No one specifically asks this but I bet you’re curious, “Mem, how much will this extended international vacation cost?” Ohhh, I’m so glad you asked! By my estimates approximately $4000 each.

  • But Mem! Does that include airfare? Why, yes it does.
  • What about travel insurance? Yep, that too.
  • Visas? Yes, ma’am.

$4000 seems like a lot (which yes, it is a lot of cash). Considering this includes traversing about 20,000 miles over 47 days, it’s not that much. Shall I break it down? Yes? Okay. Swell.

Transportation: $533 + $500 = $1033

About 25% of the budget is simply getting around. I admit that I am pretty good at finding crazy cheap airfare. Mostly it’s patience and utilizing google flights (did you know if you designate a departure city and a specific date, you can see airfares to locations all over the world? It’s the best). Below is a screen grab of 03 November, Newark NJ to Barcelona. You can see the airfare to Paris, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Berlin etc. on the map.


After about a month of searching, I found a $533 round trip, non-stop flight from Newark to Hong Kong. Newark is about 35 minutes from both our parents in NJ.  Winning!

The remaining $500 is transportation once we’re there. We booked an $85 flight from Hong Kong to Hanoi. We’ll also need a flight down to Indonesia, and then back to Hong Kong before we fly back to the US. Between at least 3 short flights, buses and trains, $500 seems about right.

Visas: $200

Sigh. The only place we are visiting that requires a visa is Vietnam. Back in 2009 it was a single entry 30 day visa (or multiple entry 90 day visa, I think) and was maybe $20. Or $30. Alas, not any more. The only visa available to Americans is a 1 year multiple entry visa that requires a $135 stamp fee (payable only in cash in USD, of course) at the airport and a separate visa cost that varies between $20-85, depending on how you obtain it. Sigh, again.

Lodging: $550

We are leaving on 03 November, arriving on 04 November and departing on 21 December. That is a total of 46 nights. Through the generosity of both sets of parents, we have 4 nights in Hong Kong covered and 5 nights in Indonesia covered. That leaves 37 nights. At an average price of $30 per room per night, that amounts to $550 per person. $30 is on the higher side for a double, they seem to run in the $27-28 range. Additionally, if we want to save even more we can stay in dorm rooms for about $7-10 per person per night.

Food: $950

I budgeted $20 per person per day. That is probably on high side but better to overestimate than under.

Trip Insurance: $243

Priced out online through the same company I used for my 11 month trip.

Excursions: $1000

This covers everything else we want to do. Museums, tours, cruises… anything. If we stick to 2 to 3 expensive excursions and then just enjoy city highlights I bet we’ll come in under the $1000 mark.

Total: $3976

That averages to $85 per person per day. I expect this to be our max budget. Though I don’t anticipate exceeding it (barring something totally crazy happening), I also don’t see us coming in more than $500 under.

The important thing is that both John and I agreed that $4000 per person seems reasonable and we’re 100% fine spending every penny of that.


One thought on “Budget

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