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How Much Money do you Need to Travel Abroad?

How much money to travel abroad

Less than you think. Most men who haven’t traveled abroad have a skewed perception of the cost. I think there are several reasons why.

  1. Travel websites exaggerate the expense. They base their estimates on living in a hotel, taking taxis, eating at restaurants and doing expensive tourist activities. If you cut out all that crap you can live much cheaper.
  2. Americans don’t understand how cheap other countries are. For example, I lived well on $800 a month in Thailand. In America that kind of money gets you the questionable distinction of “extreme poverty”.
  3. There are lots of ways to stretch your dollar. You can volunteer at a hostel, volunteer through Workaway, get a temporary job teaching English, or Couch Surf.

Assuming you’ll be travelling on savings (no online income), $5,000 to $10,000 is the sweet spot. This provides a large enough buffer to feel safe without forcing you to save for years. Of course it also depends where you’re headed. $5,000 in Thailand is good for 4 to 6 months. $10,000 in Switzerland might only get you 3 to 5 months.

Don’t Sweat over Money, You’ll Figure it Out

If you’re abroad and you start running low on $$$ you’ll learn that there’s always a solution. On my epic trip around the world I never had more than $5,000 in savings. I stretched my budget by volunteering at a hostel, volunteering with multiple Workaway hosts and doing freelance SEO work. Towards the end I was briefly penniless in Bangkok. I couldn’t eat for 36 hours. It sucked but I survived. You will too. Between your savings and an emergency credit card there’s no situation you won’t conquer.

When I was learning Russian I spent two weeks living on a commune in rural Ukraine. Total $$$ spent for half a month… About $50