Travelling can be exciting and thrilling because it is a way to meet new people and see a whole different way of life. Also, it can help create new experiences for you and expands your worldview beyond what is within your immediate reach. You may want to travel for different purposes such as relaxation, tourism, or to get away from the hustle and bustle of your life.
Irrespective of why you are going on a trip, you must prepare adequately by having a travel budget. This article is filled with information to help you correctly carry out this preparatory step before you embark on a trip. This article will outline what your travel budget should include and provide you with a travel budget template.
Before going on a trip for any reason, there are specific basic steps to consider.
They include the following considerations:
- Determine what you can afford: There is a need to estimate how much money you have available for the vacation because of the expenses you’ll have to incur before, during, and after your trip. Therefore, it is advisable to go with whatever travel package and location is within your financial capability. But, on the other hand, there is no need to go overboard and get yourself into debt because of a trip.
- Get advice from friends and family: Asking for important information and reviews from family and friends who may have visited your intended location will also help your preparatory steps. Answers to various questions about your destination that you will find on the internet can be complemented by first-hand information from your friends and family members who may have visited that place previously. Information from acquaintances about accommodation, food, security, etc., may be more trustworthy.
- Save some money: Travelling comes with many expenses, and you must be willing and ready to save a reasonable amount of money if you want to have a great and memorable trip. Therefore, you should attempt to put money together and start saving weeks or even months before you eventually travel. It is better to have more money than necessary for your trip instead of having way less and getting stranded.
What to Include in a Travel Budget Template?
There are essential expenses that are included in a travel budget template. These expenses include the following:
Depending on the location you intend to travel to, you may have to consider usually expensive airfare expenses. Considering that air travel is usually the quickest option, it will be a big part of your travel budget. Therefore, you should try to make ample research on the possible cost of your flight and try to get cheap flight options that will significantly reduce your travel expenses. Note that flying during peak periods is possibly going to make flight costs skyrocket, so you should schedule your trip during the off-peak period.
If you’re traveling a short distance, it’s advisable to look into other forms of transportation that may be more favorable.
You’ll require transportation when you get to your location, so you should prepare for that. Depending on your destination, various forms of public transportation are available to help you get around. Public transportation is usually a great option because it’s inexpensive and gives you a local experience. It may include taxis, trains, buses, motorcycles, etc.
Nevertheless, if you have some extra money, you can commute better by renting a car at your location and driving yourself around. And if you need a driver, you can book one through a rental service.
When it comes to the issue of insurance on rental cars, you can make inquiries from your insurance provider about whether your original car insurance covers rental cars as well. In the instance that you don’t own car insurance from the onset, some non-owner car insurance policies will cover a rental car through the duration of use.
Before getting any insurance policy, try to ascertain if your credit card provider has a rental car insurance policy available.
Accommodation/ lodging expenses
Having a place to stay is a big deal and a necessity that can’t be ignored. But, first, decide what type of accommodation you prefer, whether it’s a hotel, hostel, or apartment rental. Next, you must check out the prices of these accommodations compared to your financial capability.
Accommodation expenses depend on the quality of the place. So be sure to consider your exact needs and what is available at your destination. If your destination is a tourist area, there will likely be many hotels, motels, and resorts. Check out multiple sources before booking hotels to find the best deals.
Expenses for food
Without much doubt, feeding during your trip is a must-do activity. Therefore, you need to include these expenses in your budget. However, remember that you’ll most likely be eating out, and food costs can vary in different places. Therefore, determine local food costs and estimate how much you may be spending on food.
If you need to save some money on food, consider getting a hotel room with a kitchen and then purchase groceries so you can prepare some simple meals. To give yourself a fully immersive travel experience, you should budget some money mainly to try out the local delicacies of your destination.
Cell phone coverage
Depending on whether you are traveling to a different country or not, you have to consider an arrangement for your cell phone use during your trip. This includes phone calls, internet access, etc. Try to find out if your service provider offers network services that would make it easier for you in a different country, or consider purchasing a local SIM card when you get to your destination. This usually costs less than the international roaming fees your service provider may charge.
Debit card holds
You should prepare for possible debit card holds if you’re paying with a debit card, as this can delay your payments and leave you without funds. Hence, it is better to try to pay for your expenses with a credit card or plan your travel budget around the debit cardholder.
Include extras/incidental expenses
In your travel budget, you should consider the need for possible expenses that may occur. Unforeseen expenses may arise, and you’d need funds to sort them out. So, you should create your travel budget in a manner that leaves a little money left over for that. Some of these expenses may include purchasing medicines for an unforeseen illness. Thus, it is advisable to include extras expenses in your travel budget.
You may want to do some sightseeing as other travelers do during your trip. In that event, you should include some funds for transportation, tours admittance into museums or parks, and other related costs in your budget. Get ample information about these places beforehand to know how well to plan and how much you have to budget.
Suppose there are other forms of engagement you are willing to try out at your travel destination, such as enjoying nightlife or taking up other available entertainment opportunities. In that case, you have to factor these costs into your travel budget too.
Gifts and souvenirs
A trip is not complete without picking out something worthwhile from your destination for yourself, family, and friends. In addition, you should purchase gifts and souvenirs as you go on your daily activities during your trip. It may be challenging to determine the costs of these gifts beforehand, so try to make a reasonable budget within your means and make a list of those you intend to purchase gifts and souvenirs for during your trip.
Use Budgeting Tools: Free Travel Budget Templates
As you know the importance of having a travel budget to help make your travel plans a reality, you may be asking yourself how I create a travel budget to track my spending. If you want to create a travel budget that is well organized, easy to use, and detailed enough, it is advisable to use budgeting tools that are already made just for that purpose.
A travel budget template is a tool you need to ensure that your trip’s financial aspect is not in disarray. You can find several travel budget templates available on this website for download and use. In using these templates, you have to input details and figures into already prepared rows and columns, and you may also decide to customize them to add or delete specific fields if you wish.
Tips for Easy Budgeting
There are some extra tips to consider to help make your travel preparations easier and possibly less expensive.
These tips include:
1. Consider an all-inclusive package
You may consider purchasing an all-inclusive vacation package that several travel agencies provide for your trip, reducing the cost of specific items and making it easier for you to travel budget. These vacation packages usually include lodging, food, and entertainment provisions like tickets to amusement parks, museums, tours, etc.
2. Track your travel spending
Tracking your spending when you travel is a healthy way of preventing overspending. It’s a good idea to track what you’re spending because it would help you know how you are sticking to your travel budget. In addition, you may have overestimated or underestimated a particular expense or the other while planning your trip. Therefore, it is essential to track the exact amount of various activities. You can use various spending tracking apps to gather this information.
3. Make a travel budget savings plan.
Understanding that you have to save for your trip is one thing and making efforts to save is another. You can save money for your trip by setting up an automatic transfer from your main account into a savings account dedicated primarily to your travel preparations. This helps to keep your budget separate and safe before your trip.
4. Convert currency
Suppose you are leaving the country for another one. In that case, you’d need to convert your home country’s currency into the local currency of your destination to make your spending easier and without hassle, as local merchants may not be willing to transact with a foreign currency. In converting your money into the local currency, determine the exchange rate and how more or less valuable it is compared to your home country’s currency.
5. Redeem rewards and bonuses
If you have earned any reward or bonus on your travel credit cards over time, you should redeem them for your planned trip. This can be done directly through your card’s travel portal or by transferring them to the establishments you intend to get certain services from, such as accommodation, flights, and other benefits.
6. Consider travel insurance
Suppose you are one to bother about what might happen in the case of the unexpected. In that case, travel insurance is available to protect you from unexpected flight delays or cancellations and possible medical costs. You can inquire if your credit card servicer provides for that before you get one from a third-party insurance provider.
The level of planning of your travel budget would determine to a large extent, how hassle-free your trip would turn out. It allows you to estimate the expenses for your planned vacation and enables you to travel within your means. It is also an important tool that helps prevent you from overspending or making irrational financial decisions before, during, or after your trip.
If you plan on taking a vacation sometime soon, you should take the liberty to create your travel budget, as explained in this article, while you get ready to embark and enjoy that well-deserved vacation.