Well that depends on what you call decent. Some are happy when they only find cockroaches in their bathroom and not in their sleeping room, and will make a little dance of happiness when there is a ‘real shower’. Others only stay in hotels with a European standard, where crisp white sheets and silky soft towels are the standard. We do like European standards, but when you look for those, travelling will be disappointingly short and we like it long. To live on a budget you must lower your standard. It doesn’t mean that you have to endure hardship the whole trip ‐You can off course‐. When you sleep on the streets, have a strict diet of street food and hitchhike towards your next destination; you end up with a daily budget of 3 euro/dollar. It’s nice that your trip will last forever but it’s far from pleasant. It’s those three items; sleeping, eating and transportation, which slurp up most of your travel money. The rest of the money goes to all the fun like excursions, day trips, scuba diving, renting a motorcycle and luxury. To treat yourself once in a while with some luxury can be a must, just to reload. A real cappuccino, a beer or pizza and for Hugo some Greek yoghurt can make the day. Our body is accustomed to those ordinary items. After years of daily yoghurt and coffee consumption, you find yourself talking hours every day about the food back home. Even we Dutchies miss the culinary delights of our Dutch cuisine. So don’t ignore your body’s cry for cappuccino when you pass the first coffee bar since weeks, you deserve it don’t you?!
Depending on the county we are travelling the daily budget varies roughly between 10,‐ (exception) and 40,‐ euro/dollar. We calculate 800,‐ euro/dollar a month per person to eat, sleep, visa, day trips like renting a scooter or doing some dives, and transportation including all short distance flights. The only thing we do not include in our monthly budget is the flight back and forward from ‘home’ to your first country of choice, travel insurance, malaria pills and vaccinations.
Our monthly budget has been roughly the same for trips to (Southeast) Asia, Africa and Latin America. The thing is when travelling is extremely cheap, and you spend only a few bucks a day for a week or two, eventually you will slowly begin to spend more on food and other stuff. Anyway we do.
Where does your travel budget last longer?
Short answer: Southeast Asia
The following will give you an idea, but it’s incomplete because we haven’t been everywhere yet. Asia and especially Southeast Asia is cheap. You can (it’s no fun, but you can) survive with 300 euro/dollar a month. Central and South America are a bit more expensive, calculate at least 400. Chile, Brazil and Argentina are more expensive countries in South America and cost around 600 or 700 euro/dollar and Bolivia is compatible in price like most Asiatic countries.
Sadly we don’t know enough about sub‐Saharan Africa, we visited Morocco and Egypt. We spend 800,‐ per person for one month Morocco including a rental car. In general Africa it is not extremely cheap. There are some exceptions like Ethiopia.
Don’t regret the money spent. With a rent close to at thousand euro/dollar a month for most people, travelling is often cheaper than staying at home, and you get a lot more in return!