How to prepare for a world tour with one backpack. Part 1: Budget and Route

From budget planning and itinerary to equipment and vaccination, a useful guide for those who want to explore the world with a backpack behind.

On a trip around the world, we gathered with simple goals: a break from the bustling city life, “recharge batteries”, and of course, look at the world.

Having worked for eight years in France in IT, we decided that work in a large corporation could wait, and we don’t know if it will be possible, time and effort to go on such a voyage in 10-20 years, so we must go now. We had a simple plan – to go where and when we want, until the money runs out or until we get tired of the adventures. “Round-the-world” this journey is only formal, that is, we will still go around the globe, but we will visit countries no more than 10–12.


So, having decided on such an adventure, the first question that we had to solve was financial. We need to think about how long you want to stay on the trip, how much you usually spend on vacation, and plan your budget accordingly.

It all depends on the countries in which you go, and the level of comfort. In Southeast Asia – Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand – you can live on 10 euros per day, and, for example, in Japan or Australia already 100 euros per day for a couple will not be enough. We took as a basis our monthly life budget in Paris and multiplied by 12 months. We figured that in the countries of Southeast Asia, we would definitely spend less than planned, but in New Zealand and South America, we may have to save somewhere.

Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia

In the monthly budget, we included accommodation, food, entertainment and local travel by bus and train. To this amount, we added the cost of all flights – about 8,000 euros for two – and medical insurance for the year – 600 euros per person.


It so happened that we definitely decided to leave in September, immediately after the summer holidays, without starting new projects at work. This was a decisive factor in the choice of directions. They made a list of countries and looked at which months the weather was good there. That is, for example, in October in Mongolia it is already cold — we cross out, and in China it is still warm and sunny — we are going.

The list of countries can be long – this is normal, correct along the way. But spending less than 3-4 weeks in one country will be very tiring. It is also worth taking into account how long and difficult to get a visa. You need to check whether you can get a visa online or only from the country of residence.

Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

In addition, at first, when you still have a lot of energy, it is worth visiting the places “more difficult”. These may be countries where you have to make an effort to move a lot by public transport, overcome cultural shock or language barriers.

We tried not to overdo it with planning, but to be ready to change our route at any time. To begin with, we bought one-way tickets to China, the first country from our list. Visa was not so difficult to get, but it took a couple of weeks of waiting. And this was also one of the reasons why we decided to start with China.