How To Make a Suitable Travel Budget
When planning for your overseas or domestic trip, it can be easy to only focus on the fun details, and ignore the boring and difficult ones. However, one detail that cannot be ignored is travel budgeting. Having a suitable travel budget is going to have a big impact on how smoothly your trip goes and will assure that you actually have the money to do all the things you want to do at your destination. Luckily, creating a suitable travel budget for your trip is a lot more simple and practical than you might have originally thought. Just grab a pen and paper, or open up an Excel spreadsheet, and follow these simple guidelines to creating your own travel budget.
Spend Within Your Means:
An important guideline to have in mind when you are creating your travel budget is to spend within your means. What I mean by this is to not book a penthouse suite at the most expensive hotel at your dream destination, when you know you’ve only got a limited allowance. Before beginning your travel budget, make sure you have worked out how much money you will have available, and what style of holiday you can realistically afford.
Start your travel budget by listing the monetary amount that you will be spending on airline flights to your destination. Obviously, you can disregard this if you are planning a domestic trip, or you can adapt it to what you will be spending on boat or train transportation. Flight costs make a good foundation for your travel budget because they are fundamental for your journey, and will probably be your biggest holiday expenditure.
Most countries require you to have a valid Visa in order to enter the country. Attaining a Visa will cost a certain fee, which will vary from country to country. You should plan ahead and cover this cost in your budget so that you are not caught unawares. There will also be many other minor expenses that you should cover before leaving home for your destination. Things, like paying somebody to take care of your house, pets, and car while you're away, and paying for travel insurance, should be accounted for in your budget.
Once you have arrived at your chosen destination, you will need some means of getting around. Whether that be through the local bus/tram/train services, a hired car, or taxis, you will need to account for the cost in your budget. Although, if you’re short on available money, or are looking to save some, you can always choose to walk everywhere!
Your choice of lodging will be entirely up to your discretion. There is now a huge range of accommodations that will suit any budget allowance or preference. For the luxurious, there are pampering resorts and 5-star hotels, and for the economical there are motels, and hostels, and backpackers. Whatever your choice of accommodation, make sure that it is suitable for your budget allowance (remember the Spend Within Your Means guideline!) and note it down in your budget.
There has to be a reason why so many people always take a cooking class when they visit a new country. That is because food is arguably the best (and tastiest!) way to experience a new culture and country. Before setting an approximate budget amount for food, you should Google the general prices for eating out at your destination, to give you a general idea.
Attractions and Activities:
Partaking in the many attractions and activities that a new place has to offer is one of the best parts of traveling. If you’re planning on embarking on any planned tours, visiting any theme parks, or doing some expensive activities, you will want to allow for this in your budget. When you’re conducting your destination research, make sure to search for the approximate price for all the activities and attractions you want to try, and allow the required budget allowance to cover them.
Despite all of the careful preparations and measures you may take to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible, things can - and often do - go wrong. Make sure that you are prepared and covered in the event of an emergency, by setting aside a portion of your savings for an emergency fund. When allowing for an emergency fund, the more there is the better, but it is generally advised to aim for at least $1,000 in your emergency fund.
Although making a travel budget may not be the funniest activity to complete when preparing for your holiday, it is definitely one of the most important. When you have a suitable travel budget, you will feel reassured that you will not run out of money halfway through your journey, or not have the money you need if an emergency occurs. Who knows, if you have budgeted well for your holiday, you will probably be able to bring back souvenirs for everyone back home!