“How much money is enough to start an overland trip?”
It is a question that we get asked very often and one of the most difficult to answer. Your budget is something personal and subject to the kind of travel you choose to do. Here we will try to give you some general rules that we personally follow and you should use them mostly as reference only.
First of all, divide your budget into the Pre-departure and the On the Road sections.
The Pre-departure section includes all your spendings that are assets and therefore you will probably use them in more than one trip. This for us included:
– Setup and maintenance items: all the necessary modifications to make it suitable for overlanding (upgrades, equipment or interior modifications) and items that you need for maintenance while on the road (tool kits, jacks, recovery gear, etc.)
– Your travel gear: items of common use (kitchen equipment, filming gear and communication etc.)
– Health and vehicle paperwork: vaccinations, the deposit for the carnets(this you will get it back as soon as you return your carnet)
Some people include the shipping costs or their travel insurance in the pre-departure expenses but we have put those in the On the Road section as they are not an asset.
The On the Road section includes:
– Food: In our case we include both eating out and our groceries shopping (some consider these two different categories).
– Accommodation: Although you will have a setup for sleeping in your vehicle, free camping is not always possible or camping in some cities.
– Fuel: You can find online an approximate fuel price for each country. Calculate the kilometres and have an estimated total.
– Vehicle maintenance and repairs: This includes the regular service of the car and any on the road maintenance needed
– Border crossings: visa expenses, temporary import vehicle permits, taxes, duties, charges and fees, etc.
– Transportation expenses: local car insurance, ferries, tolls, bridge crossing fees.
– Flights: In case you ship your vehicle and need to fly over.
– Treats & Tricks: activities, tours, souvenirs. In this category we have also put the wine (ha, ha!)
– Shipping expenses: We prefer to add this category here as it is not an asset.
– Phones & communications: local sim card, data package, satellite tracking, Netfix or other subscriptions
– Bank charges and commissions: In reality we forgot to add those and when we calculated them, it was a serious amount.
Worth keeping in mind is the YOLO aspect of life(You only live ones).We never initially wondered if we had enough money but if we had the free time between the different jobs to enjoy what we wanted to do with our money. Yes, it can be stressful and in times disappointing to have a limited amount to spend every day but after a while you adapt, as long as you enjoy the moments you are out there.
Some of our friends back home claim that they can not afford to Overland. By saying “Oh I wish I could do what you are doing”. The sentence itself grammatically implements immediate that you are negative about it and therefore you will not attempt such a think. Not having enough money does not mean that you cannot travel. You just need to adjust your travel needs, destinations, destinations, and expectations to your money. There is a huge difference between the above two. All an all there is no precise answer to the question “How much money is enough to start overland travel?” You learn as you go.