Planning a trip is easy but budgeting for it is the most crucial part. Neither should you end up breaking your back saving up for the trip nor should you run out of the money half way through the trip.
Budgeting and saving may seem a humongous task but if done properly, its simple. Firstly, and most importantly, making an all-inclusive budget is essential. This will depend on –
- Destination – Your budget will vary depending on the destination. For travels through Southeast Asia, you’ll need far less than if you were to travel through America, Europe or Australia.
- Duration of travel – This is simple to understand. Expenses are directly proportional to the duration of travel and number pf places to be visited.
- Style of travel – whether you want to travel in luxury or are happy with backpacking –
- Hotels or hostels and couch surfing
- Rented cars or public transport or walking around
- Fine dining or street food
- Shopping or enjoying the activities the place has to offer.
Once you have set your priorities, the next step is to create a spreadsheet and put the various expense headers in it. The costs to be included in the budget are –
- Flight tickets for the round-trip – this is one of the most expensive items in the budget. If possible, be flexible with dates and destination. Traveling on a weekday and non-holiday season helps. If the flight to destination is working out very expensive, book a cheaper flight to a place closer to final destination and enjoy both places.
- Visas, travel insurance and vaccinations –
- Checking the visa requirements and applying timely will reduce the travel stress. It can be quite expensive and tricky if you are planning to travel to a few countries in a region with lots of bureaucracy. So its best to figure put visa costs and include in your budget
- Insurance is essential even for a one-week trip and especially for travelers who engage in extreme sports or visit unusual destinations. Most travel insurance policies don’t cover valuables (or have a low limit), so it’s wise to get a separate policy if you’re traveling with specialized gear.
- To have a memorable trip, in right context, you must consult your doctor and find out which vaccinations you should get and how much they cost.
- Number of places to visit – this will affect the inter-city transportation. Also travel light so you don’t have to check-in your luggage because some flights charge extra for check-ins
- Daily expenditure on accommodation, food, and intracity transportation – Creating a daily spreadsheet with these expenses and adding the total to master spreadsheet will give a more realistic cost.
- A good way to do is compare the prices and book accommodations online in advance.
- As for Food and transportation, an online research on cost per meal in hotel/ outside, car rentals, public transport charges and currency conversion rate can help.
- Budgeting for activities at the destination – adventure sports, theater, music gigs etc
- Shopping – we all like to bring home souvenirs when we travel plus a bit of shopping doesn’t hurt, especially is the place of travel has something unique to offer
Once, all these costs make to the budget spreadsheet, remember to put aside a little bit of money for contingencies. This will protect the rest of your travel budget in case of last-minute changes in plans or an emergency at the hospital.
And voila, you have the budget for the trip ready! Now figure out how much you can save every month and when you can travel soonest.
And guess what, it’s always good to have some money left when you get home as well. It feels good to have saved money… and this will mark the beginning of saving for next trip.