Planning a Round the World Trip: How to Budget

One of the biggest questions one asks when starts planning a round the world trip is how much is it going to cost?

When confronted with this question myself a few years before starting out my journey I started to look around for resources that would help me quickly figure out a rough target, and was rather surprised at the difficulty in finding an all in one tool.

Lonely planet’s website, forms, and books are a great resource but going through every country can be time consuming. Budgetyourtrip has some great information but I found when used as a planning tool the amount of detail the site seems to want can make planning tedious. A relatively simple and useful excel tool was created by Filipe Morato Gomes but it appears his site is no longer in operation.

So given some of the barriers I encountered while planning my round the world trip I decided to build my own travel planning tool and give it to the rest of the world for planning their travels.


Some of my goals when building my RTW trip budget tool were the following:

  1. Speed  – When planning a round the world trip you’re not concerned with the price of a hotel in Sri Lanka or a restaurant in Chile, you need broad numbers.
  2. Simple to use – I provided instructions on the sheet but I hope that if you just start using it, my round the world trip planning tool should be mostly self-explanatory.
  3. Flexibility – The RTW travel budget tool is designed for short trips as well as longer ones, you can change currencies and even adjust the number of travelers.
    1. The file is also completely open for modification if you need to, but I only recommend doing so if you REALLY understand Excel/Google docs, functionality can be broken very quickly otherwise.
  4. Comprehensive – I’ve scoured the web, consulted friends and used every resource I could find to ensure all countries are listed and that the vast majority have been provided with daily budgets as best as I’ve been able to determine.

A Few Notes

  • My daily costs are not almighty, yours are likely different, my goal was to be realistic about how one travel in certain countries a good example would be Egypt, it can absolutely be done for cheaper than I’ve listed but I think it’s unlikely most travelers would go all the way there without doing some of the (fairly expensive) sights.
  • In fact, most countries can be done for cheaper than I’ve listed but I’ve always found leaving yourself breathing room better than calling home for money for a plane ticket.
  • I mention this in the RTW Trip Planning Tool, but regional averages ignore outliers and assume you’re kind of following the traveler’s trail, they assume you’re a budget traveler, not a resort lounge chair accessory or rich enough to afford a $100/day travel visa, thank you Bhutan.

Click here for the most recent version of my budgeting tool for planning a round the world trip.

Click here for an example RTW trip planned for two people spending about 8 months going through South East Asia.

Have a suggestion for a change, think the daily costs need adjusting or need some help? Leave a comment below, hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or send a comment on the contact page.



2 thoughts on “Planning a Round the World Trip: How to Budget

  1. wow… I’m impressed. Looks like you spent a lot of time putting this together. I haven’t used it yet, I’ll come back for a follow up when I do, but in the meantime, Thanks for all the hard work!


    1. Jade,

      Thanks for the words of encouragement, any feedback (+/-) is greatly appreciated. If there are features I can add or ways to make it easier to use, I’m all ears! I just started following your site, looks great and you two have some good content.



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