In August 2017, we embarked on a trip around-the-world visiting 5 countries:
Some people may be curious to know how much it would cost to travel around-the-world. Well, the answer varies depending on where you travel to and how long you travel for. I don't have a generic answer but I've been keeping track of all our expenses throughout the trip, so it's time to put all the numbers together and see how much we actually spent for our trip around-the-world in 3 weeks:
Almost all of our flights for this round-the-world trip were paid for with United miles, we only had to pay for taxes and fees. We managed to snag these lucrative award tickets before United changed its stopover rules. To further maximize the value of our award tickets, we built in a stopover in Cape Town, and two long layovers to explore London and Frankfurt.
Yes you read it right, we spent $0 on accommodations throughout our trip. =D
We stayed 3 nights at the DoubleTree in Cape Town for just 15,000 points per night. Thanks to my Hilton Honors Diamond status, we received a complimentary room upgrade to a Loft Suite and daily complimentary breakfast. =)
By far the biggest hotel room I've ever stayed at.
We redeemed our 7-nights stay at Courtyard Tokyo Station using the Marriott hotel + air package. Considering how expensive hotels in Tokyo are, this redemption was absolutely worth it as it was conveniently located in the middle of the city with easy access to all public transportation. As a Marriott Platinum Elite member, we were upgraded to a Corner King Room and received a welcome gift upon arrival. This hotel also provides generous selection of complimentary breakfast, evening reception, and beverages for all Gold and Platinum members.
Starting our stay right with some Japanese beer and snacks as welcome gift.
I redeemed the one free night award from the SPG 50-night benefit for Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. My SPG Platinum status got us a complimentary room upgrade to a Ocean One-Bedroom Suite with amazing view of the Andaman Sea. We were welcomed with a cake, red wine, and a bed decorated with birthday message for grandma.
Can't beat Malaysian hospitality.
With the exception of Cape Town where we rented a car, we traveled around using public transport. The cost of rental car in Cape Town was surprisingly cheap, and that's including all taxes. Our original booking was for a VW Polo but we received a complimentary upgrade to a Toyota RAV4.
Since we saved quite a lot on flights and hotels, we didn't mind spending more on food. Considering that we ate out for all of our meals and 3 out of the 5 cities are high cost cities, our total food cost was still quite low - average $20 per day for the both of us. We were able to save on some lunches in Cape Town thanks to the free breakfast at the hotel. Surprisingly, we spent only $77 in total during our week in Tokyo, thanks to the free breakfast and evening reception at the hotel. =) We also saved on some meals thanks to the free food in the airport lounges. The most pricey meal above was the dinner in Langkawi, which was my treat for grandma and grandaunt. Overall, I think we did a pretty good job with our food budget, and no we didn't starve ourselves at all. =P
Generous selections of complimentary breakfast and evening reception at the hotels in Cape Town and Tokyo.
Another area we spent quite a good bit was shopping. We bought wines from the vineyard we visited, hubby found some retro video games at Akihabara, and I stocked up on some facial wash in Tokyo.
We didn't purchase any phone or data plans throughout our trip and relied solely on free wifi. We navigated ourselves around Cape Town by downloading Google offline maps in advance and using Maps.me app to map all our driving routes ahead of time. The GPS worked perfect without internet and we didn't get lost at all! =) We did the same pinning all the places we wanted to visit and mapping the walking/subway routes ahead of time for London, Frankfurt and Tokyo.
All in all, we spent a total of $1,250 ($625 per person) to travel around-the-world for 3 weeks! And that's including shopping and souvenirs. This adventure brought us to 5 countries across 4 continents. We traveled through vibrant cities, magnificent mountains, picturesque vineyards, scenic coasts, beautiful beaches, and ancient architectures. This entire journey had been amazing and I'm truly thankful to be able to fulfill my bucket list item of traveling around the world for my 30th birthday!!