Looking to go traveling? Before you pack your bags and hit the road, there are a few things that you might want to consider. The most important of which is your budget! This goes double in these tough economic times. Right now, not everyone can afford to travel, and those that can may have a limited amount of cash. That is why preparing a budget for your journey is more important than ever.
Remember, once your fun in the sun is over, you have to come back to reality…and chances are there will be some bills waiting for you! So let’s take a little time to talk about things you need to include in your travel budget, as well as a few tips to get you started down that “holiday road!”
Start Saving Now
Typically, people don’t start saving for a trip until it is too late. You need to be saving now. What’s that you say? You aren’t planning to take a trip anytime soon? No matter, start saving anyway! I am not talking about putting back tons of money, but maybe a little here and there. This will give you a nice sum of cash to work with when it does come time to travel.
The best way to start saving is to open up a savings account specifically for your travel plans. No matter what, don’t touch that money! I know it will be tempting when you see a new CD or TV that you would like. Ignore the desire to use that little extra in your savings and leave it in the bank!
Planning Your Transportation Budget
This is something that many people include in their budget, and for good reason. A huge chunk of your money is going to go towards transportation. However, people tend to forget to add certain things to this list. Sure you are going to need to add in the expense of your plane ticket, train, bus fare, or whatever. However, there are other things you should remember too…
For example, if you are taking a plane, how do you expect to get there? Are you taking a taxi? If so, include this in your budget. How about when you get to your destination? Will you be renting a car or taking taxis all over the place? Regardless of what you choose, remember to include all these things in your budget as well.
Some people bring a ton of money on holiday, and before they know it, it’s gone. Most of the time it is because they did not plan for all of the money it will cost either buying fuel or taking a taxi.
Another essential to include in your budget is your lodging expenses. This is going to take another huge chunk out of your budget. The best thing to do here is to search for hotels on sites like Orbitz, Hotwire, Kayak, Expedia and so on to help estimate how much your lodging costs are going to be. Use your estimate as a guide line and remember to always budget yourself a little extra…you know…just in case!
Don’t Forget You Have to Eat
When people plan out their budget, one thing they may not give a big enough budget to is food! Let’s say you are walking down the street and you get thirsty – so you stop and get a drink. Later on you get hungry, so you stop and get snacks. Well, don’t forget about breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Eating can be really expensive. However, you can avoid running out of money by ensuring you reserve a fair amount in your budget for for your meals as well as all the extra treats and snacks you might have along the way.
One good way to save money here is to get a hotel that comes with a mini kitchen in it. Then you can go shopping and pick up some supplies at the supermarket. The less you have to eat out, the more money you are going to save.
Budget Your Entertainment
The whole reason we go on holiday is to let loose! However, you have to remember to budget this as well. Going to see a movie, visiting theme parks, and so on all cost money. Most of us plan for this, but we forget to add in “all” of the expenses of enjoying these forms of entertainment. Let me give you an example.
When you travel to a theme park, what do you need to pay for? Sure, the ticket (which I am assuming you remembered to include…). What about food? Many theme parks don’t let you bring you’re own food inside. And don’t forget parking! In the US this alone could cost you $10.
Remember, once you get into these theme parks, you are a slave to them. Yeah, they are fun, but they are there to make money, and they will drain you of everything you are worth if you are not careful!
What travel budget tips do you have to share?Author's Google+ Page