Creating a vacation budget or trip budget is probably the single most important thing you can do to begin saving for your next set of travels. Whether you’re leaving for a single trip or thinking of going on an RTW (find out what is an RTW) a budget can help you set goals and milestones. It’s difficult to effectively save for vacation if you don’t know how much you need to save or what the costs at your next destination will be.
Creating a simple vacation budget is straightforward and doesn’t have to take you much more than 15 minutes to start. Begin with a pen and paper and start jotting down ideas or open up your text editor or Mobile Web Docs on your iPhone and you’ll be set in no time.
Figure Out Home Roughly How Much You’ll Be Spending
Break it down easily by coming up with the main areas you’ll be spending money in. Start with anything you’ll be spending on transportation or flights to get to your destination. You can use tools like Kayak which compare prices across most of the online travel agents or search around the individual websites of the airlines themselves. That’s typically where you can find sales and deals not advertised anywhere else. Also, keep in mind any local transportation costs that you may have to spend on – those include things like taxis, subway tickets, or trains in between various cities. Once you’ve got your transportation costs, or at least a rough idea of them you, jot down the highest number you’ve come up with and put it aside for now.
Costs At Your Destination
You’ll want to use some of the best online tools to compare travel budgets and get a good estimate of what you’ll need to dish out and save up for. There are three good options if you’re looking to get some educated guesses on spending in most countries around the world. Budget Your Trip is a good tool that will give you a dollar (or Euro) amount for a given trip to a specific city or country. The data for Budget Your Trip is compiled from what other travelers have reported and you can also contribute to the site once you return from your trips as well. The web app, which is free, also gives you the option of entering whether you’ll be traveling on a budget or not as well.
Another great online budgeting tool you can use to get more information about the costs at a particular destination or specific site even is cost4travel. Similar to the aforementioned Budget Your Trip, cost4travel includes some more social networking aspects of creating a vacation budget. You can talk to other users and travelers to get their thoughts, views, and ask any questions you may have as well. It’s a good place to bounce off ideas and numbers with other people who’ve been to the places you’re planning on going.
Other Major Categories To Calculate
Hopefully by now you’ve got a good idea of what you’ll be spending in terms of a total number. Somewhere in between your transportation costs and the numbers you’ve come up with using the tools mentioned above are your food and lodging costs. You’ll need to evaluate your accommodations but we’d recommend you taking a look at some hostels before deciding firmly on a hotel. The HostelBookers website has a large variety of hostels that may surprise you from all over the world. There are many misconceptions about hostels and it won’t hurt to check some of them out, which could potentially save you quite a bit of money on your trip.
- Don’t forget the little things like admission fees or personal items you’ll need to purchase before your trip.
Keep It Simple
The important thing to remember is that this is a simple travel budget which means keep it simple and make it quick. Don’t frustrate yourself from the beginning planning for your vacation, just get some rough ideas and numbers to work by. The single best thing you can do to make your travel budget effective is to take the numbers you come up with and double them – that’s the number to start saving for.