How To: Budgeting for a Trip

How To: Budgeting for a Trip

It’s time for a break. As much as you appreciate your hometown, seeing the same buildings and doing the same errands can make you feel like an automated robot. Give yourself some time away and literally change the scenery in another city, country, or continent.

But first, you must get your finances in order and to do that you must:

1.    Decide where you’re going and why.

Ask yourself: do I want a relaxing vacation where I can lounge on the beach or do I want to explore and live like a local somewhere? The answer to these questions will help determine the rest of your budget.

2.    Determine your transportation costs.

If you’re going across country, state, or province, you can save on airfare by considering other options like driving yourself or taking a train or bus. These choices will save you money, but will cost you time. Another way to look at it is that you have an opportunity for a road trip or a fun experience to share on a train full of other passengers.

Visiting another continent will probably be your biggest expense. If you can, try to travel around the low seasons like winter and on weekdays. This will save you a couple hundred bucks that you can put towards other parts of your trip.

3.    Find out where you’re going to stay.

For an all-inclusive resort, you already know where you’re staying, but choose a resort that you can afford and offers everything you want like buffets, spas, and pools.

Travelling around another city can be a bit trickier since hotels can be expensive. You can also consider other options like hostels and AirBnBs that will lodge you at a cheaper price. Find out how much each option will cost for the number of days you’ll be staying and decide from there!

4.    Do the important stuff.

Back in the days of family vacations, parents worried about the important stuff like your passport, tickets, insurance, and all the other paperwork you need to get around. But now that you’re an independent adult, you have to do it yourself.

Make sure you have:

  • Valid Passport – make sure you know where your passport is and that it’s not expired.
  • Valid ID
  • Travel Insurance – don’t skip this, even if you might not use it, it will give you the peace of mind that if something does happen, you’re set.
  • Emergency money in all forms – set aside an amount of money that you will only use for important reasons. It’s helpful if you have access to it in both cash and your debit or credit card.

It will also be helpful to have photocopies of all your important documents and have them saved on your phone.

5.    Decide how much spending money you’d need.

After all that, decide how much money you’ll have leftover to spend on yourself. Here you need to consider:

  • Meals
  • Local travel
  • Activities/Experiences
  • Shopping

Now you can either start saving or buy your ticket for your vacation!