I’ve been putting off writing this post for a long time.  Not because I don’t want to talk about it but because travel budgets for long term travelers are so individual and it’s really hard to give advice on something that has no definite answer.

There are so many methods for long term travel (we are talking long term travel here but you can adapt it for short term too).  Lets just look at some of the travel styles that are popular today:

·      Backpacking/Hosteling

·      Couchsurfing/Woofing

·      Camping

·      Rv’ing

·      House sitting

·      Hotels/motels/Apartments

·      Resorts/5 star hotels


Talking Travel Budgets for Long Term or RTW Travelers - Fancy Hotel

Fancy 5 star hotel? Don’t mind if I do!


The price range there is anything between $5 per night to $500 per night!  So as you can see, there is such a huge range when you are talking travel budgets.

But one of the things we want to achieve here at Suitcase Stories is to help anyone who dreams of living this lifestyle plan and prepare for their travels.  And of course your budget is an essential part of that.

Traveling without a budget is like traveling blind.  You really do need to know what travel style you can afford if you want to stay on the long for a decent amount of time.

But how can I advise you of that when I travel using one style and you may want to travel in another?  I can’t really.

So instead of advising you how much you will need to save to travel the world, we decided it would be better to show what we spend living this lifestyle.  Then, you can adjust it to suit your travel style.


Talking Travel Budgets for Long Term or RTW Travelers - Backpackers

Backpacking is a very popular method of travel for long term travelers


Some of you may look at this and go “Oh my god, they spend so little” and others will be thinking “Holy crap, I cant afford to travel like that!”.  But what you have to remember is, this is OUR budget.  This is the method we CHOOSE to travel with.

You will probably travel very differently from us and therefore you will have to come up with your own budget to suit your needs.  But we hope this gives you a starting point to develop your own travel budget.

As some of you know, we travel using the house sitting method.  We get to live in other peoples homes free of charge in exchange of looking after their home and pets.

However, this isn’t the only method we use.  Some times there are weeks or even months where we do not house sit.  This is sometimes by choice so we can travel quicker in some countries or it can be because there were no suitable house sits which we wanted to apply for.


Talking Travel Budgets for Long Term or RTW Travelers - Run Down House

We like to be a little bit fussy with what kind of house sits we accept


Either way this means we have to pay for accommodation during these times.   Now, I left my tiara back in Australia when we left 14 months ago but there is still a little ‘princess’ left in me and I prefer to stay in decent hotels or short term apartments during these times.  I’m not talking 5 star here people but I do like  clean bathroom, comfortable bed and a mini bar to keep all my liquor in (or maybe its diet coke but liquor makes me sound much more exciting!)

So this means our budgets are vastly different between our house sitting days and our hotel days.  Now we could just show you our budget for our hotel days because most of you will relate to that more.  But because we are huge advocated of house sitting we thought we would include that too so you can see exactly why we talk your ear off about house sitting on this blog!

Please remember, this is not a suggest budget for you!  This is OUR budget which you can use as a guide to determine your own budget.


Talking Travel Budgets for Long Term or RTW Travelers - Hotel Room

Hotel Room


 Please note: Both budgets have been worked out on an average over the last 12 months and of course will vary day to day.  All prices are in USD.  The costs presented are for two people, not per person and exclude transport costs.


Hotel Stays

I mentioned we stay in hotels between sits.  Sometimes this can be just for a few short days, other times it can be a month or more at a time.  Occasionally we have a kitchenette to cook our own meals in but usually we are in a standard hotel room with nothing more than a small bathroom and maybe a mini fridge.

This means we eat out – a LOT.  We usually have a very cheap breakfast, or sometimes its included in the room rate, and lunch and dinner are either eaten in cheap restaurants or food stalls. So our food budget varies as much as the accommodation when compared to our house sitting budget.

Accommodation $87

Food $80

Sightseeing $17

Total Daily Spend $184


Talking Travel Budgets for Long Term or RTW Travelers - House Sitting

House sitting is a great way to keep your costs down!


House sitting stays

You are about to see why we try and house sit much more than we stay at hotels.  This budget is very different in many ways.  The obvious is accommodation costs but you will also see food, sightseeing and transport very low too.  Why?  Well when we house sit we have our own kitchen to cook in this means its much cheaper to eat.

We do not do as much sightseeing while we house sit because we like to stay at the house majority of the time so instead of being out every day (like we are when we are at hotels) we go out only 1 or 2 days a week when we house sit.

And transport is low because we always take sits that supply us their car.  This means the only transport cost we have is gas, which of course is minimal when you only go out once or twice a week.

Accommodation $0

Food $35

Sightseeing $1

Total Daily Spend $36

Please note: Typically we stay at 3 star hotels.  Sightseeing includes things like entry fees and tour fees.  Costs for food include 3 restaurant meals per week.


Talking Travel Budgets for Long Term or RTW Travelers - World Map

Money makes the world go round!


So as you can see there is a huge difference in our two budgets so imagine how hard it would be for us to give you an exact budget for your travel style which may be different to ours.  It’s even greater if you include transport costs!

Hopefully this will give you a rough idea of costs for both hotel stays and house sitting.  You can tweak it to your travel style and type of accommodation you will be staying in.  Of course if you choose to do camping or hosteling your daily spend will be a lot cheaper than what we have shown here.  And on the flip side, if you stay at only 4-5 star hotels you need to allow for that additional cost in your budget.

Which ever travel method you choose it’s a very good idea to do up a budget, or expected costs, so you know how much money you will need to have in your savings account before you embark on your big adventure!


If you have any budget tips you would like to share please do so in the comments below.