Welcome to our ongoing series that asks: 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 Roobens of Been Around the Globe.
Where did you go?
I spent two weeks in Uzbekistan, in Central Asia.
Briefly, what was your itinerary?
I spent one day in Nukus (coming from the Turkmenistan border), before heading to Bukhara where I spent five days. Then I went to Samarcand where I spent four days, and my last stop was Tashkent, the capital, where I stayed for five days. From there, I went to Kazakhstan.
How much money did you spend overall?
Overall, in two weeks in Uzbekistan, I spent around $300.
Accommodation : $140
Transportation : $43
Food and drinks : $100
Miscellaneous cash expenses (visiting mosques and shrines, subway tickets…) : $20
How much did you spend on transportation?
During my 2-weeks trip, I spent a total of $43. Broken down :
$10 from the Turkmenistan border (in Konye Urgench) to Nukus, I took a taxi.
$6 from Nukus to Bukhara, I took a bus.
$5 from Bukhara to Samarcand, I took a shared taxi (very common in the area). Could have spent $3 if I had taken a bus, but I didn’t want to wait for 4 hours.
$6 from Samarcand to Tashkent, this time I took a train.
$16 from Tashkent to Chimkent, in Kazakhstan, I took another train.
What kind of accommodation did you stay in?
I’m traveling solo with my backpack, therefore I usually stay in hostels and I sleep in dorms (usually with 3 to 5 other people in the room). I spent one night in my own private room in Nukus. I spent a total of $140 sleeping in various hostels in two weeks, which is roughly $10 per night.
What sort of activities did you do?
I visited a lot of mosques and shrines, and they are super cheap ($1 to $2 to get inside!). I love to eat, so yeah I spent quite some money tasting the local food. Oh and I walk a lot (this is free!), just trying to grasp the general atmosphere. I like free walking tours but I couldn’t find any in the country. I’m not much into museums.
What did you splurge on? Was it worth it?
Mostly food. I love to eat, and Uzbek food (and from Central Asia in general) is really good. If you ever go to Uzbekistan, you should definitely try Plov, their national dish. It’s a rice pilaf-like dish, which is delicious. They also eat a lot of shashlik (kebab) and manty (dumplings). I spent way more than I usually do eating outside and having drinks. But it was definitely worth it!
What did you scrimp on? Are you happy with that decision?
I scrimped on taxis and even public transportation, which means I walked a looot (25-30k steps every day). Honestly, I don’t mind walking. Yes it takes more time to get where you want to go, but I don’t really care, I don’t like to rush when I’m traveling. I’m happy with that decision.
Did you purchase any special souvenirs?
Honestly, I didn’t buy any souvenirs since I’m long-term traveling and I have limited space in my backpack.
Did you do anything special to save up for this trip?
Not really, I usually travel on a budget. I’m constantly trying to save money!
Do you have any regrets regarding how you budgeted this trip? Would you do things differently next time?
Regarding the budget, not at all. I had a great time in Uzbekistan and I usually track the money I’m spending on the road. Regarding the trip, maybe I should have stayed 2-3 more days in the country to visit Khiva. I don’t even know why I didn’t go there.
Anything else to add?
If you get a chance to travel anywhere in Central Asia, just go! This area is overlooked, but super cheap! People are lovely there, they’re happy to see tourists visiting their country! I can’t tell how many times I heard “Welcome to Uzbekistan!” from the locals. Oh and the food is delicious. Think about it!