How much it costs for a family of 4 to travel for a year depends largely on where you plan on going. We’ve decided on southeast Asia in part because of how affordable it is.
So, without further ado, here is our budget for a year of travel in this region, including projected day-to-day living costs and all pre-trip expenses.
Projected Budget: Daily Living Expenses for a Family of 4 in Southeast Asia
Based on countless hours of research, and e-mailing others who have done this, here is what we’ve come up with.
The budget for our family of 4’s day-to-day living expenses, including food and entertainment is $1500/month, although we can stretch it to $2000/month if we really have to. (This does not include pre-trip expenses like airfare, passport fees, visa applications, and a lump sum health insurance payment.)
Accommodations: We intend to spend no more than $1000/month on accommodations. We’ll keep this cost low by avoiding fancy resorts and hotels. Instead, we’ll rent furnished apartments by the month.
Food, Entertainment and Transportation: We’re budgeting $500-$1000 per month for food, entertainment and transportation.
To keep costs down, we do not intend to rent a vehicle while in Asia. We will try to find a place to stay that is within walking distance of amenities that we need to access on a regular basis. For those trips that require a vehicle, we’ll hop in whatever the local version of a taxi is.
If we are able to stick to this budget, day-to-day living expenses in inexpensive locales throughout southeast Asia will cost between $18,000 and $24,000 per year.
The Cost of Pre-Trip Expenses
Vaccinations: So far, we’ve spent $824 on this. Hepatitis A and B shots for Paul and the kids, Hepatitis A shot for me (I’ve already had the Hep B shots years ago), plus the cost of the initial visit to the travel clinic.
We are going to request the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, which will cost $1600 for the 4 of us to get the 2 shots.
We are also all going to get vaccinated against rabies, which will be 3 shots each (not sure of the price at the moment).
Flights: Round trip flights for 4 in business class from Honolulu to Bangkok cost us only $566.40 per person (total $2265.60).
And no, that’s not a typo. 🙂
We’ve figured out how to accumulate tons of Aeroplan miles via credit card sign up bonuses, and ended up with enough points for this trip! I’ll write about exactly how we did that in a later post. Our one-way fights from home to Hawaii cost us $450/person (total $1800). (We’re kicking off our trip with 2 weeks in Hawaii – that’ll kill our monthly budget, but we need to stop there so I can get more material for my travel site.)
Health Insurance for Our Trip: This is on our to-do list. Based on some preliminary research, I think I ought to be able to find us a high-deductible policy that will cover us for about $4500/year.
Note: in the province we live in, we’ll lose our government health coverage after we’ve been gone for 6 months. Without that, we are not eligible for the less expensive travel health insurance, and must buy the more expensive expat health insurance coverage.
I’ll write a post on this once we’ve chosen a policy and I’ve figured out all the details.
Passports: The cost to renew our passports will set us back about $450.
Total pre-trip expenses: about $11,000.
The Grand Total for a Year of Family Travel in SouthEast Asia
$29000 – $35000
I really don’t like this number, because it seems so crazy. I worry that it’ll make you think this is out of your reach.
It’s not. Really, it’s not.
Stay tuned for my next post – how the heck we can afford to do this (nope, not independently wealthy!), and how you can too!