Everest Base Camp – Step 3: Budget and saving plan


When I left the U.S. in September last year, I’d spent all my savings on my half year long hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. I was broke. Back home I really had to start saving to have some kind of backup. I work as a freelance which means that I have no guaranteed income and having some savings are necessary so that life won’t feel to insecure. But I didn’t feel bothered about that. I’d used the money to do the most amazing trip I’ve done in my entire life, a journey that for me was worth way more than any money could buy. Another trip did feel very far away though, which was a bit tough. My body was filled with adventure- and wanderlust, but how would I be able to plan something without money?

But that was actually what made me start planning a bigger project like this. A project that was gonna take place in the near future. One of the most common reasons why we never set out on a trip we really dream of is our economy and I often get to hear that when I’m talking about the importance of fulfilling our dreams. But isn’t it just an excuse from our inner ”auto pilot” to stay in our safe comfort zone at home? Even if we ”can’t afford” the trip, many people can still buy clothes, eat at restaurants or go to the pub for hundreds of dollar each month. If there’s something we really want to do, it’s all about priorities.

When I later started to get interested in Nepal and hiking to Everest Base Camp, I was very happy to found out that I might not needed that much money for an adventure like that. Sure, I was gonna have to do some sacrifices to save up to it, but I was gonna make it! And I wanted to prove that I could save to it in less than a year. How far can we make it? Can we get to the highest mountain in the world without having the biggest income?

But putting together a budget hasn’t been the easiest thing. It’s been hard to find prices and the ones that I’ve found differ A LOT. I’ve listed the costs I found and need to cover below and I’ve used the higher numbers to be sure I’m not gonna be low on cash. Last I’ve listed some saving tips that you can use yourself to save for your next adventure!

Costs Everest Base Camp

  • Bus Stockholm – Arlanda airport: 200 SEK ≈ 21 €
  • Flight Arlanda Airport, Stockholm – Kathmandu: 6.800 SEK ≈ 708 €
    • There’s flights from 5.000 SEK ≈ 520 €, but they seems to have longer stops over night and since I travelling on my own I don’t want to sit by myself and sleep at an airport in the middle of the night, so I’ve booked a little more expensive flight with two shorter stops. 
  • Bus Kathmandu – Jiri (before the hike): 50 SEK ≈ 5 €
  • Flight Lukla – Kathmandu (after the hike): 1.700 SEK ≈ 177 €
  • Hotel Kathmandu, totalt 5 nights (2+3): 550 SEK ≈ 57 €
    • If you want to get it even cheaper, there’s hostels from 40 SEK ≈ 4 €/night or hotels from 45 SEK ≈ 4,5 €/night.
  • Daily costs on trail (food, water, lodging) 21 days: 300 SEK/day = 6.300 SEK ≈ 656 €  in total.
    • This has been the hardest info to find out and I’m not sure if it is correct. I have used the higher numbers I found, to be sure I won’t be low on money. After my hike I will write down the accurate numbers.
  • Daily costs Kathmandu, 6 days: 100 SEK/day = 600 SEK ≈ 62 € in total.
  • Nepalese visa: 400 SEK ≈ 42 €
  • Hiking permit: 100 SEK = 10 €
  • TIMS: 200 SEK ≈ 21 €
  • Entrance Sagarmatha National Forest: 300 SEK ≈ 31 €
  • Vaccination: 3.000 SEK ≈ 312 €
  • Insurance: 0 SEK/€
    • I have an insurance from the Swedish company IF, which includes a full insurance up to 45 days abroad without extra cost. That also cover hiking at higher elevation and moutaineering. If something happens they take the costs, even if I’ll need a helicopter to pick me up. 
  • Maps/apps: 600 SEK ≈ 62 €

TOTAL COST: 20.800 SEK ≈ 2164 €

I once again want to mention that this numbers are very high and the biggest difference will be how much stuff actually costs on the trail. If I instead of 300 SEK count 100 SEK a day, the total cost will be 16.600 SEK ≈ 1728 €, but it might be even less. When I coming home I will update the list with the actual numbers!

For me the cost for climbing Lobuche Peak will also add to this: 10.000 SEK ≈ 1041 € (including guide and climbing permit)

Saving plan and tips

Save spontaneously with your bank’s app

Monthly savings

I’ve created a ”adventure account” that I’ve named ”Everest Base Camp”. Naming the account with my actual goal makes it motivating to transfer money to it as I can visualize what my money will go to. Each month I will automatically transfer and save 1000 SEK to it. That might sound like a lot for some and sure, you might have to skip your sunday pizzas and some new clothes, but that’s a question about priorities. For me it’s definitely worth it.

Total: 12.000 SEK in one year.

Spontaneous savings

My bank (swedbank, but surely other banks as well) has a very good function in their app that’s called  ”spontaneous saving”. With that you can, without login it, choose a number that you transfer immediately from one account to another. I’ve chosen to transfer from my checking account to my adventure account. This way, I can when I’m for example is in the grocery store and see something that I want and not really need (an ice cream for example), instead of buying it – save the money! The cost of an ice cream might not sound that much, but every cent counts and soon they will become bigger sums! It also gonna be clear where your money ”disapears”.

I think I will save about 500 SEK per month this way = 6.000 SEK in one year.

Clear your wardrobe/attic and sell your stuff online or hold a garage sale

I think that many of us has a lot of stuff laying around that we could sell, but aint sure if we want to or not. ”Maybe I wanna use this jacket/purse/pants some day. Even if I haven’t used it in five years.” I definitely got a lot of this stuff! And they might not be that easy to sell, but when we have something we really want to do that the money will go to, it’s much easier!

My goal is to sell stuff so that I can get 5000 SEK

Unexpected money

Before christmas or birthdays, people might ask yuo what you wish for. Tell them that you don’t want anyone to buy anything, but that you’re saving for your dream trip and that if they really want to give something, then they’re welcome to make a contribution to that trip.

You might get some money from your grandmother for your birthday or be asked to work extra. Take every opportunity and save it immediately on your adventure account. You can also ask at work (yours or others) if they need some extra help. This is especially good at vacation times, such as summer or christmas.

I will for example not go on vacation this summer and instead I’m gonna work extra, which will generate 15.000 extra SEK, which will not only make my budget –  it will also cover the cost I have when I’m coming home.

Share your dream

Nothing is better on the way to make reality of a dream than telling others about it. If you annonuce it (for example on Facebook) and explain you that you have a dream and that you are saving for it, you might be surprised how much people want to help. Maybe someone is willing to pay you a little to take care of their dog over the weekend, mowing their lawn or help them to move. You can also ask if someone will need some help like this. And if you get some extra, just transfer it to your adventure account as soon as possible!

I want to make clear that I’m very aware of that there are people that can’t save like this because you are already struggling getting money for your rent. This is a shame, but I think that even you’re in this situation, you might find some of this tips helpful. It might take some longer time to reach your gaol, but eventually you should also be able to go on the trip of your life! 

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... is Linda Åkerberg. I'm a 32 years old photographer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Read more about me here

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