Carrying on from our first six month review post, I thought a blog that includes our costs and budget to date would also be required.
I spent a lot of time researching budgets and other travellers costs before leaving New Zealand to ensure we could survive financially given that we intend to travel for at least four years without a pay check. These other blogs provided such fantastic information for us I definitely felt the need to repay the wider travelling community with some up-to-date budget figures, hoping it might just help out someone else planning their own world adventure.
My first post on this subject, Baht, Ringgit, Dong & Kip, looked at the budget and our financial expectations for the Asian leg of our adventure. We did not feel the need to budget each country individually and instead had one set budget for all countries throughout Asia of $172.50 NZD a day. As expected, we over budgeted and are currently sitting at an average daily spend of $120.34 NZD per day; excluding one-off costs and things we had budgeted for separately such as, pre-trip vaccinations, education costs, visas and flights, meaning at the moment we are a total of $9,597.44 NZD under budget.
Paula and I have been very diligent in recording exactly what we spend each and every day. Even bottles of water costing $0.20c NZD get recorded, so we are pretty confident that what we have noted in the spreadsheet is exactly what has been spent so far. Now as much as I would love to do a complete and detailed breakdown on what we have spent and on what, (maybe another time) I will just do a quick summary of our costs to date. However, please feel free to contact us for a more detailed breakdown if you think this could help with planning a similar trip, we would love to help in any way we could.
- Singapore (4 days) – $1,677.76 NZD
- Malaysia (86 days) – $10,045.64 NZD
- Thailand (86 days) – $7,464.77 NZD
- Laos (8 days so far) – $1,203.27 NZD
To be honest we are a little surprised with how far under budget we already are, so given this we are already planning on visiting some extra countries and areas in Asia including the north of China, Macau and South Korea.
Now away from the budget; a couple of other things that have been pleasant surprises on our travels. For those with kids I am sure we have all experienced the dreaded long travel days and being constantly asked “Are we there yet?”, I know we had our fair share back in New Zealand when taking the two-hour drive to visit grandparents. However, despite having some 8-10 hour plus travel days the kids have been fantastic and actually really enjoy these days. We generally mix up these days with different activities while travelling including card games, activity books, electronics, school work and some timely snacks and treats for them. Before leaving NZ we feared these days would be some of the hardest to deal with but they have turned out to be some of the easiest with just a little bit of pre-planning the day before.
Before starting our world adventure our family agreed upon two main rules to live and travel by, these being:
- That if you ever needed some alone time and to take a breather from the family, you can have it no questions asked. This time is yours do with it what you want whether it be having a massage, a quiet beer at a pub, or some quiet time to yourself.
- If anyone wanted to stop travelling and return to New Zealand we would sit down and talk about it and returning to New Zealand could always be an option.
Six months in and neither of these rules are yet to really be implemented. I think the main reason for this is that we planned our first six months to include some long stays, including two, six-week stays in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, meaning we could fall into some routine and get used to being with one another 24/7. Paula and I, as much as we love being with the boys, also need our time away from them, as well as spending time with them individually and together. And although it can be a little harder for us to have time together, we still manage to have some quiet time often over a wine or beer while the kids are distracted with a movie on a Friday or Saturday night. We are also probably a little more motivated to go to the gym or go out for a walk as it means an hour or so to ourselves, and to be honest it is probably part of the reason we have lost over 30kgs between us!
Now who knows what the next six months will bring, but at this stage we are planning to further explore Laos, return to Thailand and visit Cambodia and Vietnam. I am sure that wherever we are, there will be plenty more laughter, fun and great memories to be made.