Over the next couple of weeks I’m discussing 8 important things to consider when planning a budget . Last time we covered start-up costs so lets move onto transportation issues. This will probably be one of the largest chunks of your budget, especially if you are visiting many places, so it is important to spend some time working out these costs.
Plane tickets- This is probably the biggest lump sum you will pay when going abroad. A Round-the-World (RTW) plane ticket will set you back somewhere between $1500 and $4000 depending on where and how many places you are planning to visit. If you are looking for a ballpark, a good website is Airtreks which lets you experiment with different itineraries. Once you have a basic idea you can start shopping around for the best deal; check Airtreks as well as Kayak, Sidestep and other search aggregators. It may even be worth talking to and actual travel agent to make sure you are getting the best deal on this big ticket item.
- Ground Transport Costs– Once you’ve got your major flight tickets out of the way, you need to consider the rest of your transportation costs. If you are going to Italy you’re not going to fly into Rome, then fly again to Florence and again to Venice. Of course you could, but it would be a waste of time and money. More likely you will want to take the train. Or bus. Or bicycle. Take some time to strategize how you will be getting from point A to point B between and within countries. Start pricing things like eurorail passes (which often need to be ordered before you leave the country), car rentals or ferry trips.
- You probably won’t be able to book all of these things ahead of time, or pin down exact prices if you are traveling outside of Western Europe, but you should be able to sketch out a basic idea of what these things are going to cost you. Thorn tree travel forums are a good place to start.
Remember, the more places you visit, the more expensive these fees are going to be. This is when you will need to play with your budget, and see how practical your plans really are.
Next time we’ll be breaking down cost of living expenses.