Travel expense report for Q1 2023

In our last report, we summarised the expenses from our third quarter travelling on this journey – it was also the last quarter of 2022, the year we left home to travel full-time.

We began January in Kupang City in East Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), a part of eastern Indonesia thats soooo far away from Jakarta and Bali. We celebrated a quiet NYE at the local mall and came back to bed early because in the next days, we were going to make the long journey to cross the international border by land into one of the newest countries in South East Asia!

On the morning of Jan 3, we got picked up by a bright pink van from Paradise Tours and we drove eight hours east to Atambua. After a quick lunch we headed to the Batugade checkpost where we crossed the border into the mysterious country of Timor Leste (East Timur), a country that was only formed in 2002. By sunset, we reached the capital Dili where we spent the next ten days. We used Dili as a base to visit the nearby towns of Baucau, Dare, Hera and the magnificent Cristo Rei beach where there’s an incredible statue of Christ The Redeemer.

Our time in Timor Leste brought about many mixed feelings. We deeply enjoyed being in this beautiful country but were anxious due to the safety situation there (we talked about what happened in our Timor Leste vlogs). At the same time, we also experienced a very low point about our youtube channel’s performance.

We had been working very hard to make this true-to-life videos about travelling the world on a weak passport and wanting to share our experiences with the world. But somehow, the weekly views dwindled since we got monetised and it hurt so much to see only $0.25 (INR 20) come up as revenue everyday. We haven’t been able to buy a small water bottle with that earning on many days. It hurt so much, that we had a long teary eyed conversation about it on our last day in Timor Leste while sitting on the beach in Dili watching what was a beautiful sunset.

We returned to Indonesia (Kupang) the next day and flew four hours to Jakarta, the capital of the country. We spent the next week exploring Jakarta and Yogyakarta. Our initial plan was to head further to east Java, but a surprise visa came through and we decided to use our last two weeks to just rest and re-energise in Surabaya.

In the second week of February, we flew out to Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the small oil-rich country of Brunei Darussalam in Borneo. We headed straight to Kuala Belait. There, we spent the first four days with my uncle, aunty and cousin brother exploring the east side of the country. It was lovely to catch-up with family, eat delicious home-cooked meals (gained some weight) and explore the colourful town centre on foot!

After that, we returned to Bandar Seri Begawan and spent the next few days exploring the largest water village in the world, hiking in the oldest rainforest in the world and seeing some very interesting animals. With nearly no initial expectations (since there’s not a lot on the internet about Brunei), we were very grateful for having been able to experience this hidden gem!

In late February, we arrived in Malaysia. We spent a few days exploring Georgetown, Ipoh, Melaka before stopping at Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia was as we expected – very touristy and expensive! As you can see from our expenses, it was already going beyond our usual daily budgetary limits. But something very heart-warming happened! 

A couple who had been following our journey for a few months sent us a message on Instagram inviting us to stay with them in KL. Having never done that, we were hesitant. But somehow, we decided to take them up on their offer! And it turned out to be so awesome! Our otherwise busy time in KL became more enjoyable thanks to these two lovely souls and the endless conversations we had every night when they returned from work and we, from our exploration of the city. Thank you so much Shreoshi and Shaunak!

And to top that off, we bumped into another kind Malaysian who would not take no for an answer and fed us so much of amazing Malay food. He runs his own Youtube channel and makes amazing vlogs about his own wanderings and eatings (now guess his channel’s name?). Thanks again Daryl for your super-awesome company and hospitality in KL!

Finally, in early march, we took our last flight on this journey from Kuala Lumpur to our hometown. It was surprisingly cheaper than flying to anywhere else in our country – but it was a flight we took with the greatest of mixed feelings. We were eager to see family and friends and take a long due rest-stop, but we were also sad to be off the road for a while.


In this quarter, we visited four different countries – Indonesia, Timor Leste, Brunei and Malaysia before heading to India. This is what our expenses looked like:

✈️ Flights: $805 / INR 65,223

In this quarter, we took three international flights and one very long domestic flight:

  • Kupang (Indonesia) to Jakarta (Indonesia) – Citilink airlines
  • Surabaya (Indonesia) to Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei) via KL – AirAsia
  • Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – AirAsia
  • Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Bangalore (India) – AirAsia
⛺️ Stay: $509 / INR 41,233

We stayed in budget hotels, homestays and hostels in nearly all places. We stayed for nearly ten days in a lovely room in Surabaya which we paid a lot more for than we usually do because we felt that would boost our spirits during the rest week and keep us productive. We also stayed with an uncle and aunt in Brunei, and with new friends we made in Malaysia which helped with our budget. These are the places we stayed in:

  • Timor Leste (Dili)
  • Indonesia (Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Surabaya)
  • Brunei (Kuala Belait and Bandar Seri Begawan)
  • Malaysia (Georgetown, Ipoh, Melaka and Kuala Lumpur
🏝️ Sightseeing: $90 / INR 7,318

We did visit many sights this quarter, but the cost was far lower than the previous months.

  • Timor Leste: museums, nature preserve and free entry to national monuments
  • Indonesia: tickets to Prambanan temple were very expensive at USD 25 per person! We visited temples, museums and other medieval monuments.
  • Brunei: museums, temples, boat tours to see the proboscis monkeys. We also visited the Ulu Temburong National Park in Borneo as guests of the best Jungle Lodge there – Freme Lodge.
🍕 Food: $558 / INR 45,162

Breakfast (sometimes), lunch, snacks and dinner; includes water too. We did spend more money at Indian restaurants because we just wanted home-style food and Indian food is not always cheap in foreign countries. However, in Timor Leste, we bumped into a very kind Indian chef who cook some delicious Timorese and Indian food for us for practically free. Thank you Jay! 

🚌 Transport: $276 / INR 22,344

Rides on the local city bus, Grab taxis, interstate buses and ferries. We also rented scooters in Timor Leste and Indonesia for a few days. 

🔖 Visa: $251 / INR 20,331

Permission to stay in the foreign countries:

  • Timor Leste visa on arrival for 30 days: $30 or INR 2,462
  • Indonesia visa on arrival for 30 days: $35 or IDR 1,000,000 (INR 5,263)
  • Brunei visitor visa on arrival for 10 days: $15 or BND 20 (INR 1,233)
  • Malaysia visa on arrival for 30 days: MYR 200 or $45 (INR 7,500)
💊 Others: $57 / INR 4,605

Misc. items like SIM cards, photocopies, soap, laundry, medicines, gifts and more. We also bought souvenirs from the countries we were visiting for the first time which was not very cheap!

Total: $2,546 / INR 206,214

For 60 days of travel from 1-Jan-23 to 1-Mar-23, we spent USD 42 per day (INR 3,437) or USD 21 per person, per day (INR 1,719). However, if we include the month of March, which we spent mostly between spare rooms in our parents homes in Bangalore, that number comes down to USD 28 or INR 2,291 per day for us both – we have not really spent much here except for transport and a couple of meals at restaurants. 

How much has it cost since we left home?

This totalled up to INR 791,074 or USD 9,766 for ~292 days of travel for two. Across these days the average cost of travel came to INR 2,709 or USD 33 per day for both persons together. Including our rest days in Bangalore, India, that reduces to INR 2,472 or USD 30.5 per day.

That works out to INR 1,236 or USD 15.07 per day, per person. Thats our current cost of travelling full time (in India and South East Asia).

Or maybe a little more of Shish’s expenses as against mine – she likes to shop and hide it in the “others” category like in the last quarter’s report. 😛


    In the first quarter of 2023, we earned these incomes:

    📽️ English channel: $47 / INR 3,900
    • Subscribers: Increased from 3,060 subscribers (as on December 31) to 3,400 subscribers (as on March 31).
    • Views: 37 new travel vlogs – three videos every week. We also tried our hand at Shorts with a few small clips. In total, we have 155 videos on the channel and 220k views.
    • See more stats here: English channel
    📽️ Kannada channel: $0 / INR 0
    • Subscribers: Increased from 404 subscribers (as on December 31) to 513 subscribers (as on March 31).
    • Views: 37 new travel vlogs – three videos every week. In total, we have 84 videos on the channel and 23k views.
    • Earnings: INR 0 / USD 0 as the channel has not monetised
    • See more stats here: Kannada channel
    🖥️ Travel blog: $11 / INR 880
    • Views: 31k page views
    • See the website here: Travel Blog 
    ☕️ Gifts and contributions: $15 / INR 1,200

    We received a surprise contribution from a subscriber (thanks Charan!) for our first ever coffee. You can see what he bought for us and his message on the page here.

    Total: $73 / 5,980

    This may not seem like much, but we’d like to think of this as a start and get the ball rolling! We are in the course of creating a few additional streams of income which we will share with you soon (so please stay connected on our Youtube and Instagram)


    With the new income and considering the above expenses, our net income for the quarter is -$2,473 / -INR 200,234

    To bring this into the green zone as soon as possible, you can support us here 🤓

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    Do you have any suggestions or want us to add more details on this report? Let us know in comments below.


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    Last updated on April 29, 2023

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