Creating a budget and sticking by it is something most of us don’t know how to do. However, the truth is that they are a very crucial part of any planning process including travel planning. You could end up saving a lot and having an amazing trip as well if you budget properly. To help you out, this article is going to take you through some pro-tips on how to create a travel budget that won’t let you down. Let’s get started!
It’s important to find out as early as possible if you can afford to travel. You should do this immediately after you’ve identified your travel destination. I’m sure you don’t want to put a deposit on that airfare only to discover later that you can’t afford decent accommodation, do you? In addition, creating a budget early will enable you to refer to and update it regularly during the planning phase. Don’t forget the financial incentives that come with making early bookings.
Another advantage of budgeting early is that you’ll still have ample time to save in case your budget just doesn’t add up. Also, you can try to find out areas where costs can be cut to make your trip less expensive.
2What are the initial expenses?
Although most people tend to forget about the preparation expenses, they can take up a large chunk of your total travel budget. Therefore, it’s important to find out how much you’re going to spend before leaving for your trip.
First and foremost, find out how much it will cost you to secure a passport and a visa since costs can vary greatly depending on your traveling destination and where you live. Other things that might cost you money before you travel are such as travel insurance (if you’re staying for long), vaccinations, luggage or traveling gear, and transportation charges.
3What are the actual vacation expenses?
Obviously, this is where a large portion of your budget will be spent depending on factors such as the duration you’re planning to stay and the time of the year. Having said that, here are some of the things that you should expect to take up a big space of your actual vacation expenses:
- Accommodation – Start by finding out where you’ll sleep and how much it will cost you. You can opt for hotels, guesthouses, or apartment rentals. In this case, however, you’ll always get what you pay for. In addition, you should expect to pay more if you’re planning to travel with your family or staying for long.
- Food and drink – This is one area where creating a rough estimate can be very difficult, but there are some pro-tips that can help you out. Start by finding out whether your accommodation will provide you with free breakfast. You can also research about food and drink (alcohol of course) prices in your destination. In fact, the internet is filled with lots of information about this.
- Transportation – Its common sense that you’ll need transportation once you get to your destination. Find out if you’ll be walking or using other means of transport such as taxi, car rentals, and many more. If you’re planning to rent a car, you should factor in the fuel charges
- Activities – You should begin by making a list of the things you’d like to do and how much they’ll cost you. Are you planning to go on any tours? Do you have to pay entrance fees for parks, museums, or any other attraction? These are some of the questions that you should answer before summing up your travel budget
4What about emergency funds?
You should always have a plan on how to handle an emergency during your trip. That being said, an emergency might come in the form of lost or stolen credit cards, sickness, an emergency back at home, etc. The best thing to do is to keep an emergency fund in cash and separate them into two or three different stashes. You should also consider keeping them in different places while on your trip.
You can also consider quick loans as an option in case you run out of cash while on your trip. Bad credit personal loans are easy to come by even when you have bad or no credit. Apart from completing all your paperwork online, you’ll only be required to provide little personal information and you’re good to go. If you are not yet registered with any personal loan lender, it is advisable to do so early enough. This will provide you ample time to settle for the best lender as well as find out if you’ll be able to receive the loan, and how much you’ll be able to receive. All in all, having an emergency plan is very crucial.
5Put it together
Now that you already know what is required of you, you can go ahead and put it all together. To effectively do this, simply multiply the average cost per day by the total number of days you’ll be away. Add in your emergency and initial expenses, and the result is the total that you should expect to spend on your trip.
You can then proceed to print it out. Keeping a printed record of your travel budget is a good idea because it will help you track your travel spending, and if it matches the original budget. This way, you can get a clear picture of your spending habits, and areas you need to correct on your next trip. However, always keep in mind that this budget is only based on your estimation.
One thing that is obvious is that you don’t need to be a millionaire to travel around the world. You also don’t need to be a mathematical genius to create a realistic travel budget. What you need to do is to simply plan early and budget-smart to avoid getting freaked out by a few numbers. Another thing, always draw up your travel budget when in a good mood. This will enable you to enjoy the whole process and eventually come up with the best plan.