The Trans-Siberian Railway - Your Trans Sib Budget and Travel Tips
What will it cost in total? - Your Trans Siberian Trip Budget
Your first choice is what kind of trip would you like to do. We think it’s a great shame if you are doing the trans sib and don't stop off at Lake Baikal in Siberia or see the Steppe in Mongolia. They are stunning and everyone of our passengers almost berate us after their trips saying why don’t more people know about these places! Well we try....but for most of our passengers it comes down to budget.
We hope this might help planning your budget. Basically the trips start from £500 upwards. Our best selling trips are the Big Trans sib and the Mammoth which cost from £900+. Remember that’s its cheaper if there are two or three or more travelling together though.
Have a look at all the trips here
These embassies in the UK change their prices all the time (usually upwards) but this will give you an idea. For more details click here
Your GP is the best bet for cheaper vaccinations if not it’s a Travel Clinic such as Nomad, for reasonable priced innoculations/jabs/jags.
Global Village are the flight experts but see here for more details.
Again Global Village have a great policy that covers the Tran Siberian train and other adventurous activities. See here for details.
Personal Spending money in Russia
In Moscow and St Petes budget on £30 a day. That'll cover your meals, beers, transport, and entry fees.
Personal Spending money on the Trans Sib
It's tricky because it really depends on how much you drink. But you'd be hard pushed to spend over £20 a day. Stuart our Director at Global Village averaged £10 a day.
Personal Spending money in Asia
This is such a personal thing, but you're a backpacker we are currently recommending you take £100-£200 a week spending money for all trips on top of the money you take for your own optional excursions. How much spending money you actually need is very individual and often depends on how much you drink, eat and shop. It is an overall weekly average covering lunch, drinks, shopping, occasional small optionals costing under £10 e.g. the Star Ferry in Hong Kong, or the Skytrain in Bangkok, and personal expenses such as communication home and toiletries.
An example trip from the UK to New Zealand
Dave and Karen are Kiwis who want to do the Ultimate journey home to New Zealand in October to be home by Xmas. They’ll be traveling for 9-10 weeks and they want to fly to St Petersburg, have a couple of nights there, take the St Petes sleeper to Moscow, have a couple of nights in Moscow, then take the Big Trans Sib from Moscow to Beijing then make their own way down through China before flying to Thailand for 4 weeks on the beach, then fly home to Christchurch. So what should their be budget for.
UK – St Petersburg surface Hong Kong – Bangkok – Christchurch
St Petes add on plus Big Trans Sib
Russian, Mongolian will cost £100. So save some money they will do the Chinese visa themselves.
They went to Africa and Egypt last year so have had them all.
Cost £95 inc tax.
Personal Spending money
Dave and Karen like a beer every now and then, but are careful not to waste their money by spending heaps on expensive hotels. They will spend the following - Russian cities £100, on the train £300, China for 3 weeks £600, 4 weeks in Thailand mainly spent on the beach on Koh Chang £600.
Total spend £1600 over 10 weeks.
Dave and Karen’s total budget per person for 10 weeks travelling including the Big Trans sib is £3975 each.
Now we can’t emphasize enough that this for a Big Trans Sib with all the trimmings. We can bring this down (a lot of guys who have done the trans-siberian have been on much tighter budgets – it just involves knocking out a couple of components, or cutting down on time spent in places). However no two passengers budgets are the same. Some want private travel throught with 1st class accommodation, some want no frills. Everyone is different. Talk to us.
Want to know more?
Please don’t hesitate to contact Global Village if you want to know more. We are always happy to talk on the phone. We are also on email. Please feel free to visit our Islington office (we're open late during the week and we're open at the weekend too - for details click here) to chat about your trip. Telephone: 0870 442 4850 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ten Top tips
Take a heatproof mug and tea bags or instant coffee - there’s continuous boiling water from the samovar in each wagon.
Take the newest, cleanest US dollar bills you can get. Travellers cheques are useless, plastic is of limited but of growing usefulness. Any money, which is not American, is assumed to be a poor forgery of American money. ‘Who is this woman?’ they said about a £20 note ...
Don’t underestimate what there is to see in St Petersburg (the Hermitage, the palace fo Petrodvorets and Tsarskoye Selo, the Peter & Paul fortress) and Moscow (Red Square, the Kremlin, Lenin’s Tomb, Moscow metro).
The only 19th Century rule still applies - your Russian visa has to be pre-validated for the specific cities and dates for your trips. Luckily you no longer have to advertise your intended departure in the St. Petersburg Gazette.
A phrasebook is really handy. Better still - learn one letter of the Russian alphabet per day in the month before you go, it will make a quantum leap in your ability to get around - almost nothing is in English. The same alphabet (with three extra letters) is used in Mongolia too. We'll give you a Trans-Sib general guidebook but get your own too - we like Bryn Thomas Trans-Siberian Handbook.
If you get bored in the toilet on the train, there is a helpful diagram showing you how to disassemble the complete system.
In winter the snow looks picturesque (you can go skiing in Siberia) and the train is always warm. May-September are the best months for Siberian trekking or Mongolian jeep trips, although the Mongolian felt-tent stays are now available all year round.
While in Ulaanbaatar try to visit a traditional performance of music and dance. The Mongolian throat singing has to be seen and heard to be believed.
Take a chess set with you. Its a great ice breaker with your fellow passengers.
Lastly, don’t forget to stock up on vodka - it’s a great way of making friends.
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