/// TRAVEL ADVICE
Prepare for your Adventure
Helping you budget for your adventure
You're wanting to take a trip of a lifetime but to make sure you can do it you will inevitably need to know how much it will impact on your wallet! Figuring out your budget can both be exciting yet a little bit daunting and often very confusing with hidden costs appearing along the way.
But don't worry, we're here to help!
Naturally, depending on the method you're planning on travelling, where you're planning on travelling and the way in wish you hope to travel will vary your budget. By becoming an EXP52 CLUB member you can download a free, in-depth, self calculating ADVENTURE BUDGET PLANNER spreadsheet which you to help calculate your costs. Just register or login here today!
In the interim, have a read through our guide for budget planning to help you get a good start when budgeting for your once in a life time adventure!
Join now for free to download our Adventure Budget Planner
as well as other benefits, downloads and rewards!
ADVENTURE BUDGET PLANNER
// EXPEDITION 52
TOP 11 BUDGET PLANNING IDEAS
Take a glance at our quick referral list! For more details read on or select the category you're interested in!
1. TRANSPORT - TRAINS, PLANES & AUTOMOBILES
Main Transport Costs:
One of the biggest hits to your wallet will be transport costs. Your major travel (i.e. flights and ferries) is fairly easy to calculate by looking online. Here's a couple of great sites to help you get started:
Once you’ve arrived at your destination you will still need to get from A to B. This is where it can become a little complicated when figuring out how much you will be spending, especially if you’re overlanding in your own vehicle.
Mini trips / Local Transport Costs:
Try to find out rough prices for mini trips, such as day trips on trains or smaller ferry crossings, average them out and put some additional aside for the possibility of taxis / buses / tuktuks / faluccas etc.
For your own vehicle, before you set off we recommend doing some smaller trips local to yourself to find out your average MPG when your vehicle is kitted out. With that in mind and a rough route, average out the miles you plan to travel in each country and then check out the fuel prices (see link below) for the regions to find out how much you’re likely to spend.
It's great to take scenic back routes but sometimes you just need to get from A to B and the best route is via a toll or by nipping on and off one. A quick glance at the below website may help you find out more about a country and any toll roads but always look up the official details of your destination for regular updates or changes:
Wikipedia Toll Roads
Most overlanders will upgrade their vehicle to suit their trip. Be sure to budget in any costs for these and if you can - test them out before you leave!
Before you leave it's worth getting your vehicle checked over and serviced by a mechanic you know and trust. If you have the opportunity to spend time with them to learn more about your vehicle too – even better! Chat to them about what they would consider taking spare wise and fix any niggling issues before you get on the road. It’s worth spending a penny or two here than being broken down and paying top end prices on getting your vehicle fixed!
For help planning your costs, register and login to download for free our ADVENTURE BUDGET PLANNER:
Preparing for your adventure!
Depending on your destination and mode of travel will depend heavily on what gear you will need to pack and take. It maybe you already have a lot of useable gear or can borrow some bits but chances are you’ll need some added extras.
Some potential gear you may need to consider for your travels:
Health and Hygiene Items
Emergency Kits (Repair Kit / Survival Kit)
Our advice… try your best to be keep things to a minimum. Overloading yourself with unnecessary and expensive gear is a right pain in the derriere! Make a list of your core can’t-live-without items and then add on from there.
To help plan in what gear you need have a read of our packing list advice here!
You can also register and login to download for free our ADVENTURE BUDGET PLANNER to help figure out your gear costs.
3. FOOD & ACCOMMODATION
Camping / Hotels / Hostels / Luxury
A daily expense worth considering. Some great websites to look for rough costs and what to expect at your destination whether you’re planning on camping / staying in hotels / hostels or luxury accommodations are:
Campsite Culinary Delights to Scrumptious Local Grub and Fine Dinging
As for food and drink, it will vary hugely if you plan on cooking your own grub or eating out. A great website to sign up to in order to help get an idea of general food costs is numbeo (see link below). Just type in your destination and change the currency to suit for some average costs!
Being fit as a fiddle!
A cost that often goes under the radar is the cost to make sure you are medically fit for your trip.
Vaccinations. Some can be provided for free on the NHS, however, others will need to be provided by your local travel health clinic and cost!
Check the NHS website to find out more about what health considerations and consider and which vaccinations you can arrange for free:
For all other vaccinations, speak to your local travel clinic or health advisor / doctor to find out where you can get them organised! Remember, vaccinations often are required to be given over a period of time (sometimes up to 6 weeks!) so be sure to book yourself in well in advance of your travels!
Extra Medication. When travelling you may decide or need to take some additional medication with you, be it malaria tablets or just general medication. Again, discuss this with your local travel clinic and doctor to find out the best suitable solution to suit your individual needs.
Better to be Safe than Sorry!
Making sure you’re covered adequately for your travel is a definite must. Work this into your budget and shop around when deciding who to go with. If you have home insurance they may cover some of items you take with you for a short period of time but be sure to check before you leave. Some banks also offer travel cover for a limited period of time and for a certain amount. It’s worth giving them a buzz before you start buying insurance elsewhere to see what they can offer.
We recommend looking at the follow insurances before travelling, although please note that certain travel and circumstances may require other forms of insurances.
General Travel Insurance (check to see what cover they offer - many do not include personal items cover. If you’re travelling as a pair or in groups you can sometimes save pennies by doing a dual/multiple insurance policy)
Vehicle Travel Insurance
For more information, take a look at our Insurance page:
6. VISAs / ESTAs / ETAs / PASSPORTS
A travel visa is a document which allows you to legally enter a country for a specific length of time for the purposes of travelling.
Do I need a Visa? Not necessarily. Depending on your citizenship, where you currently live and which countries you're planning on travelling to will depend on if you need or can get a travel visa or not.
A great website to check what you need is StaTravel - see below:
Visa Costs: With all visa’s varying in cost, it’s worth checking with the local consulate of the countries you are planning on touring to find out an exact break down of prices.
Plan Ahead. It can sometimes take quite a few weeks – if not months – to apply and finally be issued with a visa so plan these in well in advance.
Use an Agent. If you’re short on time and cannot attend the embassies personally, it may be worth using a third party to help organise your Visa for a small fee and reduced stress!
Foreign Embassies Contact List / Details:
StaTravel Tourist Visa - Do you need one?:
ESTA / ETA's
Both an ESTA and ETA are much the same as a VISA in the respect they give you the authorisation to travel within the countries such as the USA, Australia or Canada for a set period of time. As of early 2017, it is recommended to apply at least 72 hours before travelling as a bare minimum but ideally well before then.
If you do not have your ESTA or ETA set up before travelling you are likely to be refused entry into the country so do make sure this is done in advance and not last minute!
Please note, we do our best to stay up to date with information on these but regulations change frequently. Please be sure to check WELL IN ADVANCE with the local consulate the latest requirements and regulations before travelling!
Something often not checked before travelling is the time you have left on your passport! Many countries will not allow you to enter if you have 6 months or less left on your passport from the date you plan on returning! So check and get this sorted well in advance!
To renew your passport you can pick up an application form from your local post office or alternatively complete the application online, print it off and send it away!
Passport Renewal Costs.*
Adult (16 & over) standard 32 page passport
Adult (16 & over) jumbo 48 page passport
Child (under 16) passport
Passport for people born on or before 2nd September 1929
Post Office Check & Send Service (to help complete your passport)
Cost to Send (recommend Royal Mail Special Delivery)
Optional Fee for Returning Documents via Secure Delivery
Length of Time: It can take around 3 weeks for your passport to be returned as long as all the information provided is correct. There are faster options if you’re short on time or need it urgently but this will cost more or require you to attend in person!
Apply for a passport Renewal Online / check costs:
Royal Mail Passport Check and Send:
If you’re looking at shipping your vehicle to your destination, it’s worth to get the ball rolling early on so you know where you stand.
You’ll initially have to decide between Sea or Air Freight. Here are some considerations budget wise to help you along the way:
Cost. Sea Freight is often cheaper, although not always by much and on the rare occasion can cost the same if not more. You can either be charged by container sizes (of which you can try to arrange to share the costs with fellow travellers) or by the weight and size of your vehicle. Where you can get caught out though is by the import duties and taxes and the port so make sure you identify these costs before booking your travel!
Air Freight tends to be a lot more costly upon initial glance. The cost will be based on the chargeable weight of your vehicle. The chargeable weight is generally the volumetric size of the packed vehicle but if your vehicle weight exceeds this, they will charge according to that weight.
So the chargeable weight can usually be calculated as…
Size of Crate or Shipment = (Height x Width x Length in cm) / 5000
Chargeable Weight = Weight of Vehicle (sometimes including crate/sometimes excluding depending on airline)
… WHICHEVER IS HEAVIER!!
As with Sea Freight, you may also have to pay import and export fees as well as other costs depending on your destination – be sure to check before booking!
Crating. A lot of travellers opt to pack their own vehicle for shipping which requires a bit of prep. Make sure you find out the regulations for freighting your vehicle before rocking up with some wood and nails and boshing something together! Alternatively you can get an agent to arrange this for you.
Agents. It can be possible to freight your vehicles without the aid of an agent but lately this is becoming difficult with regulations becoming stricter. For normally a negligible amount, using an agent can make life much easier and reduce the stress of shipping at the start of your adventure. With forms filled, they can negotiate the best prices for you and ensure all the correct documentations and costs are set out from the word go. Well worth their weight in gold and to put your mind at ease.
You can also download for free our ADVENTURE BUDGET PLANNER to help figure out your shipping costs.
8. CARNET & IDP
The Carnet. Often a stinger to newbies of the overlanding world. Too frequently peoples plan to traverse through Europe, the Stans and into India or perhaps route through Africa or some other fantastic trip with their vehicle and when asked if they’re aware of carnet’s and if they’ve budgeted in the cost of one… they look a bit blank.
It’s a bit of a frustrating cost and requirement but in short, a carnet is a document to prove you will not go flogging your vehicle in the destination you’re planning on travelling through, thus allowing you temporary entry.
Sadly, it can come at quite a considerable cost and thus alter your travel plans hugely. On a positive note, not all countries require them! Hoorah!
International Drivers Permit. So the IDP is basically a translation of your drivers license which is recognised pretty much worldwide. It’s not always needed and not a huge cost compared (around £10.00’s to organise) but worth checking out.
Without dipping into too much detail here, if you’re planning on taking a vehicle travelling then take some time to read through our Carnet & IDP section to find out more about how much it may cost you:
9. BORDER CROSSINGS
Border crossing costs vary from country to country. You generally can find out rough costs through a bit of googling and although they might not seem too pricey in the grand scheme of things, when you do few of them during a trip they can add up!
For those travelling by vehicle, it’s worth noting here that you may be required to have specific items in your vehicle for the crossing / vehicle insurance specific to the country if yours does not cover all of them already or is not acceptable / alterations to your vehicle (light reflectors / country stickers etc)
10. EMERGENCY MONEY
Planning for an emergency.
Always budget extra for an emergency. We can’t say it enough to fellow travellers but budgeting to ensure you can afford to get to somewhere safe and stay there for a minimum of a few days or be able to fly/get home… it’s worth it.
We naturally do not want to think about worse case scenarios but adventure travel is often unpredictable and your health, safety and sanity comes tops when planning one.
Extra extra, read all about it!
Banks. You’re more than likely going to be taking some bank cards with you so don’t forget to give your Bank a buzz and let them know which countries you will be visiting and for how long. Take this opportunity to find out how much it will cost to use a bank card abroad – it may be worth opening up another account elsewhere if it’s going to cost you mega bucks.
Fun and Frolics. With all the serious budget palaver above, it’s nice to finish up with some nice budget planning! You’re planning a once in a lifetime trip… so try to take this opportunity to get involved in some great experiences, see some fantastic sights, lap up some local delights and indulge in some delicious foods!
Some of this will come free, but others will require some wonga to fuel them. Consider what it is you’re really wanting to see, do and experience, and budget up all these extra costs for the travel kitty and top it up with a little bit more. Inevitably you will find out about other attractions or decide to have a night in a hotel somewhere with some scrumptious food and clean, fluffy beds so the extra money will help you feel guilt free when doing some unplanned extras!
Tripadvisor.com can give you the top ten tourist attractions to visit with links to costs so it’s a great place to start looking!
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