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Keeping Travel Statistics

Keeping Travel Statistics

I’ve always been obsessed by numbers and statistics. Even as a child playing sport, I often had my parents collect my football stats and cricket averages so I could keep track of how I was going as the seasons progressed. Slightly weird, huh?

These days this obsession mostly surrounds my money, which is religiously managed so that every cent is accounted for. In fact, my passion for numbers very nearly led me to become an accountant but thankfully I realized halfway through university that this wasn’t the career for me.

With less than 7 weeks to go until our big journey commences, we asked our Facebook community what kind of statistics they would like us to keep track of during our travels. The response was fantastic – and here are the statistics we’re aiming to record during our time on the road.

Our Budget Numbers

Obviously we’ll be managing our budget pretty carefully. The last thing we want to do is unexpectedly run out of money so we’ll be tracking all of our expenditure and reporting back to our readers regularly. We’ll let you know how we’re going and what we’re spending all our hard-earned money on.

We’ll also be keeping track of public transport fares and the cost of bottled water from city to city (thanks to Claudia Critelli Boothe for the suggestion). If you can think of any other expenses that we should monitor from destination to destination, let us know.

Flight Statistics

Thanks to Justin of 48 Hour Adventure for recommending FlightMemory, a website that keeps track of where you’ve flown and generates the statistics for you. If you’ve got a few spare minutes, give it a try – it’s really very interesting!

From our perspective, here are the numbers we’ll be sharing with you:

  • Number of flights
  • Flight distances
  • Hours spent flying

We’ll also track the number of train/bus journeys we take and the time and distances associated with them.

Beer

Do we really want to know how many beers we consume on the road?!

Other Statistics

There were plenty of other fantastic suggestions on our Facebook page, which we’ll do our best to keep track of throughout our journey. These include:

  • Accumulated number of photos (via Henry Lee)
  • Number of beers consumed (via Plif Damon)
  • Number of different nationalities met (via Jerick Parrone)
  • Number of public toilets visited (via Nicole McPherson)
  • Number of sunsets & sunrises viewed (via Sophie Ferreira)

I think we’re in for some interesting results when our journey concludes and we can guarantee that this list will generate some great stories as well!

We’ll be setting up a dedicated statistics page on Don’t Ever Look Back shortly! Should we be keeping track of anything else? Tell us in the comments!

Flickr Photo: foreverdigital, bunchofpants

21 Comments

  1. Posted June 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m with you guys – keeping track of your stats is a lot of fun! I kept a running tally of my daily budget (apart from the last 2 months where it completely fell apart! oops) in my diary and then transferred it to Excel every few days.

    I like keeping track of transport statistics too, like modes of transportation taken (cycle rickshaw, auto rickshaw, plane, donkey, elephant…!)
    Megan recently posted..A matter of life and death in Varanasi

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      We’re looking forward to keeping these stats – it’s gonna be great looking back at these at the end of our journey and just saying “whoa!”. Modes of transporation is another good one, particularly once we get to SE Asia when tuk-tuks and the like are much more common.

  2. Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Stoked that you guys have gotten a kick out of Flight Memory, it’s so cool huh? I religiously enter all my flight data into it after I book them. I love the maps it creates for you and the stats like shortest flight in distance/duration, most flown airline, etc.
    Justin Morris recently posted..London- you’re all kinds of rad

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      It’s fantastic! We’ve already entered the 3 flights we’ve booked and looking forward to putting more in there… it generates some great stuff and takes the effort out of it all. Thanks again for pointing us to it!

  3. Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Couple of tips/suggestions:

    – For tracking your travel expenses, I favor a little app for my iPod Touch called “Day Bank” ($1.99) You can set up multiple accounts for different currencies, and of course categories for what you spend your rubles on. Very handy for keeping track of multiple accounts, cash in multiple currencies, etc. and to see what you’re spending by week, month, etc.

    - Rather than track your consumption of bottled water (imho the bane of traveling), why not simply get yourself a Katadyn water filter or some such – and never purchase another plastic bottle again?
    [email protected] recently posted..Random Photo Memory- Meet my Thai Sponsor Child

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Dyanne – an app on one of our smartphones would definitely help with the budget! We’ll check Day Bank out, it sounds great for travelers on the go. The Katadyn water filters look like a good idea too – we were more going to track the cost of bottled water for comparison (and hopefully not buying it too often!).

  4. Giulia
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    I would love to know how many flights I had in my life but I fail every time I try to count them! I am too messy and can’t keep track on anything:(
    But I’ll be following your stats! Funny, interesting and a great memory for you to go through all your experiences, even after you come back.:)
    Other suggestions? Number of photos taken? Number of languages spoken (even just one word)? And I’m sure more ideas will come on the road.:)

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      It definitely will be a great memory and hopefully include some surprises at the end! You’re right though – there’s gonna be a lot more great ideas that will come to mind once we actually start traveling.

  5. Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    What a great idea! I’ve always wished that I had kept a photo log of every bed I’ve ever slept in on the road… would be interesting to see them all together :D
    Seattle Dredge recently posted..Rainy Season in Trinidad &amp Tobago

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant, brilliant idea! We were going to keep track of the number of beds but hadn’t thought of putting together a photo log… it definitely would be interesting to compare hotels, hostels, couches, etc during a long trip like ours! Thanks Seattle! :)

  6. Posted June 7, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    @SeattleDredge: with all the work-travel I’ve done, I never got around to taking photos of hotels or the rooms I’ve stayed: I regret this now!

    I might have to add the amount (“standard/average cups”) of coffee and/or tea I’m going to drink RTW, as I’ve been needing them both at work a lot of late.

    Given how some outlets (e.g., The Economist) uses McDonald’s Big Mac as a metric of how much things cost around the world (normalized to the US dollar at some agreed-upon date), the cost of a bottle of a 500 mL or 1 L bottle of water would be very interesting to compare, and whether or not that cost allows for a returnable deposit (e.g., Pfand in Germany).

    @Amy & Kieron : looking forward to your Stats page!
    Henry Lee recently posted..fotoeins- RT @TechCrunch Everything You Need To Know About iOS 5 http-tco-8qsoc1T apple ipad ipod

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Hey Henry, we’re not big coffee/tea drinkers but ‘fast food meals’ might be a good one for us! Maybe we can also not only compare the cost of Big Macs but also the quality around the world?

  7. Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    What a good idea! I haven’t given trip statistics much thought but I enjoyed reading about the types of numbers you’ll keep track of and maybe that will inspire me to do the same on my next trip =). Only a few more weeks before your trip! I’m sure you’re getting excited =)
    Lori recently posted..Kyoto’s Secret Garden in Ohara

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Apart from a blog and photos, it’s another nice way to remember certain aspects of a trip like ours. Hopefully we can inspire you to do the same! :)

      And yes, we’re very excited for our big adventure… although there’s still a hell of a lot to do in the next 46 days!

  8. Posted June 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure you’ll include accomodation costs in your Budget statistics – along with any blowouts and the reason for them! That way others can benefit from your experience and factor in a little extra for the unexpected!
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..Australias Scenic Public Toilets 15 – Lord Howe Island- New South Wales

  9. Posted June 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m just starting to think about what kind of stats to keep myself. Lots of good suggestions here. I like the idea of the photo counter, just wondering if your counting every picture you snap, or just the keepers?
    Mike Lenzen recently posted..DayOne in Las Vegas

    • Posted June 15, 2011 at 12:41 am | Permalink

      Hey Mike, I think we’re going to keep track of every picture we snap (minus the ones we delete straight away). That’s probably the easiest way to do it.

  10. Posted May 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I’ve read a few blogs with interesting and offbeat statistics. Ive got many numbers of my own, but I never bothered to write them down. FlightMemory could be something I use in the future. Cheers.
    Ian [EagerExistence] recently posted..On negativity, productivity, and changing the world

  11. Posted May 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    How many beers, and how many public toilets…surely there is an algorithm there somewhere!! (Ummm, I totally don’t really remember what an algorithm would do….VCE Maths was sooooo irrelevant to me now!!)
    That flight counter would be interesting, however I would actually hate to know how many hours I have sat crapped and bored on a plane!

    How did your stats go?
    Tash recently posted..The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    • Posted May 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately we ended up losing track of them about halfway through the trip… there were some ugly statistics in there though, particularly the number of takeaway meals we had while in the USA. Ugh! We also spent around 2 full days stuck on a plane, seems like such a waste of time looking back now!

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