My budget target for this entire trip is $4,000 AUD.
This is saved from my total of $21,000 AUD for this year abroad. All Australian exchange students to Asia get a $7,500 loan for each semester – straight on the HECS-debt. I washed dishes for a year before coming to Singapore to save up the remaining $6,000. I worked out I would need $4,000 quite early on, so I’ve just budgeted to have that available.
(Many of these costs are in SGD, but converted to AUD for uniformity as the two currencies are about 1:1 now)
These are my fixed costs:
Trans-Siberian total cost Beijing – Moscow – 800 AUD
Noma meal – 500 AUD
Chinese visa – 100 AUD
Mongolian visa – 240 AUD
Russian visa + ‘invitation letter’ – 110 AUD
Turkish visa – 85 AUD
Cambodian visa – 50 AUD
Vietnamese visa – 65 AUD
Gobi desert expedition 5D4N – 300 AUD
Cappadoccia dawn balloon – 150 AUD
Total – $2,400 AUD
Which leaves me with $1,600 to cover food, accommodation, and the 15,000km left after the Trans-Siberian. Looks like I’ll be updating my couchsurfing profile.
I’ll be staying in hostels, couchsurfing, and camping where it’s warm/dry enough (carrying sleeping bag + mat), and eating street food where available. For transport, Singapore to Beijing I’ll mostly take trains, particularly through China where the high-speed rail network is excellent. Once I’m in Moscow it’s as simple as getting a bus to Georgia and hitchhiking through Turkey, then up through Eastern Europe. Even as I type this I know it won’t be as simple as that but hey, it’s all part of the adventure!