Round-the-world trip on two salaries

Travelling on a budget 101
05 May 2017
Last June Roman Godikov from Saint Petersburg completed a three months’ round-the-world trip. During this time, he spent less than a thousand dollars – he could save money thanks to budget airlines, couchsurfing and hospitality of local residents. Now, in addition to planning new trips, Godikov is engaged in travel counseling - anyone can ask him for help and get advice on the logistics and peculiarities of local culture. shares expert advice that will be useful to any novice traveler.
Roman in Peru with Moraya circles. © Photo from personal archive

Fly away from Europe

The lion's share of a trip budget is made up of air tickets. You can save some money here using low-cost airlines - airlines which offer cheap tickets in exchange for giving up the majority of traditional services. To search for and compare prices, it is convenient to use aggregators. Try to break the route into parts, for example it is more profitable to fly through Germany and Spain to Portugal from Russia, than look for direct flights.

Buses are cheaper

If you do not want to travel via airplanes, feel free to choose buses, even for long distances. In Europe, you can move around cheaply by the low-cost buses, they have an extensive network of routes almost throughout Europe. By the way, they have stopovers in many former CIS countries, and some of the routes pass through Saint Petersburg.
Moon Valley in Bolivia. © Photo from personal archive

Hostels are essential

Budget accommodation is traditionally sought in cheap hotels and hostels. If you travel on your own, the cheapest option is a room for 6-10 beds. If you have company, you can take a private room - and sometimes it turns out cheaper than the night in common rooms. The cost depends a lot on the country. It is expensive in Netherlands, France, Sweden, Belgium and Italy. And it's cheap in Poland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and the former CIS. On average, the price varies from 250 to 1000 rubles per day per person. Also do not forget about couchsurfing.

Couchsurfing is not always an option

Couchsurfing is the largest guest network where participants provide free accommodation, assistance and joint travel. This option is not suitable for people who are used to last minute decisions, this type of travel is very popular, and sometimes there are thousands of people looking for a night's lodgings, and hundreds of people who can offer. Because of this, the search takes a lot of time, which should be allocated in advance.
Roman in Bolivia. © Photo from personal archive

Plan your route

Pay special attention to information on the state borders crossing. If a navigator has laid a route, this does not always mean that you can drive through it. For example, you can not get from Central to South America by car - the land route from Panama to Colombia is interrupted by the Darien Gap.

Study visa issues and know your rights

It is much easier to communicate with officials, having at hand the documents needed for passengers to cross the state borders. So, planning a trip through Asia, you need to know in advance that you can't go through Bhutan - in this country, individual tourists do not get a visa.
Himalayas, India. © Photo from personal archive

Take care of your health

Study countries where vaccinations are needed, take medicines with you. If you feel it's necessary, take out insurance. Neglect of the medical aspect often leads to unexpected disappointments. For example, you can't get to Gabon without a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Study weather seasons for a comfortable trip

It's a bad idea to visit Sri Lanka in September, unless, of course, you are a fan of shower rains. And the rainiest months in Ceylon are May and October.
Roman on the island of Pamutusan in Indonesia. © Photo from personal archive

Learn other languages

Traveling is easier when you can freely speak English - the official language of 54 countries. Despite this, in many Asia, South America or Africa countries, this is not enough - English will be understood by the wait stuff and very unlikely by local residents.


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