How much does traveling the world on horseback cost: Budgeting tips

Of course money doesn't buy happiness, but it does pay for traveling and horse riding, which is pretty much the same thing as happiness. It can be difficult to find out what a horse riding holiday realistically costs, including flights, visa, insurance, tips and other costs. In this blog post I will be going through some tips and answering questions to allow you to make a good decision about where and how to go on your horse riding holiday! 

‍This article contains links, some of which are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I earn a commission which allows me to fund this blog. I only post links of products and services I have used and enjoyed and that have truly benefited me on my travels!

How much does a horse riding holiday abroad cost in total?

There are lots of different factors that come into play here! Do you already have travel insurance? If not, it is important for you to have one, but it does not have to cost that much. TravelInsurance can get you sorted quickly and easily, you can request quotes on their website and let your insurance start immediately. As an example, I pay 8USD per month for my travel insurance! If you have major health complications the price of travel insurance is higher. 

Transport to the destination is also a major part of the cost of your holiday. If you are already traveling in the country, that’s perfect and you’ve cut one of your biggest costs. If you still need to fly around half the world, you might want to reconsider the destination if you have a small budget. Always check for visa costs, for Hooves Around The World trips there are some visas required. Most nationalities don’t need a visa, or get a free visa upon arrival for Argentina, South Africa, Turkey, Wales and Mexico. The visa for Egypt costs 25 USD upon arrival. For Zimbabwe the visa costs between 30 and 55 USD depending on your nationality. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about whether your nationality needs a visa for your trip!
Please understand that tips are never included in any of the Hooves Around The World trips. In the countries we travel to, it is customary to tip so make sure to add another 10 to 15 percent of the price of the trip to your budget. These adventures are usually organised by incredibly hard working local people that want to make sure you have an incredible time, so to not tip is disrespectful. I am aware it is a sensitive subject for some, but a very important one at that! 

Last but not least, do you want to do any optional activities or travel further inside the country after your trip? Make sure to leave some room in the budget for that. And always leave some room for error when budgeting for your horse riding experience abroad! You never know when you might need some extra cash for an unexpected taxi or maybe to extend your trip for a few days. (The latter has happened to me too many times…)

Also read: Safety, insurance and vaccinations for your horse riding holiday 

Expenses traveling with your own horses and alternatives 

This is a big one! And for the true adventurers among us. It’s a dream of mine I’m hoping to turn into reality in 2023 or 2024, riding my own horses through several European countries. Eventually, after a few years of planning, I want to do a through ride from Gibraltar to Cape Town! The cost of this is big and the time investment is years, so I can imagine that there are not many who will be doing this on a whim. I will be writing more about the planning and budgeting for this when I get closer to going on this adventure and have done more preparations. For now, there is a fabulous alternative in Wales. You can ride without a guide, from place to place, for 2 to 7 days here. This ride is not budget, but it is compared to traveling long distances with your own horse, and if you live in Europe - flying to Wales is just a small cost. For 2 to 7 days, the prices are as follows: 499, 799, 1099, 1399, 1699 and 1999 GBP. It is a very special opportunity to do self-guided trails anywhere in the world, and it’s a fabulous opportunity for anyone that does not have their own horse, or a smaller budget, to try out trail riding without a guide!

How much does backpacking and volunteering with horses cost?

This has a super clear answer: anything from super cheap to super expensive… If you want to volunteer for a horse safari company in Africa, it will usually cost you quite some money. This is because of conservation and park fees, and that is also the reason why horse safaris are so expensive to begin with. Flights to Africa are expensive coming from the US, but not too pricey coming from Europe. As an example, I have paid between 350 and 700 EU for a return ticket from Amsterdam to Johannesburg. If you opt for a long layover and a slightly unpleasant time or airline, you can easily get return tickets for 350 or 400 EU. If you would like a direct flight you usually pay between 600 and 700 EU coming from Amsterdam. If you want to fly extremely cheap, find out which airport in Europe has the cheapest return flights to Johannesburg, take a cheap bus there and fly from that airport! You’ll need to spend a bit more time and effort on that though, so if you’re low on cash, I would opt for an unpleasant layover. Then, my favourite volunteering destination is Zimbabwe where you can ride horses through an incredible conservancy and help with rhino and wildlife conservation on horseback. A week there costs 1305 USD, and if you use the code HATW5 you will receive 5 percent off your trip. For 2 weeks there you end up with 2480 USD total, which is a good price for volunteering with horses and wildlife! If you want to volunteer with horses in general and don’t have your heart set on African safaris or spotting wildlife from horseback, have a look on workaway. Here you can find lots of places, with horses and without, to volunteer and get meals and accommodation in return. This allows you to stay for free, and only have to budget for extra activities you might want to do and your flight to and from the destination! If you aren't already, you can also rent out your home or room while you're out traveling the world on horseback. You can sign up to become a host on AirBnB here.

Also read: What to do during a long layover at the airport

How to make your dream horse trail a reality!

A common mistake is to choose a budget holiday destination, and having to pay 2000 dollars for your plane ticket there and back. If you are short on cash but would love to experience a horse riding holiday, choose a location that you can fly to for cheap! On Skyscanner you can easily put in lots of destinations to find one that has cheap flights. Usually flights from the US to Mexico are quite cheap, so come join us for a few days if you’re from the US! Flights from Europe to Wales are cheap too, so come horse riding in Wales with me for a bit. Also, for almost all Hooves Around The World trips, payment in instalments is available. I am more than happy to help you with a budgeting plan, looking for cheap flights, or helping you with anything else you need so that you can have a fabulous time horse riding abroad!

Feel free to fill in my contact form if you have any questions about budgeting or how to make your dream horse riding adventure reality. I am also more than happy to find the perfect ride for you anywhere around the world!

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