You’ve finally decided to take that trip you’ve been dreaming about for years. You’ve chosen a destination and research all about it in a guidebook or online.
Start off by deciding exactly how much you want to spend and where you’d like to go, if you have a preference. How much will this trip cost? How much money do you need for daily expenses while you’re traveling? When can you afford to go on this vacation?
Travel expenses can vary greatly depending on how you like to travel, so it’s important to make a travel budget. Here’s how to budget for travel and take that dream vacation.
1. Choose a cheap destination
Some places are considered bargain travel spots all year round, such as Canada and Panama. They generally offer thrifty options for lodging, eating, entertainment, and airline tickets. You can find many of these places by choosing “everywhere” as your destination on a travel website.
Another smart option is to identify a high traffic place, like Paris, and then travel to a smaller city outside of it. This is called “secondary” travelling.
2. Go during the off-season. Most places have a tourist off-season when fewer people come and prices drop. For the Caribbean, this is usually April to August. Europe’s off-season is January to March. Visitors to Africa find better prices from May to September. You can also contact your accommodations directly prior to booking and ask them when their off-season begins and ends.
- Off-season often coincides with less than ideal weather, so make sure that you consider this when packing your bags.
3. Create a budget. Start by choosing your destination and the number of days that you’d like to travel. Then, estimate how much you’ll need to buy a flight. Use the information that you’ve gathered on food, entertainment, and other expenses to determine a daily cost of living. Add up all of your costs until you have a total estimate for the trip.
- If you divide your total trip estimate by the number of days you are travelling, you’ll know the cost per day. This will help you to determine if you can afford a longer trip or if you need to cut it short.
- Look over your trip costs and see if there are areas where you can cut costs, such as eating in more instead of dining out.
Coming up with a realistic travel budget is an important part of planning your vacation. It lets you know if this is a trip you can afford. Hopefully you will realize that your dream trip is actually within your reach. But if not, you will know how much you need to save. It also gives you an idea of where you can cut costs to make the trip less expensive. Start a spreadsheet or get out a calculator, add up the numbers and book that vacation!
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