The Ultimate Budget Post – Your Questions Answered

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The Ultimate Budget Post – Your Questions Answered

Avatar for Merry

Total Posts: 2656

Joined 2003-12-31

Now then, there seems to be a lot of budget questions floating about all over the place so I thought I’d try and collect all the info together in one post to make it easier to find and more helpful for those of you that are currently planning yout trips.

If you’ve recently been away (or are currently away) please post below any information you can give at all on finances. Its one of the biggest issues when planning as so much depends on what your budget is and how much stuff actually afford.

Any information will be really useful for everyone out there whether you spent a year in Australia, volunteerd in Africa, or went interailing, post below.

For example…

Country: Australia
Duration: 6 months
Accommodation: Stayed in Youth Hostels which were around $XX a night
Travel: Oz Experience Bus Pass Sydney – Cairs $XX, 2nd hand car $XX
Food/ Drink: Eating out in back packer bars $XX a meal, weekly spend in supermarket when in one place $XX. Box of Goon $XX
Other: I landed with £XX amount, worked a lot, was on a tight budget
Flight: Return from UK £XX

With the recent changes in currency any of my budgets would be so out of date and not much use.

Avatar for tommarvelle

Total Posts: 6565

Joined 2005-09-29

I like it.

We’ll try to help make things a bit more specific where possible. For example, different parts of Thailand vary in price a lot. A big bottle of beer can be 110 baht in Bangkok or down on Phi Phi, and a bed in a guesthouse can be upwards of 800 baht a night, but up in Chiang Mai province you can pick up a big beer for 45 baht and a bed for 150 baht a night - even in Chiang Mai city (Thailand’s second city).

So yeah - try and be specific. Tell us exactly where you went and how much you got for your money in specific areas.

Avatar for Tallgirl

Total Posts: 2051

Joined 2008-03-28

Here’s my contribution…......

Country: New Zealand - all over
Duration: 6 months
Accommodation: Stayed in Youth Hostels which were between $20-30 per night for a dorm (normally $22-25) and $40-$100 per night for a private double
Travel: There’s loads of info on bus ticket prices in NZ available so won’t repeat that - didn’t buy a car so not sure - only added info is that flying can be really cheap in NZ.  Check out Qantas and Air NZ sites.  Air NZ has special section called grab-a-seat which has some amazing prices, often much cheaper than bus/ferry
Food/Drink: Eating out in backpacker bars/food courts - less than $9 a meal. Pint of beer in a backpacker bar (Kiwi pint is smaller than UK pint :( ) - $5. Bottle of import beer $6/7. Double spirit (30ml - yeah shots are smaller there too!) and mixer - $5/6.  Loads of bars do deals that’ll bring prices down even further (2for1 vouchers - bulk buying discounts - happy hours - etc) Supermarket prices - cheaper than here but not as cheap as you’d expect - can get bargains on locally grown food (ie. avocados/kiwis in Bay of Plenty, etc) and look out for local markets for amazingly cheap fruit/veg.
Other: BBH cards are well worth the money if you’re staying for a few weeks - loads of independent hostels are part of the BBH scheme and give you a few dollars off each night if you have a card.

That’s the basics for now - any other Qs just ask :D

Avatar for Andy--U

Total Posts: 673

Joined 2001-12-31

ok here we go
Country: Japan

Duration: Lots of different trips of up to a few weeks

Accomodation: From about 2000 yen for something really basic to 3000 yen for an average backpackers and 4000-6000 yen for a basic private hotel room.

Travel: Planes, trains, buses, ferries. The Japan rail pass is a bargain for short trips when you’re travelling a lot. Otherwise buses, especially night buses are usually the cheapest. Tokyo to Kyoto would be about 5000-8000 yen depending on the bus company. A fast train would be about double.

Food/Drink From about 300-500 yen for a convenience store breakfast/lunch to around 500-1000 yen for a simple main meal and about 2000-3000 for a big meal and a couple of drinks. Alcoholic drinks usually start from around 500 yen, more than 700 is getting a bit pricey. You can always not drink and eat nice instant noodles for about 150yen.

other Sites aren’t usually too expensive. Going out in the evening can be expensive but is a must to really see Japan properly. The things that will really affect you budget will be transport and accomodation, a bit of research can save you a lot of money.

Avatar for Merry

Total Posts: 2656

Joined 2003-12-31

Here’s what a friend sent me on facebook.

Country: Australia

Duration 3 months

Accommodation Hostels varied from around AUS$ 22 - 28, i probably paid around $25 a night for a shared dorm

Travel Oz Exp pass from Sydney - Cairns AUS$525.

Food / Drink I mostly cooked for myself which if I stayed somewhere for a week and cooked all my own meals i probably spent around $30 (beans / noodles). Some backpacker bars did cheap dinners for around $7 - 9.

I drank a hell of a lot and spend anything from $15 - 50 a night. Its loads cheaper to get some goon and stay in the hostle talking to people rather than being drunk in a club.

Sky Dive - $280
Fraser Islad $194
Whitsundays $205
Surfing lesson $60

flight Flight out there cost £795 return from London - Sydney.

In total for 3 months in Australia I spent £5000….this could have beena LOT less if I drank less and wasted money on stupid things. I reckon £3,000 would have been possible.

Avatar for Barsie

Total Posts: 118

Joined 2008-04-05

Country: Thailand
Duration: 2 months
Accommodation: hostels/ beach huts - always private room £3-5 a night
Travel: bus/ boat between £10-£15 to get from one major destination to another ie Koh Phanghan to Bangkok, Phucket to Koh phi phi etc
Food/ Drink:street food 50p- £1 street restaurant £1-£3 More tourist restaurant £4 upwards Beer is very similar price from a 7-11 as in a bar. aprox £1.50- £2 for large bottle of beer more expensive tourist areas £2-£3. But look for offers often happy hour is £1 a bottle
Other: tourist attractions = cheap less than £5. You’ll probably rent a moped at about £5 a day- it’s best way to see islands (BE CAREFUL THOUGH)
Flight: Return from UK £460

Thailand in general is very cheap despite how touristy it is, but you can blow a budget very fast if you want to. I went from extremes of spending £80 one week (not trying to be cheap) to spending £750 another week going mad partying.

Avatar for Travel_gavin

Total Posts: 1123

Joined 2007-01-04

Country: Papua New Guinea

Duration: 7 weeks

Accommodation: Stayed in a mixture of jungle camps, hotels, rest houses. A rest house out on a trail is around 5-15 Kina a night, they are no more than huts really and you pay the money to the chief and the money is spent on the local population. Hotels in Port Moresby or Lae are the same cost as in a developed country - obviously there are cheaper and more expensive ones. Hotels are the only thing Lonely Planet is good for in Papua New Guinea. Jungle camping is free on the most part, though it is wise to get permission from the owner of the land. If you happen to go to Tufi to dive, we paid about £500 for a weeks diving all inclusive(eating lobster every night)

Travel: PMV’s run most motorable roads Lae to Wau was 30 Kina - its a cheap option. Dont believe the Australian propaganda about ‘raskols’. It is a safe enough country and robbery and violence against westerners is rare. Though the exception to that is if you are Australian. If you have to travel more than 100km then flying is the sensible option as the roads are appalling and extremely dangerous, totalled vehicles by the road are a common sight. 

Food/ Drink: The beer is cheap, but awful. Food is pretty bland, with cowcow(sweet potato) being the staple. Supermarkets are generally very good if you fancy a change, catering to expats mostly so they are not cheap - a bar of cadbury’s is around 3 pounds

Other: I was there on an environmental project in 2008 out in Morobe province working on the Black Cat Track. The Black Cat is a phenomenal trek, hard, but all worth it to arrive in Salamua. Be aware though, that you may get held up for several days if the rivers are high. There are no Heli pads for medical extraction are non existent and malaria and TB are extremely common. Tufi dive resort, is also extremely worthwhile - even better than Borneo! Westerners are not a common sight, so be prepared to meet many locals. Also be aware, that Papua New Guinea is not a poor/cheap country, locals make alot of money from Gold and prices for things are reflected.

Flight: £200 return Port Moresby to Cairns. £20 each way Lae to Port Moresby. £60 each way Port Moresby to Tufi.

Avatar for Warrick

Total Posts: 6389

Joined 2005-12-31

Inca Trail

Avatar for Chopsuzy

Total Posts: 417

Joined 2008-07-13

Thanks so much guys, this has been loads of help.

I need more info on S E ASIA if anyone can help…


Total Posts: 1

Joined 2009-08-03


This type pf info is all good. Im planning a 6 month trip of S.E Asia leaving in Jan. Im currently in the middle of sorting all the fiddly bits out (visa, insurance etc), so any information would be great!!



Avatar for Mackay_09

Total Posts: 8

Joined 2009-08-10


Just really looking for some general advice on what would be enough money to take to Oz. I was planning on having around £6000-£7000 for around a year which i assume would be more than enough, however after a pretty heavy summer the traveling funds have diminished slightly :(. 

The plan was to head over in November but as it goes that is looking increasingly unlikely :(. At this point in time i am planning on trying to make Sydney for the new year to meet a couple of mates who are leaving in a few weeks but i think realistically by December ill have around £4500 - £5000, so my question is will this be enough or should i hold back a few months and wait until i have some more cash to play with??

Any advice would be much appreciated!!


A clueless Scotsman smile

Avatar for tommarvelle

Total Posts: 6565

Joined 2005-09-29

Depends what you want to do in Oz for a year mate.

If it’s just to travel, then that’s nothing like enough. If you want to work when you’re there, then you’ll be fine with that amount.

Avatar for Mackay_09

Total Posts: 8

Joined 2009-08-10

Cheers mate.

Was planning on living it up for a while and getting a job when i need to but I’ve heard a lot of things and was just wondering if it would be best just to hold back for a month or two just to save a bit more cash? I have also heard that it’s pretty hard to get a job over there just now, so really don’t want to go over then not get a job then admit defeat after a few months and come home with my tail between my legs smile




Total Posts: 1

Joined 2009-08-07

hi guys!!
on the 27th september im going travelling to america, fiji, oz and thailand for 6 months.
i have paid for my flights and all of my accomadation in usa
can anyone please help how much money do you think i will need??
I am planning on trying to get some work in oz!!
thanks xx

Avatar for Clunge1

Total Posts: 18

Joined 2009-06-09


Avatar for m.garratt

Total Posts: 3008

Joined 2004-05-30

It would be worth putting an exchange rate on your post too, that will give the best indication of big differences in prices since your visit to a country.

Country: Morocco (2007)
Exchange rate £1= approx 15 Dirham
Duration: 3 weeks
Accommodation: Stayed in small hotels/hostels which varied in price and quality but mostly 60-90 Dirham per night
Travel: Public buses, shared Taxi’s and limited rail network 20-100 Dirham (+5 bag stowage)
Food/ Drink: Good bread, cheese and fruit are good for lunch and snacks - v. cheap; Breakfast is often coffee and pancakes or yogurt - 20 Dirham; dinner varies a lot in price but can be 20-90 Dirham
Other: Camel treks in the desert are great. Chefchaouen is a traditional traveller hangout and can be very cheap and friendly place to stay for a while.
Flight: £80-£200