Travel The Globe For Less Than $418, Sorta

Travel isn’t as much about resources as it is persistence, planning and problem-solving ability. A particularly skillful globe-hopper named Steve reveals how, starting next month, he plans to hit four continents and 15 cities while spending just $418.

He reveals his tricks in a guest post on Gizmodo.

Disclaimer: The guy is starting off with a treasure trove of frequent flier miles he acquired through clever credit card use.

In the story, Steve describes his methods to secure low-cost accommodations, get the most out of travel deals and timing.

Try to restrain your jealousy as you look over his itinerary:

• The Rock Boat – Jan 6 – 10
• Los Angeles–Jan 14 – Feb 13
• Sydney, Australia – Feb 15-20
• Auckland, New Zealand – Feb 20 – Mar 20
• Brisbane, Australia – Mar 20 – Apr 9
• Alice Springs, Australia – Apr 9 – 12
• Perth, Australia – Apr 12 – 14
• Singapore, Malaysia – Apr 14 – 16
• Bangkok, Thailand – Apr 16 – May 9
• Hong Kong – May 9 – 12
• Shanghai, China–May 12 – 22
• Tokyo, Japan – May 22 – May 27
• San Francisco – May 26 – Jun 3 (yes I go back in time on the flight home)
• Portland – Jun 3 – 7 (World Domination Summit!)
• Boston/Atlanta – Jun 8 – Jul 30
• Chicago – Jul 30 – Aug 4
• Dublin, Ireland–Aug 5 – Sep 2
• Madrid, Spain – Sep 2 – Oct 10
• Buenos Aires, Argentina? – Oct 15 – Nov 30 (not booked yet, but I still have enough miles to make it happen).

How do you cut costs when you travel, and what place or places did you go on your favorite vacation so far?

How to Travel Around the World for $418 [Gizmodo]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hi_Hello says:

    is 418 the total he has to pay for just for the plan tickets? fee and what not?

    he explainned how he get how miles and how he used them to plan the trip but I don’t see where the 418 comes in.

    I would spend a whole lot more on food in 6 month…

  2. Power Imbalance says:

    I made it around the globe on $2. Oh.. by the way, I also had 500,000 euros.

  3. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    My boyfriend and I drove from Denver to San Diego for the 2nd annual San Diego Beer Week at the beginning of November. Beforehand I drew up a budget on which I could also record actual expenditures while on the trip. After a disastrous trip to Hawaii left us with $3 on the last day, I was determined that we would stay under budget and that money would not be a concern, and that we could do everything we wanted to do and more.

    I credit that budget with allowing me to have the most relaxing and fun vacation of my life. Because we saved money according to the budget, and because I had over-budgeted in several areas to make sure we wouldn’t have to count every penny – we were able to eat where we wanted, go to every event we wanted, buy gifts and souvenirs, and we came back with almost $500 of our vacation money left over. When we got home, I put that money right into a savings account for next year’s trip.

    Our one “big” sacrifice was our hotel. We decided that it was important to stay close to the main beer fest so we could stumble home, but also that we would be spending very little time in the hotel, so we could stay someplace cheap and save that money for experiences. We stayed at a Motel 8 less than a mile from the beer fest, and with the $300 we saved over the course of the two week trip, we were able to go deep sea fishing and have one of the best meals we’ve ever had.

    Another great bargain was the National Parks & Monuments Annual Pass. It was $80 and allows us to visit and National Park or Monument at no additional fee for an entire year. On this trip alone we made up $75 of the pass. It was a great purchase and made our vacation so much richer.

    It’s easy to have a budget-friendly and relaxing trip if you plan ahead and really evaluate your priorities so you have the money to do what you really want.

    • Power Imbalance says:

      Awesome I’m going to have to start doing that!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Budgeting is really the key. When we go on vacation, the biggest cost is always the hotel but I am a hawk when it comes to looking for the best hotel rates. We have always been able to book at a really great hotel. Our second expense is probably getting there, but the third is always FOOD. Last time we were on vacation, we took a bus 30 minutes out of the way just to eat at a restaurant we heard about. Totally worth it!

  4. Ramona_Little says:

    Now wait a minute . . . it says the *flights* cost $418, not that he’s *spending* $418. The trip could still get quite expensive with hotels, local transportation, food, etc.

  5. You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

    I’ve thought about getting a credit card that gives you airline miles, but I refuse to do business with Citi, BofA, Chase, etc…

    • abluvion says:

      both the credit union I bank with and USAA offer miles-earning credit card programs. Have you just not tried looking at other banks?

  6. FatLynn says:

    That’s a whole lotta TSA pat-downs.

  7. Alvis says:

    Africa, shmafrica

  8. TheGreySpectre says:

    Yes, but does he reveal how to explore the galaxy for less then 30 Alterian dollars?

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    The same Gizmodo that just had all their passwords hacked? No thank you.


  10. Jonesey says:

    I almost always stay at hostels. Besides couch-surfing, you can’t get any cheaper, and I don’t think I’ve stayed someplace where I haven’t met some cool fellow travelers that I’ve had some adventures with.

  11. RandomHookup says:

    He coulda traveled the entire world for free just by enlisting in the US Navy.

  12. mythago says:

    This isn’t an article about world travel for $500; it’s an article about smart use of frequent flyer miles – primarily by having excellent credit and using credit cards to pay for his normal living expenses, paying off the card in full and reaping frequent flyer miles. And then carefully setting up an itinerary to use those miles frugally.

  13. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Okay, sure. But how many ‘favors’ is he going to have to perform in addition to the $418?

  14. coren says:

    Looks more like five continents to me

  15. donovanr says:

    You’ll note that none of this is Canada. Flying in Canada is now like the 60s when it was only for the very rich (or government paid). His airmiles would barely pay for his taxi ride to the airport here.

    • Jubes says:

      Tell me about it! I moved from Vancouver to Onterrible 6+ years ago and have never gone back to visit because it’s cheaper to get a flight to Europe. Who wants to stay in Canada for a vacation when you can go to Paris on a cheaper flight?

    • mythago says:

      You mean the Canadian post office took over your airlines?!

  16. livingthedreamrtw says:

    I am a world traveler and blogger (doesn’t take a genius to figure out my blog site), and I read this article when it was posted on gizmodo a few days ago. It is really deceptive that they spell it out like he is traveling for just $418. All he is doing is flying around the world for $418. His expenses in those cities can be anywhere from budget ($20/day in bangkok) to astronomical.

    The only thing I can really say so far, is the guy is smart in getting his airfare cut down. That is always, always, always the biggest cost of any trip. I just spent 1 full month in Thailand on a modest budget (a little more than barebones), dove a lot, etc for under $2000 neglecting airfare. Airfare would be an extra $800-$1200. But considering I spent $1800 for one week on a cruise (all costs totaled), you could spend 2 weeks in Thailand for the same cost WITH airfare, if you find the right places to stay (good quality too).

    Good luck to the guy if he ever wants to make changes on those frequent flier seats though, that is a nightmare.

    • livingthedreamrtw says:

      I should add, even on a bare bones budget, unless he doesn’t plan to go anywhere else in that country/region while there, and does couch surfing the entire time, the little trip will probably cost an additional $15,000 at the minimum in the cities he’s visiting, perhaps more because it is almost all expensive countries except most of Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo excluded). My guess is it will end up costing over $20-25k when all is said and done. Still, when you break it down into daily spending figures, that is very, very cheap.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Yeah, I was thinking that he doesn’t understand what it’s like to transfer between so many different airlines. The rules changes in each country and also airline. I think he’d do the best by having one backpack and absolutely no check-ins.

      Also, I’d be more scared about getting robbed than having trouble with the government in most of those places (although I’ve never been to Asia). Lastly, I think his plan to “talk his way out of various situations” could backfire. I’ve always gotten around more easily by not saying anything and trying to blend in.

  17. livingthedreamrtw says:

    I hope he realizes Singapore is its own country and that Singapore, Malaysia is just a typo. But only spending 3 days there I am going to assume that it is not.

  18. Pastry Minion says:

    The $418 is a really deceptive figure, since the Rock Boat alone costs about a grand per person with taxes and fees. Although I wonder about that because if this is who I think it is, he worked for them before starting his own company. I’d hope he gets a discount!

  19. Pastry Minion says:

    The $418 is a really deceptive figure, since the Rock Boat alone costs about a grand per person with taxes and fees. Although I wonder about that because if this is who I think it is, he worked for them before starting his own company. I’d hope he gets a discount!

  20. !caybay says:

    I love cheap travel, but the way his itinerary works, he spends very little time some places (Hong Kong for 3 days??) and wayyyy too long for others (a month and a half in Boston??). He’ll spend way more on accommodation during those long stretches than a normal flight would have cost.

    I’m way happier because I’m in Europe right now so I grabbed Ryanair flights Stockholm – Rome for 10 euro each way aaaandd got a top rated centrally located hostel for $16/night. Really cheap flights can be easy if you have are not very picky about the dates or the destination, but you should always factor accommodation into the equation.