How Many Days Can I Travel In [Insert Country Here] With $1,000?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I decided to research the costs to travel around the world and create a chart showing how many days a traveler can travel in a particular country with $1,000.

How, you may ask, does one come up with these numbers? Easy, I simply researched the purchasing power of the U.S dollar as a base by referring to the oft-quoted Big Mac Index, cross-referenced that with boots-on-the-ground estimates from guidebooks, then converted those numbers using the most up-to-date currency exchange rates. I then put a team of monkeys to work crunching the numbers all night to come up with the following chart.

As you can see, and not surprising to most travelers, Asia is the cheapest place to travel, with a $1,000 budget lasting you over 40 days in many countries. On the other end of the spectrum is of course Scandinavia, where you can expect to blow your trip savings in a svelte two weeks. (Did that beer really just cost me $18?)

Keep in mind, these numbers are based upon a backpacker’s budget (i.e, staying in hostels, street food, minimal transport), and these numbers will vary widely depending on the extent you travel in more expensive, urban areas. However, I tried to integrate both urban and cheaper rural travel to better reflect the composition of a typical trip. Now if only your job gave you that many vacation days . . .

  • Great list, Is so helpful for me

  • I love this list! It’s so helpful!

  • I am Egyptian and I can tell this the exact figure for Egypt.

  • Interesting numbers! Even though it’s very subjective of course.

  • I’m surprised to see Nepal not included in the list. It’s among the cheapest countries I’ve ever been. $1000 will go a long way there. I went there for 2 weeks and spent less than $100.


  • I backpacked Philippines last 2012 and lasted 139 days on a $1000 budget. Here is the story of my journey.

    It can be done :)

  • India is very beautiful country..

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  • dave1111111

    most of that is bullshit as faer as im concerned!!

  • There are parts of Indonesia where one can comfortably get by on $10 a day. 

  • Although I wouldn’t agree with everything on the list (some outdated) this generally gives a good perspective.  Out of all the countries listed I’ve found India the most fascinating and it’s friendly on the wallet too :)

  • Binamratasharma

    lol!! nepal’s like expensive than egypt and stuffs…!!! gee!!

  • Tamas Kis

    This can be never true for Switzerland!
    The cheapest even “20 Bed Mixed Dorm” is about 40 $ a day in a cheaper town… with no food, no travel. only way: couchsurfing + bread + water + walk.. yeah! maybe even more with begging..

  • Richardglendenning

    How old are these facts? Australia is stupidly expensive these days. Take an average meal out where the main will cost A$50 and then they’ll charge A$10 for each side. Or how about a packet of cigarettes for A$25. That’s nearly £20.

  • Baybora

     $33 a day in America? Yeah right!!!!

  • This is true, you could get more days out of your $1000 in the regions of south east asia.

  • Hmm I would say Argentina is out of date. My budget is $30 per day and technically you can do 30 days here but it’s really tough, 52 days is out of the question without couchsurfing the entire time.

  • That would be nice…. sadly I spent over 3k just in a hotel a night… so…. not for me :(

  • commonsense

    shit like this is ridiculous…why be cheap when on vacation? Is that the goal? See how little money I caan spend per day in a foreign country? Try this with a wife…losers

    • mr d

      calm down calm down its only a twitter/blog/load of garbage

  • commonsense

    1000? LOL…that lasts me 1-2 days when im on vacation…

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  • ILooks like I’m going to china!

  • Great article but I wished there was a more detailed breakdown. Judging from my limited travel experience, taking China as an instance, I travelled there for 10 days and had spent nearly a grand. That includes a return flight from Beijing to Shanghai. Though I did stay in a mid range hotel and that might justify the extra cost.

  • Liujing199


  • The only thing I don't like about that is it seems major transportation is not included, so unless you only spend time in one or two cities, the tally is going to be less. Going pretty good on a budget I only made 10 days in Japan on $1000 and 24 in China. But I did touristy things every day, ate moderately priced meals, stayed in hostels, didnt drink much, and traveled city-city every 3 days or so. My best guess would be that take the number that is listed, divide by two, and that is a more moderate spending amount.

  • Wow.. so cheap in India. I just know that. Nice info.

  • Interesting find. I like the concept. Wonder how a chart like this would look if you JUST couchsurf?

  • Well I am wondering about travel and this is a good idea for the imagination.

  • Ha, that's a fun concept. Nice find, Matt.

    • Hal — I'm sure we could do better though. Who needs to pay for a hostel when there are perfectly good public benches to be had?

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