How Much Does It Cost to Travel? Backpacking in Cambodia

Welcome to our ongoing series: How Much Does it Cost to Travel?

The goal of this series is to provide you with real budgets people have used for trips they have actually taken. This could be anything from a long weekend in Miami to 6 months backpacking around South East Asia. It’s our hope that by shining a spotlight on what people are actually spending- and the value they get for it, you will have a better idea of what it really costs to travel.

All of the travel budgets will live on this dedicated page.

Today’s budget is from Michelle from Full Time Explorer.

Where did you go?


I went to Cambodia for two and a half weeks!

Briefly, what was your itinerary?

I spent 4 nights in Siem Reap, 12 nights in Phnom Penh, and 2 nights in Mondulkiri.

How much money did you spend overall?

Overall, I spent $742.45 on my trip.

How much did you spend on transportation?

I used points to pay for my flights so they were free. I spent $95.50 on transportation around Cambodia. This included buses to each location, tuk-tuks around the cities, and taxis to and from the airport.

What kind of accommodation did you stay in? (hotels, hostels, apartments, couchsurfing etc).

I stayed in two hostels and a lodge. I spent a total of $118.20 on accommodations. Cambodia had the cheapest hostels I’ve ever stayed in. One was only $5 a night and had an amazing swimming pool!

What sort of activities did you do?

I went to see Angkor Wat, went trekking with elephants, and did tours around Phnom Penh that taught me a lot about Cambodia’s history. I spent $156 on tourism.

What did you splurge on? Was it worth it?

I definitely splurged on the three day Angkor Wat pass, which was $62. To be honest, I would buy the one-day pass next time and plan it better. I also splurged on a few nights of going out and drinking in Phnom Penh, which put me a tad over budget.

What did you scrimp on? Are you happy with that decision?

This is the first time I feel like I really didn’t scrimp on much. I wish I had been a little more careful with my spending because I did end up going over budget.

Did you purchase any special souvenirs?

I bought a few items made by ex-sex workers. The store helps rehabilitate women and get them off the street. I normally don’t buy much when I travel, but the money went to a great cause, so I picked up a purse, shirt, and some gifts for people back home.

Did you do anything special to save up for this trip?

I sold a lot of my stuff that I didn’t use anymore or didn’t need. Even selling clothes that I never wear and some small pieces of furniture I didn’t want added up to a few hundred dollars.

Do you have any regrets regarding how you budgeted this trip? Would you do things differently next time?

I budgeted for $30 a day, but $40 a day seemed more realistic. Even though accommodations were so cheap, I found food to be really expensive. I spent $345.62 on food which is close to half what I spent overall.

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Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can’t sit still! She is the co-founder and editor of Why Wait To See the World. Learn more about her here.

  1. This is so interesting! I would love to go backpacking around Cambodia. I went there over 10 years ago with my parents when I was a child but unfortunately do not remember too much!

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