Trip Report: RTW Expense Breakdown
This past two months we were on a 6 week RTW trip. We visited 7 countries, flew over 22,524 miles, ate a ton of food, and drank our way around the world. To top it all we did this all on a very low budget that anyone can replicate. With the help of miles/points we easily saved ourselves over thousands of dollars. Here is a complete expense breakdown of our 6 week RTW trip.
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Our grand total for flights was $1,420.76 ($710.38 each person). We flew a total of 10 flights. Starting from San Francisco going west to Japan. Then continued our journey in that direction for the rest of our RTW trip (Korea, Taiwan, UAE, Greece, Croatia, and Germany).
Travel hacking saved us over $23,000 ($11,500 per person) in airfare cost. More than half of our flights were booked on miles/points. While the rest were paid in cash.
Over half of our airfare cost came from flights paid in cash. It costed us $798.03 for our four flights within Europe. It was better to buy these flights in cash rather than waste points due to low points value redemption. Plus it’s relatively cheap to fly around Europe because you got low cost carriers like Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling, etc. To search for our general flights we used Google Flights.
If you want to get more details about how I booked each of my flights. You can continue reading my RTW Award Booking Report post.
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A majority of our expenses were lodging costs. Even though our lodging expenses were shared expenses. This came out to be over half of our expenses for the trip.
The table above shows our (Rodalyn and I) share for each of the lodging. Since we were traveling with some friends we did a combination of hostel, hotel, and airbnb finding the most affordable stays as we could.
We mostly used Airbnb for a majority of our stays. You may notice our Tokyo expense for Airbnb only came out to $3.60. The reason for this was due to an American Express offer late in 2015. The offer was that you can get $50 off spending $100 on Airbnb. I was able to maximize this offer and get an extra $200 credit for purchases that I was already going to make. There were other saving techniques I used for Airbnb which easily saved us another extra couple hundred bucks.
On this trip we decided to try hostels for the first time. Since there was four of us traveling together. We tried to get private rooms of 4 or private doubles. We were willing to splurge for the comfort since we didn’t want to go through the dorm room experience. The private rooms were still cheaper than a hotel. For the price tag of the rooms, we were expecting some low quality rooms. To our surprise, the quality of the hostels were comparable to hotels. To me, they were by far even better than some hotels that I’ve stayed at.
We used points for only two stays out of the trip. One being in Taiwan and the other in Germany. Our Germany hotel stay was a great cost saving breakthrough in our trip. We planned to go during Oktoberfest and hotel rooms/airbnb were easily going for $350+ a night. Luckily, I managed to snag two rooms at the Sheraton Munich Westpark Hotel on points. This easily saved us over a thousand dollars and we were only a 15 minute walk from the Oktoberfest grounds.
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We’ve traveled by trains, Uber, taxi, and by foot. In Greece, we rented an ATV and in Japan we took the shinkansen (bullet train). In almost every country, if they had it, we used public transportation like the metro/subway to get around town. Hyperdia is a great app tool for traveling by train in Japan. For other countries, we relied on google maps and it’s offline map feature to get around.
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This report only covers the traveling cost for hotels, airfare, and ground transportation. Not for dining, activities and other misc. expenses. Surprisingly, our biggest expense of the trip happened to be lodging. Normally, you would see airfare to be your highest expense but we were able to lower those costs down with miles/points. Our grand total cost came out to $4,683.19. That’s only $2,341.60 per person to fly round the world for 6 weeks.
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