You’ve saved up for your backpacking trip for years. You’ve researched how cheap Asian hostel beds are. You know you can live like a king for a week for the price of a night out. Just when you think you’re ready to go, those pesky pre-travel costs start eating into your savings and before you know it you can’t even afford a cycle rickshaw.
Here is a quick run through of our pre-travel costs to help you to plan your trip (prices per person in 2014 based on two travelling together):
|Per person||Our costs|
|Megabus from Liverpool to London Victoria||£5.00||£10.00|
|Train from London Victoria to Gatwick||£15.00||£30.00|
|Visa on arrival for Vietnam||£60.00||£120.00|
|40 litre backpack||£35.00||£70.00|
|Australian 1 year working holiday visa||£227.25||£454.50|
|Private chest x-ray required for Australian visa||£120.00||£120.00|
|Combined hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine||£76.99||£76.99|
|Travel plug adaptor||£11.00||£11.00|
The chest x-ray was only required for Sian’s Australian visa as she had previously travelled throughout Asia for longer than three months. It is not required for everyone but it’s something to consider when planning your trip.
Travel vaccinations can vary in cost, the hepatitis A and typhoid combination is available on the NHS through your GP if you have more time to plan. We are both getting a tetanus booster from our GP before we leave. You may also need Hepatitis B, Rabies or other vaccinations before you travel. A great way to pay for these vaccinations is to get them as gifts from family members, the comedy value of Nanna getting you Rabies for Christmas never fades.
Another huge cost can be antimalarial medication. Malarone costs around £2.30 per tablet and needs to be taken for a week after leaving a malarial area meaning cover for a month long trip would cost £85. Doxycycline is a cheaper option but needs to be taken for a month afterwards. As we are pretty knowledgeable about pharmaceuticals, we have elected to buy ours over the counter in Vietnam. This is not recommended for everyone and if you decide to do this, only use a recommended pharmacy and check all dates, milligrams and original packaging.
Technology can also be costly. Luckily we already have iPods and cameras but we have bought a Kindle Fire HDX (£170) and an ASUS T100 Transformer Book (£350) for keeping in touch and blogging whilst we travel. This put our total pre-travel costs to around the £2000 mark. Fortunately we have been selling everything to help fund our trip. We decided not to buy any new clothes as we have a lot already and are hoping to travel light, anything we are missing can be easily bought at our destination.
What pre-travel costs have you had to pay? What was the most surprising? Or expensive? Do you have any advice?