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We Need Your Help Planning Our Trip

By SammyK on Mon, Jan 26th 09 at 07:31PM | Permalink | Comments (31)

I just realized that if we keep going on our trip as planned, we'll be spending 6 whole months in Europe.

6 months in the most expensive places on earth!?

What are we, mad!? Forget $15 a day - more like $15 an hour!

So maybe it won't be that bad, but since we've pretty much already blown our budget for the trip staying in "cheap" countries for 5 months, we're not going to survive a week in Europe.

So this has got me thinking...

...yeah, I'm still thinking.

The only other country we're planning on going to before Europe is Thailand and apparently, you can live like a king on just $5 a day there.

So I'm thinking we prolong our stay in Australia by a few weeks - or even a month and then spend about 2 months in Thailand... or maybe three.

But I'm still undecided.

I recently got some money from some freelance web projects so I'm pretty good on the budget, but it's certainly not a 6-month Europe budget.

I don't know... If this were your trip, what would you do?


Ryan wrote on January 26th 09 at 07:51PM
Steal, bribe, blackmail, or get money anyway I could to travel Europe.
Leana wrote on January 26th 09 at 07:55PM
Why only Thailand? Travel around Southeast Asia. Lots of amazing culture and opportunities for adventure!
Peter Carey wrote on January 26th 09 at 08:27PM
On the budgets you're looking at, I'd spend a few less months in Europe. If you have some mates to hang with or couchsurf the entire time, you might be able to squeak by. I'd say add in a buffer or flex months, maybe 2, and count them against your Europe time. That way if you find you really like Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, etc... those cheap places to live, you can spend extra time and less in Europe. Don't get me wrong, Europe is great, but you're right about the budget taking a hit.

Good luck, tracking you through RSS.
Peter Carey wrote on January 26th 09 at 08:29PM
PS, let william know his RSS link under his picture is broken!
Nikki wrote on January 26th 09 at 08:29PM
I'd say in Oz longer. Love that country!
Shawn wrote on January 26th 09 at 11:33PM
Don't forget about the Middle East. Egypt is very cheap, I traveled Egypt for five months and it is very safe and cheap along with Syria. Jordan and Turkey is slightly more expensive, but not bad.

I am not to sure why you two had to buy the rest of your plane tickets, that throws the flexibility out the window. You could travel from South-east Asia through Central Asia to Turkey, but now you have plane tickets.

The Middle East is cheap, and very safe. The people are wonderful, I would consider the region.

I am in Israel for three months and there is no problem even during the war. Wars in Israel are like fires in California.
Corey wrote on January 26th 09 at 11:49PM
I definately second running around SEA for longer. Don't know if you can, but fly to Singapore then bus and train up through Malaysia, into Thailand, across to Cambodia and up through Vietnam. Heck, you could probably overland all the way to Beijing if you want. All of that area is uber cheap.

Also, assuming your time in Europe is random, spend a lot of it, if not all, in Eastern Europe, specifically the countries that have not adopted the Euro. It's Western Europe that will eat away at your budget. You can get by relatively cheaply if you stay in Eastern Europe.

It's also less touristy and so full of history.
Shawn wrote on January 27th 09 at 01:12AM
Eastern Europe is much cheaper, visiting countries with the Euro is the problem.

Keep in mind the slower you can travel the cheaper your cost will be, the faster you travel the more money you will spend.
Itinerant Geoff wrote on January 27th 09 at 02:10AM
Yes, you can do bits of Europe on the cheap - as people have noted above me, Eastern Europe outside the Eurozone is relatively cheap; inside Portugal is fantastic and probably the cheapest Euro-using country; it's also a good time to visit the UK as the pound is weaker now against the dollar as it has been for 25 years, so it's about as cheap as it's ever going to get - however even these cheapER bits are still waaaaaay more expensive than SEA or India, so I'd spend much longer in Asia. I'd much rather live on $15 a day in Thailand than I would in France.

Europe isn't going anywhere - there's nothing stopping you from coming back in future when you have a bit more cash.

I'm avoiding Europe altogether on my forthcoming RTW trip for this very reason, and my daily budget is $50!
shane wrote on January 27th 09 at 04:01AM
As far as western Europe is concerned Spain and Portugal are pretty cheap. Greece and Turkey are also very cheap. Everything gets more expensive as you move north but you can still get bargains in France and Italy. Germany is more expensive. Everywhere north of there is bloody expensive. The east is very cheap except for Prague. Get 30km from Prague and the price of everything plummets. I would not miss Spain, France or Italy - my favourite places in Europe.
shane wrote on January 27th 09 at 04:22AM
Also, if you can afford to spend more time in Australia you can afford Southern (Mediterranean) Europe. Even with the woeful Aussie dollar some of those countries are no more expensive than Oz and in some cases cheaper. So you should be right with your strong (relatively) Yankee dollar. Don't forget North Africa too - Morocco & Egypt are cheap.
Anil wrote on January 27th 09 at 05:10AM
I'd strongly recommend Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, and/or Northern Cyprus. All unique places in Europe to visit and cheap as well.
Edger wrote on January 27th 09 at 02:46PM
I'd go with everyone else on spending more time in Asia and Eastern Europe. I've only been to Vietnam, but it was great...and it made me really want to go to Cambodia and Laos and of course Thailand. Also, I feel like Western Europe is one of those places you can go anytime, even if it's just a few weeks of vacation if you are back in the real world with a real job etc. But since you are all the way in Australia already and you are going to be in Thailand I'd make the most of those places since they take so much more time to get to and now you have the time. You can go to western europe later when you have the money.
Kirk wrote on January 27th 09 at 04:32PM
Definitely concentrate in Eastern Europe then. It is so much cheaper, much less crowded with tourists, and in my opinion more "authentic." I spent a month there this past summer and loved it. Definitely look into these places:

High Tatra Mountains - border Poland and Slovakia and you will feel like you're in the Alps!

Krakow - very fun city to be in and still relatively cheap

Cesky Krumlov and Olomouc, Czech Republic

Budapest, Hungary,

I didn't make it farther east, but please check out Croatia (especially the islands and Dubrovnik), Lake Bled (Slovenia), and pretty much the entire Balkan area. You guys are going to have a ball - so jealous :)

You have tents if I remember from the videos, so that will cut costs even more for the rural places.
jason smith wrote on January 27th 09 at 11:43PM
3 months in Western Europe max. You can live on $25 day if you have to. I have a friend heading for New Zealand for 4 months in Feb by himself. He is buying a car/van/living quarter when he gets there. Hes looking for some partners/friends. If interested, his name is Kyle
Nomadic Matt wrote on January 28th 09 at 01:36AM
you can't live like a king for 5 dollars a day in thailand. sorry. you'll need at least 15, especially if u want to eat.

As was already mentioned, bounce all over south east asia. don't just see thailand. you have time. you two could always work in Australia to for a bit to get some extra money
Torsten wrote on January 28th 09 at 05:07AM
Hi Sam, long time no hear. Kirsten & me met you guys at the Erratic Rock Hostel, Pto. Natales & spent a couple of days Trekking at Torres del Paine. Since then we're following your'e travel blog. So, if it comes to Europe, especially Germany the offer still holds. If you plan to visit Munich or the Alps, you're still invited to stay at our house for a couple of days. Just bear in mind that it is not Munich downtown but rather a very small village 20km south of Munich that we're living in. If it comes to other cheap travel destinations I can recommend SEA or even better India! If you want to get an idea of how it is there you can visit our travelpages: or where you can find also some pictures & stories of Torres del Paine. Keep in touch & safe travels!!! Our next travel destination will be New Zealand in Novemver this year....;o) Cheers, Kirsten & Torsten.
stik wrote on January 28th 09 at 09:26AM
dude....skip europe. you can do that any day. go to thailand, visit the surrounding islands. live like a king and experience another culture totally different than a western country.
Abby Kunes(Williams Aunt) wrote on January 28th 09 at 03:37PM
Sam, I agree with visiting Thailand, Vietnam, even Israel.(I even heard Iceland was reasonable). My daughter traveled Europe this last year and she found(trying to couch surf) that Europeans don't check their email like westerners(so it was hard to make connections). Plus, alot of Youth Hostels weren't close to the train stations so it took more time to get to them. The Euro just killed their budget which was $15 a day so they couldn't do it. (Which meant they ate alot of bread.) They also couldn't afford seeing the sights because of the cost. They loved Greece and were able to stay as couch surfers then. We have connections in Spain if you go there.
Really good ideas from alot of people on this site--listen to them for sure.
elclinto wrote on January 29th 09 at 11:03AM
Dude, head to the outback and hang with the Aboriginals, then if you survive that, go swim with the sharks off the coast, then head to Thailand. That's all I got. :)
EricB wrote on January 29th 09 at 09:16PM
Were it my trip I'd make it priority to visit Africa. While I'd prefer the heart of Africa, I'm sure even North Africa would be really interesting. Like someone mentioned before, Egypt would be nice. And perhaps you could skim across the Barbary Coast all the way to Morrocco where you could take a ferry for about 20 bucks to Spain, which is one of your more affordable countries in Western Europe.
Kevin wrote on January 29th 09 at 10:12PM
Hey guys, I've been following your podcast from the start (stumbled upon it). Awesome website, awesome trip. Let me give you some advice: spend more time in SE Asia. I've traveled quite a bit (including Australia and SE Asia), and I don't think you should miss out on the diverse cultures that the region has to offer. Visit Vietnam, visit Cambodia... visit Burma if you don't mind giving money to the junta. Really, you don't want to miss out on this. Plus, it's so damn cheap there. You can live like a king in all of SE Asia for pocket change. Save some money and don't miss out on this opportunity.
Chris wrote on January 30th 09 at 04:15AM
I live in the UK and it is not cheap! Not sure what the dollar to Euro exchange is at the mo, but I suppose with the rates here you could get a lot more for your US money now in the UK.

Love the site by the way! Excellent work - just found it today and spent an hour watching vids etc. Keep it up!
sara wrote on February 2nd 09 at 10:08AM
come couchsurfing in Maastricht in the Netherlands for 6 months if you like ;) very ok place!
Iva wrote on February 3rd 09 at 11:57AM
Not sure if you still remember me, but I'm the girl from Czech Republic you met in Antigua. I changed my plans and will stay in Czech Republic until mid June. I'll rent an apartmen in Prague, so if I know ahead, you're more than welcome to stay in my place. Also, I can give you some tips around here, maybe get some discounts... anyway $ 15 for a day... impossible here.
Michael wrote on February 3rd 09 at 06:17PM
I think you need to think about WORKING HOLIDAY VISA since you have no more money left.

If you are under 31 years old, a lot of European countries offer a LEGAL WORKING VISA so you can work a little bit as you travel.

Europe is not affordable right now, with the EURO being so high and cost of living of almost 4000$ USD per month to live there (with everything included).

And why didn't you guys work a little bit in New Zealand and Australia????? You can then again get a LEGAL WORKING VISA to work a bit to pay for your trip.

15$ a day is only possible in countries like INDIA. Even in Thailand, you won't be able to sleep anywhere under 5$ a didn't count food and transport. If you plan to sleep all day and eat fruits from trees in the jungle..then maybe. But so far, you're living in WESTERN COUNTRIES. BAD PLANNING GUYS!!!!!!!
Patrick & Rachel Hugens wrote on February 3rd 09 at 07:41PM
If your airline ticket is to Bangkok & flying out of a big loop through Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos then back into Northern Thailand. (or reverse)

India is cheap but you don't want to be there the wrong time of year.

Consider Africa

And we've mentioned before...
gives great experiences with no expense all over the world (the link to Europe is....
Patrick & Rachel Hugens wrote on February 3rd 09 at 07:48PM
PS. From Australia, don't forget to look into hopping over to the islands of Indonesia... &/or Malaysia
craig gross wrote on February 3rd 09 at 08:30PM
is this decision being influenced by a female possibly ?
Brian Starkel wrote on February 8th 09 at 11:33PM

explore this website, you can volunteer for a couple weeks, meals provide and do some good.

For example, a month in India is $850 accommodation and meals.
CJ wrote on March 3rd 09 at 06:19AM
Go to Poland (and other eastern European countries), the food is great and so are the people!
The incredible story of how two recent college grads are traveling around the world on an impossible budget.
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