At first I calculated with 100 € per day for each city, including accommodation.
But, as during the trip I decided to extend it by a few months, I lowered it to 75 € from Montréal on. On average, my daily budget was 87 € per day.
I was often weary to spend too much – and not have enough money left for daily life.
On the other hand, I simply wanted to live in a nice place.
I used Airbnb for pretty much every stop that lasted three days or longer, in total 26 times.
On average, I spend 46 € per night, a relatively high cost, considering my daily average budget of 87 €, but mostly a conscious decision for a nice, safe area, close to bars or the center.
I had some sponsors like my sister of friends who visited, who invited me to stay at their place for free or paid part of the rent.
In order to make the figures comparable, I calculated with the hypothetical cost, as If I had to pay it all myself, but also taking out additional hotel costs when I made a side trip.
If I factor this all in, I would have spent around 49 € per night.
Surprisingly, this is not so much more that it would have ruined me, considering the total of 535 nights.
I could have saved a lot of money on this, by opting for other, cheaper neighborhoods, or staying in cheap hostels sharing the rooms, or do some couch surfing… This could bring the cost down by a lot.
However, I’m 40. I’m no longer in the mood to move from backpacker’s place to youth hostel, for 18 months.
I wanted, and needed, a place on my own, or, if the price level was too high, at least a nice room in someone’s house.
Had I stayed in cheaper areas, for example further out, I would have saved money on the rent – but probably paid heaps in late-night taxi fares, coming home from the bars….
It’s a choice you make.
So in total, I spent 20.800 € on my Airbnb rentals, and an occasional hotel.
The most expensive cities
And here they are, the five most expensive cities:
1. Cape Town (63 €) sticks out – but it was high season for all European visitors fleeing winter, and South Africans enjoying their summer holidays.
2. Sydney (61 €) came in as a surprise, I only stayed 10 days, but at a comparatively high price (also thinking about the size of my room).
3. Auckland (58 €) My room in Ponsonby was also not on the cheap side, but given the location and the amazing house I was living in, I got a great deal.
5. Tel Aviv (52 €) then merits its place on this list, it was an expensive city and the rental prices were sky-high. I paid a lower price as I booked the room for a full month, hence benefiting from a reduction. It was a 10-minute walk from the beach, but considering the very basic state of the studio, the price was pretty crazy.
Living on the cheaper side
And, the other side of the coin, the cheapest places were:
1. India (24€) is – of course – unbeatable. It’s cheap. The price does not reflect my four nights at the Radisson, which I paid with my points. For probably just a little bit more I could have lodged like a king.
2. Montréal (25€) was a true surprise. Rental prices on Airbnb were downright cheap across the board. And considering I had Josées perfect studio in the middle of the Plateau…. it was a true relief to my budget.
3. São Paulo (28 €) surprised me to be on this list. Brazil wasn’t cheap, but I found this perfect room in a 3-bedroom Airbnb in the Middle of beautiful Vila Mariana.
4. Bangkok (34 €) I did not pay anything to stay in the Thai capital thanks to Daria’s generosity, but this is the price for the place I cancelled.
5. Mexico City (37 €) was one of the best places I stayed in, a perfect, beautiful and modern studio apartment in the middle of Zona Rosa, at an unbeatable price.
The other cities
Writing this I realize how hard it is to actually compare this – the overall quality, space and amenities of all those places varied a lot.
Some places were out of competition. For example, I really splashed for an amazing place in Pocitos, Montevideo, at 72 € a night. But I only could be cause I only had three nights…
Now what might actually surprise you is that Japan is not taking the top spot. But with 50 € a night, it was downright average, due to the depreciation of the Yen.
Besides Sydney, Australia was OK too. I spent 45 € a night on average in Melbourne – however, I never could afford my own studio for that price, only beautiful rooms in apartments. And renting both times for a full month also brought the cost down.
So, if you’re calculating for your own trip around the world, this is probably the part of your budget you can save the most money on, depending on your wishes, standards, and flexibility.
Next: what it costs to eat out and get drunk around the world.