You’ve decided that you finally will go on that trip that you have always wanted. That’s great for you. You should do the things that you always have wanted to do. But before you go out on that trip you should stop and think about it first. You don’t just want to go out there without really planning about it or you could end up spending more than what you can afford.
It is so easy to lose control of your expenses when you are out on a trip. You might go to an unfamiliar place for example and you will be forced to spend a lot of money because you don’t know the place. That is why planning for your trip is very important and the most important part of your travel plan would be the budget.
To help you get started when it comes to creating a travel budget, here are some of the more important things that you need to consider.
Budget for the Transportation
Unless your travel destination is near your place, transportation is the first thing that you need to consider about your trip. The amount that you need to allot for your transportation would depend on the kind of transportation that you have to take. If the trip is a long one by air then it might eat up a great deal of your travel budget. If you take a cruise, then the transport cost will be mixed in with the accommodations. If there are other forms of transportation that are available for your destination, you should consider those. Taking a train ride for example can have its charms though it is slower.
You should not stop with the cost of the major transportation. Once you get to your destination you might have to take some smaller trips to the sites that you want to see. Another example of minor transportation costs would be taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel. Those costs might seem like minor and small, but when you add them all together the amount can be substantial.
The key here is research. You need to look for the lowest possible options for getting an air fare for example. There are plenty of opportunities that you can get plane tickets at a fraction of their cost. You should also do research on the possible costs of minor transportation once you are in your destination so you will not be surprised once you are there. That’s also one way of making sure that others won’t take advantage of you once you are in your destination and you don’t know how much the fares cost.
Budget for Your Accommodations
The next biggest chunk of your travel budget would be the part for your lodgings. There are all kinds of lodgings that you can choose from. There are hotels, hostels, guesthouses and apartment rentals. Hotels can be categorized according to the level of service that they provide. The more luxurious ones would cost a great deal. If you are on a budget travel then hotels should not be your first option. If you will be staying long in a certain location then an apartment rental is probably the best option for you. You can be comfortable and have a high level of privacy and the cost would not be that high.
But if you are really bent on going on a trip just by using a shoestring budget then you should consider couch-surfing or other alternatives to getting lodgings. In couch surfing, you would be staying in the place of people from the location that you would be going to. You may or may not know your hosts. There are websites that aim to promote this method of getting lodgings. If you will be traveling using your own car then you should consider sleeping in your car to save money.
Budget for Your Food
Food costs are normally the most difficult portion of your travel to estimate. It’s simply not easy to tell how much food you will be eating on your trip. What if you enjoy the food in a particular place? Then you would be spending more than what you have planned originally. If you travel to a place that has a similar food tradition as your home, then computing for the cost of your food would not be so hard. It would be more difficult if you are going to a place that can be considered to be exotic or different from where you came from.
Do some research and find out about the different food options that are open to you. Don’t just settle for the usual restaurant options. Some cities would have dining options of their own. If you stay for a long period in a certain location then consider cooking your own food. You can save more money that way. You can also look for lodgings that would include breakfast during your stay.
Budget for Your Activities
When you go out on a trip, you would have some activities lined up. Those are the things that you can do in the location that you would go to. Those activities can be varied. You can go around visiting museums and art galleries or you can go nature tripping. You can visit beaches and enjoy the sun and sand. No matter what kind of activity you have in mind, those would cost money. Even the activities that would not have direct costs such as visits to free museums would cost you something in the process.
Find out about the exact cost of each and every activity that you want to do. Don’t just go for estimates because your budget might fall short of what it has to be when you are there. It is fairly easy to find out about the costs of the activities that you want to do with the help of the internet.
Budget for Your Shopping
It is natural that you would want to do some shopping when you go out on your trip. That’s why you have to allocate a portion of your budget for buying souvenirs that you can bring home. The important thing is that you should come up with a realistic budget for shopping and stick to it once you are there. If you end up going on a shopping spree on your trip, then that can ruin the rest of your travel if you end up using most of your budget. You cannot really estimate the cost of the things that you would be buying because you don’t have any idea as to what you want to buy from the place.
One thing that you have to remember when you travel to a different country is that you would have to convert your money to the local currency. Find out the current conversion and decide on how to maximize your money. It is normally best to have the money converted once you are in your destination.
That is how you can come up with a travel budget. Now the important thing is for you to stick to that budget when you are out on a trip. That would call for a lot of discipline on your part. Do you think you can handle that?