BootsnAll Travel Network

You Can Afford to Travel: Budget Breakdown of my 7 Week Trip in Africa

Once again, I was amazed today at how affordable it can be to travel overseas – especially when you visit places cheaper than the United States and/or spend some time ‘living’ there. After almost 7 weeks overseas, I took stock of how much this trip has cost. By my estimations, it will end up around $5,000 USD after a few days in Amsterdam. I’m talking everything – ticket, climb, insurance, living – and in every medium – in cash, cards, etc.

There are a lot of loopholes in budgeting a trip – someone might consider economy to be ‘as cheap as possible’ while another might think anything under $150 a night is fair game. There’s also the heavy hitters of paying for accommodation, partying with booze and eating out at nice restaurants. In order to give people an idea of how my stars aligned, I’ve attempted to give a full disclosure. This is very subjective, especially since there are things I would/wouldn’t have done, had I been here only for pleasure, totally on my own, not working in a writing capacity, on a different budget, etc. However, one thing I want to underline: it’s the fact that if you really want to make it happen, you can, and for less than you think.

Lastly, as one more note of comparison, my RTW trip in 2003 cost approximately $7,000 for almost 4 months of travel, half of which was in Western Europe. I had free accommodation for 5 weeks in Australia.

Ticket: (Portland-Nairobi-Cape Town-Amsterdam-Portland were the official stops) and Kilimanjaro Climb: $3300 (seven days on the mountain, no safari, large group of 30)
Travel Medical Insurance: $120 (includes the optional sports rider, with a $100 US deductible.)
Food and Drink: $700 (I like to eat, especially at nice restaurants. However, I have not gone drinking one night at the clubs and am mostly a wine-with-dinner drinker)
Accommodation:: $100 (Nairobi)
Tours: $200 (Nairobi day tour, Cape Town biking, cheese and wine, mountain biking around Kili, township explorer – see note below)
Visas: $100 (Kenya and Tanzania)
Misc: $500 (in country transportation, gifts, necessities, etc)

NOT included/extras:
Gear for Kilimanjaro: $600 – this includes stuff I will continue to use/have been using, like new hiking boots, active wear, etc.
Most Rent/Accommodation: $750 – I did not pay for 90% of my accommodation while traveling. However, Ben says that I could have gotten a room in a house (like my prior living arrangements in Portland) for as low as $100 in Cape Town. This figure assumes that I spent up to $400 for lodging somewhere in Cape Town and $350 for the other two weeks of my trip that I wasn’t camping on the mountain. I am a dorm-room-in-a-hostel backpacker, for the most part, although I probably would have gotten more private rooms in Moshi if I wasn’t staying with Donovan.

I am not paying rent, my gym membership, full car insurance or for my mobile phone bill while I am away. I was able to extend my contacts in most of these cases and ‘defer’ these past two months. My things are in free storage.

Sean paid for a disproportionate number of meals/food while we were traveling/working, so it’s safe to assume that my food amount would have been higher.

I was able to get some tours and accommodation at free or reduced rates. If I had paid for the full cost of all of the tours, it would have probably been another $200. My room in Amsterdam would be another $100.

In the end, I paid $5,000 to live for almost two months during a peak holiday season. This is more than I spend at home, however, during that time I climbed the continent’s highest mountain, flew halfway around the globe (with three stops!), ate out more often, created memories and learned an immense amount about the amazing continent of Africa. What did you do? How much did it cost?

Now, where are you going next?


0 responses to “You Can Afford to Travel: Budget Breakdown of my 7 Week Trip in Africa”

  1. Anonymous says:

    sorry but kili is not in the top 100 highest mountains, dont act all high and mighty travel snob

  2. Courtney says:

    Opps…didn’t mean to sound like a snob. Rather, I was trying to highlight the affordability of heading overseas if you budget correctly 🙂 Good luck on your next trip!

  3. Mzunga Kichaa says:

    Actually climbing Kilimanjaro is $1 million dollars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *