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How much money to I need to travel for seven months?

by Clo

I'm planning a seven-month trip. How much money do I need? I'm planning on doing some woofing also. And should I sit down and plan every detail of where I will go?

Answer: Providing a specific answer is difficult without knowing where exactly you are, where you will go, what kinds of things you like...

A few generalities do apply to you as they would to anyone else. I'll start with the end first.

No, you don't need to sit down and plan everything first, as long as you don't mind changing gears along the way and have some flexibility. If you're the organized planned type, then a good plan would probably make your trip more enjoyable. The one reason you might have to plan ahead is if you're flying to your destination and you need a ticket - since you do need a departure and arrival point. If you're going a long distance and want to see several countries, consider getting round-the-world-tickets. Otherwise plan your itinerary around the very cheap international flights available these days.

If you're not into planning, you could just buy a one-way ticket and then fly back from wherever you find yourself seven months from now.

If you plan to WWOOF part of the way, you probably need a travel budget of some kind and a bit of travel advice on money. As you'll see, everything will depend on where you're planning to go.

If you're having difficulties saving the money for your trip, these money-saving travel tips will help get you started.

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Jul 09, 2011
How long can I travel with $1000?
by: Leyla

***NOTE*** I'm adding this because I just found this great chart on Rough Guides that shows you how far you'll get for $1000... in Japan, that'll do you for a mere 15 days but if you switch your gaze to Guatemala, you could travel for a whopping 63 days, and even longer in India! If you're wondering how long your travel dollar will last, check out this travel budget chart.

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Is there a way around single supplements for solo travellers?

by Laura
(Ontario, Canada)

I am just starting to foray into the world of solo travelling, and I am dismayed at the single supplement that is added to any kind of organized tour itinerary. Specifically, I am considering a walking tour that is self-guided. They look after accommodations and bag transportation, and you just walk from place to place. The price is reasonable, but not when you consider the single supplement. Besides being extremely unfair, it just irks me. Why should I be penalized for travelling alone?? Is there any way around this?

Answer: Laura, you hit the nail on the head! What you describe is one of the main reasons a lot of women choose to travel solo. They're just fed up with having to pay extra or put up with inferior services or accommodations just because they're traveling on their own.

All is not lost however. Increasingly companies are becoming aware and conscious that their single female clientele is in rebellion. This shift has been taking place for several years, since the solo travel phenomenon hit the mainstream. As a result, tour operators are increasingly offering no supplements or low supplements fees for single travelers. Your best bet is to do a search for 'no travel supplement' on the web. You'll find many organizations or companies that advertise themselves as solo-friendly. You may not find exactly what you're looking for, but you'll also discover many companies that do indeed treat the solo traveler as a treasured guest.

Of course you could decide to travel independently, in which case you might want to look into finding female travel companions if the 'independent' side of things is a bit daunting.

Or, you could plunge right in the deep end and try doing it all on your own: reserve your flights, book your accommodation, design your itinerary. If you haven't tried this yet, please give it a thought—it's a lot easier than you might think, and you'll probably meet many like-minded travelers along the way.

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Mar 08, 2011
by: Ruth A

There are good tour companies- small groups- no single supplement- you can share with a member of the opposite sex. This is what I have done now for 3 of my trips and it has turned out great.....if no spare body, then you get a room to yourself!

(Exodus and The Imaginative Traveller are the two I have used......)

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Confused over travel costs....

(London, UK)

Hi, I'm 31, and have decided to take redundancy from my job and go travelling later this year. I'm struggling to work out how much money I would need for 6 months to a year of travelling around North America and South America, then Africa - ideally without working, but I would be happy to supplement it with teaching etc as I have an ESL qualification. People tell me South America is expensive in terms of backpacking. I've been told £6,000 (not including flights) is enough for 8 months, but I'm not convinced!

Do you have any rough figures, or advice on costs you can share?

Great site by the way - really helped me whilst travelling around Greece last summer.

Answer: I would budget about $50 (about £30) a day. It's more than what you will need for travel in many countries in South America, but not enough for North America so things should even out. At $50 a day you should easily be able to travel about 6 to 7 months. If you wanted to travel for eight months you have to be extra careful and cut back on all but the most essential expenses. Or, you could stick to the cheapest countries in South America like Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, or Argentina. In some countries you'll get by on $25 or $30 a day.

Remember too that attractions like the Inca Trail or the Pantanal in Brazil cost quite a bit. In some countries buses will be expensive, and you don't mention whether that will be part of the budget or not.

And then there is Africa. It all depends on where you go. Some countries can be extremely cheap—you could probably get by on $20 or $25 a day. In South Africa, you'll be paying a lot more. In West Africa, some countries are exceedingly expensive, while others are dirt cheap. The big difference in Africa is rural areas versus the city. You should be able to live very cheaply in the countryside and cities can and will be quite expensive.

Final verdict? It sounds as if £6,000 will be enough for eight months of travel, if you're careful with your money. But you can do it. And if you decide to work along the way, it'll be a breeze.

Make sure you keep your costs low and avoid unpleasant surprises by getting some cheap worldwide travel insurance. There is little worse than the prospect of spending thousands of dollars if you're not properly covered. And you might take a look at a great little e-book to help you plan your trip called The Art of Solo Travel, by Stephanie Lee. She traveled for six months on $13,000 and details how she did it.

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How can an unemployed person travel?

by Deb

I have a deep-rooted passion for travel but I'm facing many obstacles at the moment - like unemployment. Do you have any alternative cheap travel ideas to eliminate my boredom and reignite my passion?

Answer: Like it or not, travel costs some money. But it doesn't have to cost a lot. First you have to get somewhere, which means trying to find a cheap ride if you're staying on the same continent, or using discount airlines to get somewhere cheaply.

If you plan to stay in the UK look for rides in the Craigslist listing for your nearest city. Be careful and correspond with potential drivers first - however cheap it's not worth putting your life in danger.

And since you live in the UK so you have plenty of access to cheap airlines like Easyjet or Ryanair, to name just two. If you choose a destination that's off the beaten track or off season, it won't cost much, and some airlines have seat sales where you can get a seat for a couple of pounds. Keep an eye out for these.

Transportation is one part of the equation: the other is accommodation, because these two are the most expensive travel items. You could stay at your destination for free by using couchsurfing to find willing hosts abroad. This would then reduce your expenses to food - and you can eat very cheaply if you're careful - and local transportation and entertainment. You can't get much cheaper than that! Like I said, you'll need some money, but it doesn't have to be a lot... I hope you manage to get traveling again!

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Nov 02, 2011
Busking for money
by: David - Inside-Peru

If you play a musical instrument that is portable, you might try busking - playing in public places where people drop money into your hat, bag, case, etc.

I have many friends who have done this traveling in Europe and USA.

Many "mochileros" (hippie backpackers) here in South America make beaded necklaces or other crafts and sell them while traveling. However, actually selling a product is illegal in most countries and I do not recommend doing it.

When busking, you do not sell anything; you do not ask for money and anyone can contribute.

For traveling within your own country, there are several options. One is window washing, where you can offer to wash windows at a restaurant, for example, in exchange for a meal. Learn how from a pro and you can wash windows really fast and better than the restaurant employees. You can carry the implements in a small bag.

Most of all, keep your ears open and talk to other travelers. And have fun!

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Cheap travel in Australia and New Zealand?

by Elise
(Michigan, USA)

My best friend Carla and i are planning our 4 month trip to New Zealand and Australia! We will be couch surfing and taking advantage of the kindness of many friends we made while working at a summer camp for two years.

I have looked at your entire web site! and it is full of great information, such as visas, travel plans and packing lists!!!

I was wondering if A) you have ever been to NZ/AUS
and B) what any additional advice you would have for that specific location would be and also I need budget/money advice on cheap ways to travel (how much is realistic, we are poor college grads!)

And also any other information you can think of! thank you !

Answer: Four months in Australia and New Zealand sounds fabulous! Unfortunately I can only answer you in part - because, believe it or not, this is the only part of the world I've never been to (I know, I know...). The good news is that my good friend Birgit, known to most as 'B', runs a fabulous Australian website called Outback Travel Guide, which is crammed full of great information about travel around Australia, especially in the Outback.

When it comes to costs, Lonely Planet is usually up-to-date. I'd also post some questions or read some answers on the always helpful BootsnAll Forums.

This little Australia cost calculator might come in handy.

And don't forget to look into airline passes if you're planning on traveling long distances. There's the Aussie AirPass with Qantas, the Walkabout Pass, OneWorld's Visit Australia and New Zealand pass, or try Air Timetable. There are also plenty of bus passes available.

As for New Zealand, I'd also aim for Lonely Planet and the BNA forums.

For travel info try Backpackerboard and for transport the Kiwi Experience gets raves. Gapyear also has great information for students traveling to Australia and New Zealand.

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Dec 18, 2010
by: Birgit

Elise, have you looked into wwoof - volunteering on an organic farm? Here are the Aussie and NZ sites.

Become a member and get a list with hundreds of organic farms, permaculture farms, hobby farms, sustainable little eco-tourism businesses etc. You work about half a day for bed and board (no pay), and often the people you work for will also show you around their area and give you heaps of local tips that normal tourists will never get. I did lots of it in my early years in Oz and LOVED it. It's a bit like couchsurfing, only that in addition the cultural exchange and to making friends, you can also make a bit of a difference, support organic farms, and you learn a lot at the same time.

Something different: despite all the nonsense that you hear about female hitchhikers, and although almost everybody on the usual travel forums will tell you "OMG far too dangerous don't do it," hitchhiking is a great way to get around, especially in remoter areas without public transport, and even more so in New Zealand than in Australia. (I wrote about my experiences in detail here.)

Dec 20, 2010
Women's travel resources in NZ
by: rosemary neave

Another great resource in NZ for women budget travellers is Women Travel NZ and the blog that goes with it.

I set up these sites for women travellers so that they can get the latest and best information to help them enjoy this magic country!

Jan 05, 2011
Budget Busters for New Zealand
by: Dianne Sharma Winter

There are lots of ways to see NZ on a budget, especially if you plan ahead!

For cheap air fares, check out Air NZ who run daily bargains on grabaseat.

For buses there is the Naked Bus service sometimes offering one dollar fares.

For tourist attractions and other bargains go to

To wwoof is also good. Often if you are traveling around and staying in backpackers you may be able to exchange work for accommodation (especially in the west coast of the south island, there is no harm in asking everywhere.

Good luck and haere mai to Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud!

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Budget travel around Europe: Prague to Paris?

by Samantha P
(California, USA)

I am a 25 year old, solo female traveler. I am going abroad in a few months! This will be the first time I've traveled abroad by myself, and I'm working on a shoe-string budget; it's very shoe-string (around $4000 for 3 months). I've been reading this site A LOT! I loooove it, and it's helped me with my plans! However, I am running into the issue of getting from Prague to Paris, then maybe to Ireland, cheaply. A Euro rail pass doesn't seem to be quite so cheap.

Is there a better way I can do this? Point-to-point tickets? Bus? Ride share? Help!!

Answer: Travel within Europe does tend to be expensive - sometimes ridiculously so. There are some cheaper alternatives, but nothing that can be considered positively 'cheap'.

The first thing that comes to mind is flying. Depending on your travel dates you could fly from Prague to Paris for as low as 25 Euros… try looking through the deals at edreams once you know your dates and you might find a good deal.

Rail is expensive, that's true, but so is the bus. Still, you might find a deal by checking the Yellow Coach Lines or Eurolines.

For more ideas on cheap European travel, check out some of these other cheap ways to travel.

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