Can You Plan a Round the World Trip on a Budget? (Part 2 of 2)

Jennie here.

This past week, Ivan published his round the world itinerary in Part 1 of our post "Can You Plan a Round the World Trip on a Budget?" I wanted to share my (more awesome) itinerary here using the same rules. So, let's get started!


The Rules

  1. Pick 10 countries on a budget of $50
  2. Must circumnavigate the globe at least once
  3. Avoid doubling back
  4. Minimize the number of flights
  5. Maximize the number of continents 

The Prices

The following values are based on a combination of cost of livingThe Economist’s Big Mac index and subjective factors to adjust for traveler prices. For example, Tanzania is an $8 country because climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is crazy expensive. 

$12 countries (Scandinavia)
Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Monaco

$10 countries (Western Europe & Oceania) 
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States, Italy, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Ireland, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Israel

$8 countries (Asia Pacific, Mediterranean, and Islands)
Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, Portugal, Pacific and Caribbean Islands, Ghana, Tanzania, Mauritius, Maldives

$6 countries (Eastern Europe and Middle East)
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Balkan countries (Croatia, Serbia, Albania etc), Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman

$5 countries (Industrialized Africa and South America)
Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Belize, Chile, Mexico and Central America, Peru, Bolivia, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt

$3 countries (Southeast Asia & Africa)
Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka

$2 countries
Rest of the World


Jennie's Round The World Trip Itinerary

Depart from: Los Angeles, California (September 2018)

1. Peru ($5)

Beginning in Peru would be the starkest contrast for us, culturally speaking. Also, high season to visit Machu Picchu in Peru is between July and August. We would probably start in September to avoid the high season and the rainy season that begins in October. Also, I want to visit the Ica Desert – it’s a real-life oasis in Peru.

2. Bolivia ($5)

Salar de Uyuni marks the location of the world’s largest salt flats. November to March is Bolivia’s rainy season so I’m hoping to catch the Uyuni Salt flats before then. The secondary leg of the trip would be to head over to the national park that has Laguna Verda (Green Lake) – near the foot of a volcano and with hot springs and flamingoes hanging around. 

3. Greece ($6)

Beautiful beaches, picturesque towns, and historic architecture. I would consider Greece to be my vacationing country to relax before trekking onward to more physically demanding countries.  

4. Slovenia ($6) 

A few years ago, Ivan and I went on a vacation to Italy and Croatia...and we tried to hit up Slovenia but did not make it. So, I’ve been obsessed with checking out their cave sites (Skocjan Caves and Postojna Caves), as well as Lake Bled Island and Castle. From there, I’d love to take a train ride further eastward to Czech Republic because train rides are romantic. 

5. Czech Republic ($6)

I’d probably begin my trip in Prague where I can visit this gorgeous city...ideally during The Prague Spring where I can listen to world-class orchestra symphonies! Other strange and eerie places on my bucket list include their catacombs, the Macocha Abyss (the deepest sinkhole called ‘The Stepmother Abyss’), and the Strahov Monastery.

6. India ($3)

I once saw a short feature/documentary on The Ancient Stepwells in Jaipur. It looked so beautiful that I knew I’d have to go. There are also parts of northern India like in Punjab (near the border of Pakistan) that have remnants of its Colonial India history that seems really interesting.

7. Nepal ($3)

I’d like to take a train ride from India into Nepal to get that gorgeous view of the Himalayas and the beautiful villages in scattered throughout the region.

8. Mongolia ($5)

I get to see the horses (and camels) but really I want to try living like a Mongolian nomad. That’s right, judge all you want. It's a secret dream of mine to live among the people and see how they live in their yurts and spend their daily life.

9. China ($5)

I’m not that interested in seeing the east where there are the large, flourishing cities. I want to see the natural beauties like the Huanglong Travertine Terraces, Lexiaguo, and Ngari, China (Tibet?) where the Red Seabeach is. 

10. Vietnam ($3)

My parents come from Vietnam and I haven’t been back since I was five. Vietnam would be last on my trip because I believe it would be comforting to come “home” to a bowl of warm pho or a noodle soup made by the famous Lunch Lady (Nguyen Thi Thanh) of Saigon.

$46 Total, 5 Flights; Several train rides...and a bus through interior China

Closing Thoughts

 How would you plan your round the world trip? Let us know in the comments below! 

Remember to check out Ivan's round the world itinerary.