping that we can get by on less. Shooting for c£60,000 / NZ$120,000 certainly feels possible. I will check out your plans also.


  2. Hi, did you go for it and how much did it cost you in the end? I have just drawn up a budget for 9 months travel for a family of 4 and it comes
    to £58,000. So I’m wondering whether this is realistic and whether you have any insights. Thanks!


    1. Hi Harriet,
      We did go for it and I hope you do to! We’ve been back home now for about 3 years, but the six months that we spent travelling as a family were incredible and unforgettable. Budget wise, I think a lot depends on the route you are thinking of taking and where you’re planning to stay.

      We spent a lot of time in New Zealand and Australia, which was relatively expensive but somewhere we really wanted to take time exploring. We mostly stayed either in an RV or in AirBnB places. We found our daily accommodation costs were similar either way, once taking into account fuel and campsite costs for the RV, although we did get an RV relocation deal for 1 week that was very economical (if you like driving).

      I would say £58,000 is definitely do-able, but I’d probably advise having at least some contingency just in case.

      We also spent more than I was expecting on flights, but that was partly because we changed our route mid-journey. We’re back in the UK now (South Gloucestershire) – when are you thinking of going and are you expecting to plan a route in advance or just head off somewhere?



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