As great as travelling is, it can be awfully expensive. That is why it is so important to set a budget. Even more important? Setting a realistic budget. It is all well and good to give yourself a $30 food budget each day…but it’s not very likely. To make sure that your next trip is a success, here are some ways to come up with a realistic travel budget.
Consider What You Can Spend
Ready to start planning? Then you’ll need to take a good look at your finances. A lot of your budget is going to hinge on how much you have saved up. Remember, you don’t want to come home to debt! So, avoid spending every penny you have on your vacation. Instead, determine how much you can actually afford to spend– and set your budget accordingly. Knowing how much you can (and should) pay out will help you make smarter choices.
Do Your Research
Setting a realistic budget also requires some research. Why? Different places have different price ranges. If you stay in Cuba, for example, the average food price will be dramatically different than if you were to stay in Italy. That is why you’ll need to start looking online. Do a web search, read travel guides, and look for any advice offered by fellow travellers. Doing a little research can help you determine how much you can expect to spend on food, your hotel, and so on. Once you start to get a feel for your destination (and the pricing), your budget will be far more accurate.
So, you’ve given yourself a budget for your accommodations. Before you book anything, you’ll need to be really honest about what you want. A hostel may sound like a great way to save some money. However, you don’t want to spend your days wishing you were in a hotel instead! To avoid being unhappy during your actual vacation, spend a little time now thinking about what you really want. The same is true for any attractions that you want to visit. Make a list of all the places that interest you. From there, you can determine what the total cost will be. If the budget is getting a little too out of hand, you can whittle down the list before you go.
Allow For a Little Extra
After your general budget is set, it’s important to allow for a little bit extra. Yes, even after the hotel has been paid for, the airline tickets have been booked, and you have your food budget in place, you’re not quite finished. It is always a good idea give yourself some wiggle room. Every vacation experiences unexpected costs. Maybe you’ve forgetten your bathing suit at home or you need to pay for parking. Instead of going over budget, simply allow for those extras to begin with. This will give you a better understanding of what you will spend – and what bills you will come home to.
Do you dream about an unforgettable getaway? Then have a realistic budget in place. Planning ahead and being honest about your finances will ensure that your next trip doesn’t leave you in the red.