Here, some information that can give you ideas, especially on budget, health and vaccines.
The budget: 5€/day
We decided to have a 5€ budget per day, which makes 10€ for both of us. For some people it might seem very less, but for others it is already a lot. In some very poor countries the average wage is less than this and some travelers have a budget of 0. The World Bank defines the level of absolute poverty between $1 and $2 and we are thus way above this. Everything is possible.
We left with enough money for a year, a budget of 2200€ split in 1800 of everyday life expenses and 400 of insurance. Once our pockets empty, even though full of air, we want to stop to work for a little while and why not doing street shows (M&Ms: Music and Magics)
What are the expenses of the 3rd millennium traveller?
- Sleeping: For us it will be 0 or not far from it. Most of the time we sleep in our beloved tent or we are hosted at friends’ place, friends’ friends’ place, hosts found on internet (especially BeWelcome, Trustroots and Couchsurfing), or by the travels opportunities.
- Transport: Again, 0 or almost. All our travelling is done by hitchhiking and we only pay public transport in the big cities when it is too difficult to go walking.
- Food food: The biggest amount of our budget goes into food. We have a wood cooker and try to cook often which makes it much cheaper. It is as well possible to eat for free by gathering food at the end of the markets, getting it from the dumpster of the supermarkets or doing “table diving“, eating people’s waste in the restaurants. We do it from time to time, but not very often.
- Beer: Ah no! I almost forgot, beer is our biggest expense. If like us you enjoy a nice beer after a good day of hitchhiking, or after a good day without hitchhiking, or if you like to party in general, you will quickly see that it has a considerable impact on you budget. This expense fluctuates between the countries because beer price can change a lot. In some countries it is even impossible to find some, and this is really not cool.
- Visas: Very different between the regions. For the Occident inhabitants a lot of visas are free, but some others are really expensive. The French passport for example with the German one are some of the most advantageous worldwide. We calculated that for our trip in Africa, from Egypt to South Africa we will have to spend 300€ only in visas. See the visa page.
- Equipment: We bought quite a few things beforehand, but the shoes wear out and backpacks get stolen. To solve the upcoming problems we plan to gather most of the stuff that will break and we hope to not spend too much on equipment. If we have to buy something more expensive like a computer or a camera, we will work a bit more when we stop. See the equipment page.
- Vaccines: We did our vaccination beforehand in the “Vaccination Center” of our city (surprising isn’t it?). The cost will depend a lot on your destinations, on the vaccination you already have and on your private insurance. Rémi and Arthur paid between 100€ and 200€ each. See hereunder for a bit more detailed information.
- Travel insurance: We made the decision of taking a travel insurance. This choice is questionable especially on ethical aspects but it seemed like a good choice for us at least for the beginning, maybe until the end. We considered Chapka – Cap Aventure but finally chose ACS – Globe Partner for 33€ a month, so 396€ a year.
This budget is of course a rough indication and we do not spend strictly 5€ each day. Some days are going to be 20 and the day after 0. In the countries where beer is expensive our average will be 7€, but where taxes on alcohol are gentle we will spend only 3. Long term we keep a 5€ average, but you got our point.
- Water: Can be unsuitable for drinking for two reasons. Either the cities are too big and not well enough equipped, and water is treated with enough chemicals to make it bad for long-term drinking, but cannot really make you sick. In this case buy some bottled water and check that the lid is sealed. Or the water has simply too many bacterias for our poor small stomachs and then it is 100% guaranteed diarrhea, or even more 😉 To make it drinkable, you can boil it 15-20 minutes, leave it exposed in the sun (with lemon juice) in a transparent bottle, to put purification tabs, or to filter it with wood. Otherwise you must consume plastic en masse with new bottles. Be careful as well with ice put into drinks.
- Never pull out a teeth. It is a very inefficient old-school way that we were doing in Middle-Age when we did not know what to do instead.
- Never take an anti-inflammatory without taking antibiotics. The anti-inflammatory could worsen the infection due to bacterias. Unless you are sure there are no bacterias.
- Malaria: As well called paludism is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes in areas next to the Equator. For short stays we can take “preventive” pills during all the stay AND 8 days after coming back. The incubation length is 7 days so if you stop before, you still have a chance to have it even in you comfy apartment. However for longer stays, more than a month, it is not advised to keep taking them as the secondary effects can be pretty violent, from a simple bad feeling to hallucinations and depression. In case of extended stay in these areas it is advised to take “curative” pills at the first sign of disease, that will leave a bit more time to reach an appropriated hospital. In some cases, the pills might even cure you without the need of hospital visit.
- AIDS and other STDs: Always have some condoms with you. In some countries, wanting to use a condom is a sign of having AIDS and people will want to have sexual relations without even if they have AIDS, so no stupidities ok?
- Hepatitis A: highly recommended. Possible to do it at once with Typhoid.
- Hepatitis B: very recommended as well but many people have it.
- Typhoid: very recommended and possible to do it in the same injection as Hepatitis A.
- Yellow fever: compulsory to enter Ethiopia for example.
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Poliomyelitis: usually people have it, but check if you do not need a injection to reactivate it.
- Meningitis A and C: to do if going in the Sub-Saharan areas.
- Japanese encephalitis: only in South-East Asia
- Rabies: not compulsory, you only have to avoid being beaten by a dog. The vaccine does not protect entirely, it only gives you a few more days to reach a hospital.
But no worries, everything is going to be alright!