The Cost Of Travelling South East Asia For 7 Months…
Wow, it’s been almost 6 months now since I said goodbye to my friends and family (and cat) and headed off on a one-way ticket to Thailand!
It’s been an amazing time so far, and I’ve got about one month left until I plan to return back to Melbourne, so my trip will be almost 7 months in total depending on when I book a ticket home! I’ve met so many awesome people, seen some amazing places, and have managed to achieve a lot.
It’s been one of the best experiences of my life, and I’ll definitely be heading home as a different person to the one who got on that plane to Bangkok back in February.
But.. how much has it cost me? Has it been worth it? What’s the ROI been? Would have I been better off staying at home in Melbourne?
Let’s find out…
If you prefer video – check out the video version of this post below! (And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel while you’re at it!)
Before I left, I planned to stay for 5 months overseas. That has now turned into 6.5 – 7 (depending on when I book a flight home!).
I calculated roughly what it would cost me all in. That includes flights, transport, bike hire, accommodation, bills, co-working space, food, drink, laundry, etc…
All in all, the rough figure I came up with was an average of $7,500 or $1500 per month.
It’s been 6 months now, so let’s say my estimated expenses should be $9000 thus far.
My first month of the trip was in Koh Phangan which cost me about $1900 all up. About $700 or so of that is in travel costs of getting to Thailand.
The next month I spent split between Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Chiang Mai.
Because of the extra travel, that month cost me approximately $1600 all up. We’re off to an expensive start so far! 2 months in and I’m already at $3500! But, keep in mind that most of that is travel expense.
Months 3, 4, and 5 are where my costs really went down! I spent these 3 months in Chiang Mai which is super cheap. Between my newly renovated studio apartment, bike rental, co-working space, food, drinks, and everything else I only spent an average of $1000 per month here. 3 months of that and the total is up to $6500 for just over 4 months!
From Chiang Mai I headed down South to Phuket for a bit of a break from work. I met with my friend Alec from Melbourne, and we planned to stay for about a week. We were having so much fun that we decided to extend the stay to a total of 19 nights! That’s a perk of not having a boss!!
But as you may already know – Phuket is expensive! Especially if you’re hitting up Bangla Road as much as we did!
We went a bit wild, but had an awesome time! Not much work was done at all, but the passive income kept rolling in thankfully!
Those 19 nights set me back around $2000! Now the total for 5 months is up to $8500. This is getting to be a little more expensive than planned…
I said goodbye to Alec and the craziness that is Patong, and boarded a flight to Singapore. I spent 3 days there before flying directly to Ko Samui. I then took a boat across to Koh Phangan, and I’ve been there for the last 2.5 weeks or so now!
After leaving Phuket, I’ve spent approximately $1400. However, that covers my accommodation, gym, co-working space, and bike rental for another 2 weeks.
It’s pretty much bang-on 6 months since I left home, and the total thus far is now at approximately $9900!
I’ll be here for another month which I estimate to only cost me another $800 or so since I’ve already paid for half the accommodation for that time.
That brings the total up to $10,700.
Then, I need to get back home…
Getting back will cost me approximately $550 all up, bringing the grand total up to $11,250 for 7 months abroad!!
TOTAL COST = $11,250AUD
($1607 PER MONTH)
Now, keep in mind that that total includes 9 flights, 6 boat trips, 4 massive bus trips, time spent in 4 countries, 2 full-moon parties, countless nights out, accommodation, bike rental, gym membership, co-working space membership, food, laundry, and any other random things I had to pay for/decided to buy! That works out to be a total of $1607 per month – only slightly above my $1500 estimate!
If I hadn’t spent any time in Phuket, then I’d imagine it would have been under $1500p/month as an average!
Oh… and did I mention I had an awesome time?
The amount of cool people I’ve met, places I’ve seen, new foods I’ve tried, confidence I’ve gained, knowledge I’ve acquired is simply beyond measure.
And let me be clear about one thing… I WAS NOT bootstrapping!
I went out when I wanted, had nice meals when I wanted, never declined an invitation out, partied a little too much, and moved around a bit and yet it still only cost me $1600 per month!
For many of you, that is less money than you spend living at home. I know that in Melbourne if I was to have my own place, it would cost a hell of a lot more than that!
My bank balance has gone up (though only slightly) during the past 6 months. I spent a lot on business related things. I spent almost $2500 on educational courses alone!
I also spent money trying to build a dropshipping store. The store didn’t work out, but I had a fun couple of months working on something new, and met some awesome people as a result of being in that business. P.S. If you do dropshipping and are in Chiang Mai (or want to go) then join the FB group I made for CM Dropshippers here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1035241446545303/
I also started a new Kindle account which has set me back a few thousand so far – but it is quickly providing me a return on that investment. I’m reinvesting quite heavily into the account, but by the end of the year I will be seeing some BIG profits if things continue to trend the way they are.
Now, technically I could have stayed with my family in Melbourne and I would have spent LESS than what I did during my travels.
But, it was 1000% worth it! This has been possibly the best 6 months of my (almost) 23 years on this planet. All for a small price of $1600 per month.
You can definitely live in Asia for cheaper than what I did. I know people that stay in Chiang Mai long-term and only spend about $800 per month. But, if you want to travel around a bit, live in a nice place, be social and party a bit, then $1600AUD per month is a reasonable figure.
Anyone can build an online income of $1600 per month. You can do it as a side-hustle while you still work your 9-5. Shit, a lot of people could have made enough to fund my entire 7 month trip by just selling junk they have in their house!
There are so many ways to build an online income of that level. You could do freelancing, set up a dropshipping store, create a product, sell Kindle books, do Amazon FBA, sell an online service, trade Forex, and a whole lot of other stuff!
There’s so many ways! Within 6 months (maximum) I truly believe that anyone reading this can create a $1600+ per month income on the side. Some of you will be able to build an income much larger than that.
And the best thing – you get to continue to build that income further WHILE you travel!
If you’re sitting on the fence about whether or not to start up that online business, and try this lifestyle out for yourself – just do it.
I’ve broken down the numbers for you in this post, and for 95% of you it is more affordable than simply staying put where you are.
Try it for 6 months, and you may never stop.
All the best,