How would you spend $9 today? 9 ways to spend $9 around the world. (Part 1)


In a world filled with bills, mortgages and credit card debt, we often forget how far our money can go. I’m often asked how I am able to save and fund my travels and the truth is seeing the world is not stereotypically expensive. In many cases, I’ve been able to spend less than I would at home, per day, in an exotic overseas location.

How much do you spend daily?

It might surprise you but I encourage you to work out how much you spend on an average day, just to cover basic expenses. Include subway and bus fares, parking, petrol, coffees, lunch (cost of buying ingredients if you make your lunch) and the cost of your dinner (whether you cook or get takeaway). Remember these costs are just your basic costs to survive. Don’t worry about adding your bills, rent and mortgages as these will most likely still cost you while you travel abroad.

Depending on where you live and your daily habits this could range from $20 to $100 for most people. For myself, the biggest cost for me, surprisingly, is my coffee (I have a caffeine addiction and need a few a day!).

Whatever amount you came up with I’m pretty sure you could stretch it pretty far in some cool exotic locations. Granted, you will need to find a cheap airline ticket first to get there but in some cases, the cost of travelling is so cheap it works out better even if you were to include the ticket price. This is especially true for longer holidays away.

I’ve always been passionate in sharing with others that travelling and seeing the world does not need to be expensive. I’ve travelled on a budget of $25 a day in Thailand and loved every part of it. This included accommodation, food and the occasional Thai massage! Of course, this is on the extreme side of things and a budget of $30-$50 is a bit more comfortable.

All it takes is a reminder that you can do so much in many places of the world with less money. More importantly, it’s the memories you will bring back.

How would you spend $9 today?

Here is a list of some of my favourite experiences (and favourite dishes) from my travels all adding up to a total of $9:



$2 – Bed and private shower. While travelling in Phnom Penh, I found a hotel that had cheap rooms advertised for $3. It was after midnight when I arrived and the owner offered me to stay at $2!
$2 – All-you-can-eat-Curry
$5 – Tuk-Tuk motorbike ride to visit the temple of Angkor Wat during Sunset. $5 to see one of the coolest ancient temples in the world?

tuk tuk angkortemples of angkor
(Temples of Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia)



$5 – Bratwurst and Sauerkraut – Berlin
$3.80 – Currywurst – I just love my curried sausages and bun!

$0.20 – Yoghurt – YES 20c for fresh yoghurt in a Frankfurt supermarket.

currywurst berlin
(Photo Credit:



$9 – a 2-hour boat ride in Boracay, Philippines. First of all, you’re on Boracay Island. It is paradise. Next, you’re on a boat island hopping between islands and snorkelling near coral reefs. Find me a better way to spend $9!

boat island hopping boracay

snorkelling boracay

(Photos: Boracay Island, Philippines.).




$8 – An hour long massage in Thailand. No trip to Thailand is complete without a traditional Thai massage.
$1 – Banana and Nutella Pancake! A staple in every backpacker’s journey and found on almost every corner in a touristy Thai town.


nutella pancake



$7 – All day metro ticket in Tokyo. I spent a whole day just exploring by monorail and taking in this out-of-this-planet city.
$1.20 – Onigiri from 7-eleven! The cute triangle rice and seaweed wraps, found in all 7-Elevens, on every corner of Tokyo.
$0.80 – Tempura dish in an alleyway restaurant. Tempura is usually an expensive delicacy outside of Japan.
tokyo train ladies
onigiri tokyo

(Photos: Train Station and Onigiri, Tokyo.)



$9 – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a Beer! Bali, Indonesia. All your meals sorted for a day. I sometimes pay $9 just for a beer in Australia.



$9 – 5 x Beers in Tallinn, Estonia. I just remember the medieval ceramic beer steins. There was beer; and roasted rabbit.

old hansa estonia

(Photo: With my Estonian friends at Olde Hansa, Tallinn, Estonia)



$2 – Pho in Vietnam. The delicious rice noodle soup, found on every street corner.
$6 – Water Puppet Show in Hanoi. A must-see in Hanoi.
$1 – Banh Mi – The famous French-Vietnamese meat and salad baguette. Spend $1 to have the original banh mi while you the enjoy the madness of Ho Chi Minh’s traffic.


water puppet hanoi

(Photo: Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre



$9 – The cost of two coffees. Last but not least, how could I not mention the overpriced coffee that I can’t keep away from at home in Perth, Australia. The problem is, I don’t stop at two.

All the exciting experiences and food I’ve shared above costing $9 or less should hopefully inspire you to consider that next trip overseas. Find that bargain airline ticket and go see how far you can stretch your $9!


Your Friend,

Peter Paxx


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