Paul Hamilos offers a rough guide to what it costs to backpack around the world
Even the introduction of tuition fees does not seem to have deterred students taking time off to travel. However, the image of globetrotting on a shoe-string no longer seems to hold true. Time abroad can cost up to and beyond pounds 1,000 per month, with over 50 per cent of travellers saying they ran into significant un-budgeted costs en route. The modern backpacker is now aware of the benefits of a credit card, a working visa and $300 stuffed into their well-worn sandals (or should that be Nike Air Max?). Here's what it could cost you:

Just the ticket 220 days, flying to and from London via Harare, (overland to) Johannesburg, Sydney, Bangkok, Saigon, (overland to) Hanoi, Bangkok, (overland to) Singapore, Bombay, pounds 1,100

Better safe than sorry Insurance (including high-risk-sports cover), pounds 263. Vaccinations: yellow fever, pounds 22.50; rabies, pounds 30; hepatitis A, pounds 42; hepatitis B, pounds 22.50; diphtheria, pounds 12; Japanese B encephalitis, pounds 30. Twenty- week Larium course (anti-malarial tablets), pounds 90. Sun-block, pounds 40 (this isn't 10 days in Ibiza). Medical Kit, pounds 25. Insect Repellent, pounds 30.

Travelling light Rucksack, pounds 100; good quality fleece, pounds 75; boots, pounds 70; trainers, pounds 70; sleeping bag, pounds 70; sunglasses, pounds 50; Walkman and tapes, pounds 75; torch, pounds 10; camera and 20 rolls of film, pounds 150; Swiss Army penknife, pounds 10; playing cards, pounds 2; Rough Guide/Lonely Planet guides, pounds 50 (although it might be cheaper to buy guides when you're there).

Nights to remember Hostels, cheaper for those with the almost obligatory YHA membership card: six weeks in southern Africa, pounds 250; three-and-a- half months in Australia, pounds 1,000; five weeks in Thailand, pounds 140; two weeks in Bombay, pounds 30; three-and-a-half weeks in Vietnam, pounds 45.

The world on a plate Eating well is an important budgetary consideration. Remember to save enough money to taste the local delicacies, and bottled water is essential, pounds 1,500.

The little extras Working visa for Australia, pounds 60; entry visa for Vietnam, pounds 40. Traveller's cheques/credit card, pounds 1,500. Plus, $300 in low-denomination bills: everyone welcomes the smiling faces of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin - you never know when you might need them.

Total: pounds 7,187

Source: STA Travel; Nomad Travellers Store