Since this is our first time traveling around the world we really have no idea what things will cost and how much we are going to spend. As we start narrowing down our itinerary and things we want to see on our trip, the costs are becoming clearer. With inspiration from’s pre-trip cost spreadsheet, we created our own. It should be interesting to compare our pre- and post-trip costs as we go along. Click here to see our estimated trip costs.

Airline tickets
Deciding whether to book our trip through one of the alliance members, an agency specializing in RTW travel (like Airtreks), or going it alone was not an easy decision. In the end, we felt we might be able to find better deals by remaining flexible and doing it ourselves. Airtreks is probably a good “in-between” option, but we could not figure out how they offered anything beyond what we could do ourselves (as any ticket changes/cancellations incurred fees as well). Below are the costs quoted by the alliance members and our projected do-it-ourselves costs.

Alliance costs
OneWorld US$5100
Star Alliance US$7100

Do-it-yourself costs
Flight Estimated Actual
Seattle to Quito US$600 US$583
Buenos Aires to Seattle US$600 US$583
Seattle to Bangkok US$723 US$723
Moscow to Egypt US$470
Egypt to Nairobi US$470
Cape Town to Seattle US$1270
Bangkok to Hong Kong US$168
St. Petersburg to Seattle US$600
Total US$4433 US$2657

Post Trip
I wrote a post about our costs and I also kept detailed records of everything that we spent. Please take a look at the spreadsheet for a complete breakdown of our expenses.  But here is a short summary.

Ecuador $1,435.33 33 $43.56
Peru $1,115.78 20 $55.79
Bolivia $898.42 11 $81.67
Argentina $2,179.15 27 $80.71
Thailand $1,334.65 32 $41.71
Cambodia $451.77 9 $50.20
Vietnam $869.52 27 $32.20
Laos $813.17 19 $42.80
China $2,444.31 39 $62.67
Mongolia $668.54 15 $44.57
Russia $1,927.34 15 $128.49

Then we spent $5525.60 in tours like the Inca Trail, visiting an elephant park, hiking the Great Wall of China and our twelve day driving tour of Mongolia.

Adding in $5,315 for our international flights gives us a grand total of $25,261.37 spent for our ten months of travel. That is $12,630.50 per person.