How Much Money Do You Need to Quit Your Job and Travel?
Saving money is just one part of your journey to quitting your job to travel. How do you know what you can get for the amount of money you’re able to save? How much money do you need to quit your job and travel? There are so many ways to enjoy long-term travel and you can find an amazing adventure to fit practically any budget. Try one of these dream long-term travel budgets on for size! I’m starting with the most expensive goals and working my way down to long-term travel budgets that require less upfront cash. (If you want more help, book an Explore Call with me to talk through your options face to face.)
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$20,000 Round-the-World Trip
This was my savings goal for my own year-long trip around the world and while my actual spending did go over $20k a bit, it wasn’t such a big overshoot that I consider this goal unrealistic.
If you need a quick and easy answer to how much money you need to quit your job and travel, this is the first place I’ll point you.
I spent about two years saving up about two-thirds of this amount before departure, and made the final third by working as a freelance copywriter while I traveled.
I spent a year exploring Europe, Southeast Asia and South America, and my travel style is a budget backpacker most of the time, but I schedule in a few splurge-worthy experiences here and there like awesome food tours or a day trip to an elephant sanctuary.
Another way to approach this savings goal would be to budget $1500 to $2000 per month of travel.
$15,000 Cross Country Road Trip
One of the most common goals I hear from young solo female travelers is visiting all 50 states.
A budget of $15,000 will cover you for three months of comfortable cross country fun.
That breaks down to:
- $1500 for gas and maintenance
- $3000 for food (average $10 per meal)
- $1000 for entertainment
- $9500 for accommodations (average $100 per night)
You could bring your total budget down a ton by outfitting a camper van and turning your wheels into your home. This is an especially good travel style if you’re a national parks fan!
You can also choose to eat more cheaply on a daily basis, but I think you should still save up for local specialties like Maryland crab cakes or Memphis BBQ.
There are solo female travelers who have visited all 48 continental states on just $3000! The more willing you are to rough it, the more attainable this goal is.
$10,000 European Excursion
When I first started traveling, most of my must-see bucket list items were in Europe. There’s something that feels so classic about a summer backpacking across Europe and $10,000 is easily enough to cover you for three months.
That averages out to a little over $100 a day, which is enough to cover your costs even in some of the world’s most expensive cities like London and Paris!
You could cut your budget in half by sticking to more off-the-beaten path locales. The Balkans are one of the most underrated regions in the world. They’re full of hidden gems for you to discover from dancing the night away on one of Belgrade’s riverboat nightclubs to hiking around the fkn gorgeous turquoise waters of Plitvice Lakes in Croatia.
$7,500 Six Months in Southeast Asia
When you want to travel for a long time, but you don’t have a big budget to work with, it’s time to make the global exchange rate work in your favor. Southeast Asia is one of the most popular regions in the world for budget backpackers because you can get a LOT of bang for your buck!
Six months on $7,500 averages out to a little over $40 per day. In many Southeast Asian cities, you could even travel on as little as $25 per day!
Say hello to the beaches of Thailand, river tubing in Laos, discovering local delicacies in Vietnam (each town has its own foodie specialty!), exploring the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia, and indulging in a spa day in Bali for a fraction of the price you’d pay in the U.S.
$5,000 Working Holiday in Australia
If you’re under 30 and struggling to save, the working holiday visa (WHV) might be your perfect program. This special visa allows you to work and travel throughout Australia over the course of a year.
You’re required to have about $5,000 in your bank account on arrival, so you will need a little more than $5k to cover your flight and visa costs.
Because the program is designed to let you find a job down under, you don’t need to have all your expenses saved up in advance.
If you’re worried you don’t have the skills to be a digital nomad, a WHV could be perfect for you! Instead of working for yourself online, you can take on office jobs, barista or bartending gigs, work on a ranch in the Outback… you have so many options!
$2,500 Teach English in South Korea
Finally, if you’re on a super tight shoestring budget at home, a five-digit savings goal might seem totally unattainable right now. How much money do you need to quit your job and travel at a bare minimum? If you just want to get the heck out of dodge and get out of a low paying job, teaching English in South Korea is a fantastic gateway to long-term travel!
You can get started with a fairly low amount, because in addition to your salary, your school will pay your housing costs.
A budget of $2,500 will cover:
- $500 for TEFL certification (that’s Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
- $100 for your visa and paperwork
- $400 for your first month or two of bills, groceries, etc.
- $250 for entertainment and travel within South Korea
- $1000 for your flight to South Korea
Living and working abroad is such an incredible experience — even if you just stayed in Seoul and traveled a little around South Korea, you’d have an amazing time.
But if you stick to a firm budget while you teach, the lack of rent to pay means you can sock away a hefty travel savings fund to take off on your own worldwide adventures, like a round-the-world trip, after your teaching contract is up!
I hope these options show you just how much possibility there is in long-term travel, no matter how much money you’re making right now.
I developed my course Round-the-World Roadmap with round-the-world trips in mind. But the course’s process of Save, Plan, Go is really designed to meet you where you are. If a year-long round-the-world trip feels out of reach, there are so many other ways to get started! You can learn more and hop on the waitlist here.
Not sure what type of long term travel is right for you? Take the free quiz!
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Now you’re making me feel guilty for spending waaay more than that on my own RTW trip! 🙊
Oh no, no, no – this is a zero shame zone! If you have the money to travel more comfortably or luxuriously, go you! For people brand-new to long-term travel though, I like to give $20k as a benchmark. It’s not the lowest amount possible for a RTW trip, but it’s still within reach for folks without high incomes. For most places around the world, you can enjoy budget backpacking plus a few special experiences on roughly $2000 per month.
I have to admit, quitting my job has never really been an option for me in the past – but looking at these numbers sure got me thinking… Thanks for this really clear and concise post!
Glad to get some gears turning!