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Travel cost summaries and nomad finances

The most frequently asked questions for long-term travelers are about money. How much does traveling actually cost and how to earn money when on the road? How to save money before you go? How much savings you need to travel for a year? Do you need to be insanely rich to leave your day job to move abroad and try to earn money while traveling?

We open up the finances of long-term traveling by revealing our own expenses. Below you can find sum up posts from different countries and articles about travel budgeting and low-cost traveling. There is no precise answer to the common question about how much traveling costs, since it highly depends on your travel style, and of course on where you decide to travel. The cost of living is totally different in Northern Europe and in South-East Asia for example. To understand and control the consumption while traveling, it’s advisable to plan well ahead, have a realistic budget target and keep tabs on all purchases.

For our sum up posts, we list all costs and locations of the purchases in excel, and categorize them in accommodation, groceries, restaurants, traveling costs, fitness and other costs. Then it’s easy to compare the costs in different countries and see what kind of purchases swallow most of the cash. Before we started our nomad life, we set a target budget of 50 € per day for two of us, so 25 € per person per day. This should include all daily costs from accommodation to beer tasting, and in longer run it should cover also the bigger purchases like flight tickets and fixed costs like insurances. Cost summary posts and the monthly diary reveal how we have been able to maintain this budget so far, and help to understand how much living and traveling as digital nomads costs in a longer run.

Monthly cost summaries

All costs are for 2 persons

We stayed most of the month in Cyprus, first house and pet sitting in Agios Tychon for still for a couple of days, and then later another 10 days in Kolossi, the same place where we have done three house sits earlier. Between the sits we rented a car for a week, drove to an Airbnb in a little Vikla village near Paphos. The village was a charming home base, from where we made road trips to Akamas Peninsula, Paphos Forest and Troodos Mountains. Between the house sits we also stayed a couple of days in Limassol. In the end of the month we flew to Vienna in Austria, stayed there two days, took a night bus to Strasbourg in France, and after a day sightseeing, a BlaBlaCar ride to Gueberschwihr village, where we house sit in our friends home.

Total costs of May 2009 were 1271,81 €, so on average 41,03 € per day for two of us. Accommodation costs are quite low because of house and pet sitting a lot, but still we spent 255,16 € for accommodation. As the summer season is near, accommodation price in Cyprus are rising, and finding budget accommodation from Vienna was quite challenging, nothing but dorm beds available with under 30 € for two.

Traveling costs are much higher than usual, 402,10 € in total. This includes the rental car and gasoline in Cyprus (166,32 €), flights to Vienna (107,87 €), bus to Strasbourg (70 €), BlaBlaCar ride (18 €) and bunch of tickets to local buses and metro. Taking into account that we not just drove around Cyprus for a week, but traveled all the way to France via Austria, the travel costs are very moderate after all. When on a move, we ate more in restaurants than usual, but still cooked majority of the meals ourselves. Groceries are not particularly cheep in Cyprus, and we used over 300 euros for food, and another 200 euros in restaurants. These include all the drinks of course too. All in all, it was the most expensive month of the year so far, but still well under our budget limit of 50 € per day for two. Next couple of months we will be on a road trip in southern Europe, let’s see if it’s still possible to maintain the budget!

Visited countries: Cyprus, Austria, France

Accommodation: 255,16 €
Traveling: 402,10 €
Groceries: 335,98 €
Restaurants: 224,15 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs: 54,42 €

TOTAL: 1 271,81 €

BUDGET: 1 550,00 €
DIFFERENCE: – 278,19 €

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We stayed the first half of the month in our home country Finland, where we visited friends and family members after we had worked in Oulu Music Festival in March. FinnsAway Season 3 began in 16th of April, when we flew from Helsinki to Burgas in Bulgaria. We explored Burgas and Sofia just for three days before continuing to Cyprus, where we spent the rest of the month house and pet sitting in Agios Tychon village near Limassol.

Since we stayed most of the month with friends, the accommodation costs were very low. Total costs of the month were still over 1 000 € (1028,93 € for the two of us), partly because everything, for example food, is pretty expensive in Finland, and because there are over 200 euros worth of traveling costs like the flights Sofia to Paphos in Cyprus and some bus and train tickets. The flights from Finland to Bulgaria were basically free to us, since we paid them with Norwegian flight bonus points, that we have gathered using our Norwegian Credit cards. (If you are from Nordic countries, we warmly recommend using this credit card, check it out here).

In Bulgaria we paid 13 € per night for hostel and airbnb room, and stayed the first night in Paphos in a hotel that cost 20 € plus 10 euros for breakfast buffet for two. So the accommodation costs altogether were 59,02 €. Over 50 % chunk of all out costs in April consists of groceries and eating (and drinking) out. Other costs include some new clothes and cosmetics for the music festival work (tried to avoid the shabby backpacker look and look like normal human beings, ha-ha).

Visited countries: Finland, Bulgaria, Cyprus

Accommodation: 59,02 €
Traveling: 198,13 €
Groceries: 392,66 €
Restaurants: 188,03 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs: 191,09 €

TOTAL:  1 028,93 €

BUDGET: 1 500,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -471,07 €

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As in last year, we spent March in Finland. We call this yearly visit a work&holiday, since it consists of two parts; working as a part of the crew in Oulu Music Festival, and visiting friends and family members. We spent the first three days of the month in southern Finland, and the rest of the month in and around our former home town Oulu, staying in our friends house and cabin.

Cost-wise the month was OK, as we spent altogether 916,07 € (29,55 € per day for two of us). In general, Finland is an expensive country to live and travel in, and it’s almost impossible to find budget accommodation. Our costs are low, since we stayed with friends and family. Eating out and especially drinking is expensive in Finland, so our restaurant costs are higher than usually, even if didn’t go out very often.

Traveling costs are low, only 25,60 €, that consists of using local trains around Helsinki. We flew with Norwegian from Helsinki to Oulu, but payed the tickets with flight bonus points that we have gathered from using Bank Norwegian credit card. It’s a great credit card really, also because withdrawing money is cost free in most of the countries! If you are from Nordic countries, we warmly recommend using this credit card, check it out here.

Visited countries: Finland

Accommodation: 0,00 €
Traveling: 25,60 €
Groceries: 371,30 €
Restaurants: 420,42 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs: 98,75 €

TOTAL: 916,07 €
BUDGET: 1 550,00 €
DIFFERENCE: – 633,93 €

In February we continued our nomad life in Cyprus. We stayed part of the month house- and pet-sitting in Kolossi near Limassol, a few days with our friend in Nicosia, and also made a short road trip in North Cyprus, in Karpaz Peninsula. In the end of the month we flew with our travel companion AirBaltic via Riga to Finland.

Accommodation costs in February were low due to house-sitting and staying in our friends place. Also, we didn’t eat out much, so restaurant costs are quite low as well. Traveling costs include car rent in North Cyprus for three days, fuel costs and some bus tickets between cities.

All together we spent 785,41 € (28,05 € per day for two of us) in February, which means that it was one of the cheapest months during our nomad life.

Visited countries: Cyprus, Latvia & Finland

Accommodation: 83,00 €
Traveling: 110,84 €
Groceries: 303,21 €
Restaurants: 200,79 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs: 87,57 €

TOTAL: 785,41 €
BUDGET: 1 400,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -614,59 €

New nomad year started in Cyprus, and we stayed there the whole January. We spent the first two days with our friend living in the capital Nicosia, and then moved to the village of Kolossi for our first house sit via the Trusted Housesitters. We looked after four adorable dogs, five cats and a house while the owners were away. It was a great experience, and we went back for another sit in the end of the month. In between the sits, friends from Finland came to Cyprus for a holiday, and we explored the island together for 9 days.

Accommodations costs were low in January, since we only paid for 11 nights. House sitting is free of charge of course, and two nights we stayed in our friend’s place in Nicosia. On the other hand, the amount of other costs is higher than usual, since we bought a new pair of trail running shoes, sports sunglasses for both of us and some other sports gear and necessities.

All in all we spent 987,60 € (31,86 € per day for two of us) in January, which is below the average.

Visited countries: Cyprus

Accommodation: 140,80 €
Traveling: 102,63 €
Groceries: 353,56 €
Restaurants: 215,31 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs: 175,30 €
Fixed costs 0,00 €

TOTAL: 987,60 €
BUDGET: 1 550,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -562,40 €

We stayed the first week of December in United Arab Emirates, a destination that was not as expensive as we had assumed. We actually managed to maintain our daily budget of 50 euros for two with ease in UAE. The rest of the month we spent in Cyprus, staying a couple of days in Larnaca, 10 days in Agios Tychon, a village near Limassol, and a week in the capital Nicosia, where we stayed free of charge in our friends apartment.

Visited countries: United Arab EmiratesCyprus

Accommodation: 389,06 €
Traveling: 87,79 €
Groceries: 297,87 €
Restaurants: 340,15 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs: 21,92 €

TOTAL:   1 136,79 €
DAILY AVERAGE:   36,67 € 
BUDGET: 1 550,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -413,21 €

We started the month with a nearly two weeks trip to Azerbaijan, visiting the capital Baku and smaller town of Sheki. Otherwise we stayed mostly in Batumi, Georgia. In the end of the month we flew to Abu Dhabi in UAE.

Azerbaijan was maybe even a bit more affordable country to travel than Georgia. Especially accommodation prices were cheap, as well as bus trips and train tickets. Before arriving in UAE, we thought that prices there are sky-high, but quickly learned that it’s possible to travel with a low budget even in there. Budget posts opening up all the costs of both Caucasus and UAE are coming soon!

Costs in November were all together 1224,78 €. The amount of other costs is high due to dental operation, and the sum also includes a travel insurance for UAE.

Visited countries: Georgia, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates
Accommodation: 256,86 €
Traveling: 159,87 €
Groceries: 198,55 €
Restaurants: 275,73 €
Fitness: 36,56 €
Other costs: 297,20 € 

TOTAL:  1 224,78 € 
DAILY AVERAGE:  43,76 € 
BUDGET: 1 500,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -275,22 €

Another month in very affordable Caucasus. We stayed most of the month in Batumi, making just short day trips out of the city. In the end of the month we traveled to Yerevan in Armenia over a Lesser Caucasus mountain ridge, visiting towns of Khulo and Akhaltsikhe on the way. Other costs were higher than usual due to a still ongoing dental operation. Wider cost posts regarding traveling in Caucasus will follow soon!

Visited countries: Georgia, Armenia
Accommodation: 255,26 €

Traveling: 104,60 €
Groceries: 180,79 €
Restaurants: 275,02 €
Fitness: 12,65 €
Other costs: 163,86 €

TOTAL: 992,18 €
BUDGET: 1 550,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -457,82 €

A pretty cheap month in Caucasus, staying in cities and hiking on the mountains. Other costs were higher than usual due to a dental operation.

Visited countries: Georgia Accommodation: 340,33 €
Traveling: 57,00 €
Groceries: 153,05 €
Restaurants: 319,97 €
Fitness: 38,67 €
Other costs: 141,33 €

TOTAL: 1 050,35 €
BUDGET: 1 500,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -449,65 €

Budget-friendly month due to three weeks of house-sitting in France. In the end of the month we flew to Caucasus.

Visited countries: France, Latvia, Belarus, Georgia
Accommodation: 231,53 €
Traveling: 97,36 €
Groceries: 288,87 €
Restaurants: 261,88 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs: 49,45 €

TOTAL: 929,09 €
BUDGET: 1 550,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -620,91 €

Budget-friendly month on a road trip in Czech Republic and three weeks house-sitting in France.

Visited countries: Czech Republic, Germany, France
Accommodation: 98,82 €

Traveling: 119,05 €
Groceries: 326,50 €
Restaurants: 336,14 €
Fitness: 12,00 €
Other costs: 3,43 €

TOTAL: 895,94 €
BUDGET: 1 550,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -654,06 €

On a road trip from Athens to Czech Republic. Exceeded our budget due to high traveling costs (ferry from Greece to Italy and some car maintenance) and a minor road accident (136 € in other costs)

Visited countries: Greece, Italy, San Marino, Czech Republic
Accommodation: 271,57 €

Traveling: 715,57 €
Groceries: 321,78 €
Restaurants: 316,16 €
Fitness 6,27 €
Other costs: 236,58 €

TOTAL: 1 867,93 €
BUDGET: 1 500,00 €
DIFFERENCE: 367,93 €

Exploring Portugal and a short press trip to Siberia. Average month from cost perspective. Check out a detailed cost post from Portugal.

Visited countries: Portugal, Latvia, Russia
Accommodation: 384,08 €

Traveling: 315,81 €
Groceries: 317,81 €
Restaurants: 270,10 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs 4,19 €

TOTAL: 1 291,99 €
BUDGET: 1 550,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -258,01 €

Two weeks in Finland visiting friends and family, then via Latvia to Portugal. Pretty expensive month even if we didn’t pay for accommodation in Finland.

Visited countries: Finland, Latvia, Portugal
Accommodation:257,85 €

Traveling: 183,30 €
Groceries: 440,29 €
Restaurants: 489,15 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs: 69,75 €

TOTAL: 1 440,34 €
BUDGET: 1 500,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -59,66 €

Couple of days in Cyprus and then off to Finland to work and visit friends. Budget-friendly month since  we didn’t travel around and didn’t pay for accommodation in Finland.

Visited countries: Cyprus, Finland
Accommodation: 47,28 €

Traveling :19,00 €
Groceries: 257,03 €
Restaurants: 392,97 €
Fitness: 0,00 €
Other costs: 107,80 €

TOTAL: 824,08 €
BUDGET: 1 550,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -725,92 €

Week on  a road trip in Peloponnese, then to explore Cyprus for the rest of the month. From cost perspective an average month. Travel costs include a flight from Athens to Larnaca. Check also a separate cost post about Cyprus.

Visited countries: Greece, Cyprus
Accommodation: 397,12 €

Traveling: 227,67 €
Groceries: 282,30 €
Restaurants: 233,36 €
Fitness: 22,55 €
Other costs: 31,27 €

TOTAL: 1 194,27 €
DAILY AVERAGE:  42,65 € 
BUDGET: 1 400,00 €
DIFFERENCE: -205,73 €

Budget friendly month in Greece, mostly in Athens. Lot of laptop time, less traveling, but still one week on a road trip in Peloponnese. Check out also a cost post from Greece 

Visited countries: Greece
Accommodation: 365,40 €

Traveling: 139,03 €
Groceries: 298,92 €
Restaurants: 160,20 €
Fitness: 27,50 €
Other costs: 0,00 €

TOTAL: 991,05 €
BUDGET: 1 550,00 €

DIFFERENCE: -558,95 €


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