Many men and women dream of vacationing overseas, where they can experience another country’s culture and history. Such trips tend to be expensive, but travelers who develop a budget in advance of their trips can still make the most of their vacations without compromising the spirit of the trip.
Building a budget in advance removes some of the sticker shock that can hit travelers once they arrive on foreign soil. Budgeting requires some research, and that research can shed light on what travelers can expect to pay for things like food and transportation. When done correctly, travelers can even have fun building a travel budget, as it can help them plan for a more enjoyable trip that won’t fall short because the money has run dry.
- Start saving early. If you already know when you will be leaving, then you can start saving immediately. Putting aside as little as $20 per week for spending money on your trip can add up to a significant amount of money by the time you embark on your trip. Set up automatic transfers at your bank so you can make weekly contributions to a vacation savings account. If it means skipping a night out once a week, then so be it. You will be glad you made that sacrifice once you arrive at your destination.
- Consider an all-inclusive vacation. If you have yet to book your vacation but you know your budget is likely to be tight, an all-inclusive vacation might be just what you’re looking for. Such vacations include lodging and all meals and beverages and may even include some activities arranged by the resort. Many people find it convenient and stress-free to book an all-inclusive vacation because the cost of the trip is paid for upfront, often well in advance of their departure dates. So, by the time you arrive at your destination, all you need to worry about is relaxing and having fun.
- Set aside some money for keepsakes. Many people want to buy keepsakes from their trip, so don’t forget to set aside some money for such souvenirs when building your travel budget. Don’t go overboard when allotting money for souvenirs, as you probably don’t want to buy unique but expensive home furnishings that won’t blend well with your existing home decor. Your photographs can serve as reminders of your trip; set aside only a small amount of money for souvenirs so you have more to spend on activities and dining out.
- Plan a night in. If your trip will last a week or longer, plan a night in at the hotel. You can relax by the pool at night instead of hitting the town, and this respite from the nightlife can save you money and help you recharge your batteries. Many resorts offer nightly activities free of charge to guests, so take them up on these offers on nights you plan to stay in.
- Give yourself some wiggle room. Once you have created a budget, make sure you have left yourself some wiggle room in the case of an emergency or another unforeseen expense. Leaving some wiggle room protects you from having to rely on credit in the case of an emergency, and it also gives you more peace of mind on your trip.
Building a vacation budget might not be the most enjoyable part of traveling, but it’s necessary for travelers who know they do not have unlimited amounts of money to spend on their trips.