How to Plan Your Travel Budget
There’s no such thing as a perfect budget that works for all. We can’t just say that you should spend x money on this and that. It would work if we all had the same travel goals, but we don’t. There are so many factors present that it makes it impossible to provide with an exact formula of how much money you should spend on what.
Luckily, you can plan your travel budget in a way that works for your needs, and this guide will help you with that.
Define Your Travel Style
Are you going to be on a budget? Are you going to get luxurious? Perhaps something in between? You need to know your style. And stick to it then. Are you willing to have a sore neck or do you want the most comfort possible? This matters as your lifestyle will determine your costs of travel.
Define When to Go
This is where you travel style comes in. Do you want to get luxurious? Do you want to be around when there’s a lot of things on? That will cost. If you are planning a luxurious holiday, go during the season as there will be more to do.
If you are trying to be on a budget, go when nobody else is going. Typically between fall and spring. It’s generally also a time when there are no events on. As events have a big influence on costs.
Here’s an example. Web Summit is on in Lisbon from the 6th to 9th of November. it costs €441 to fly there the day before the event. It costs just €54.49 on the day that the event finishes. Now, you probably would get the flight cheaper if you booked it months ago, but it just shows that events have a significant influence on prices.
The less popular the time of your flight, the cheaper your flight and accommodation will be.
How to Get There
This once again goes back to your travel style. Do you want to be cheap or do you want to be luxurious?
But it’s not as simple as it looks either.
Want to be luxurious? Fly business class. You will pay more. You will also have the most comfort possible while also getting to your destination as quick as possible.
Want to be comfortable but pay slightly less? Take a train. Trains are pretty comfortable. They provide more space than an economy flight. Trips on trains are longer though, and often require changes. However, you can get a great deal with Interrail for instance.
On a budget? Take a bus. Flixbus provide pretty comfortable bus services with working sockets inside their buses. You can get pretty much anywhere with these guys once within Europe. Buses do however take longer.
But the great things about them is that the prices pretty much are always the same unlike on planes. But check for flights, sometimes flights can be cheaper than buses.
A flight from Prague to Milan cost me €15 a few days ago for instance. Meanwhile, a bus that would require me to sit for 24 hours cost €60.
There’s a post about how to travel for under $1000 per month that gets into how you can save on transport, check that out, but the main point of that post is that transport prices differ across countries.
Where to Stay
This was also mentioned in the post about how to travel for under $1000 per month, if you want to be cheap, check that post out.
GuesttoGuest is a great service if you want to be cheap. You only pay the 3.5% of the deposit, and instead of paying with money for the accommodation, you use GuestPoints which you get for making exchanges with people. That service does, however, require you to plan these trips much before, in order for you to find a place as most people on this site are also traveling
If you are looking for something where you don’t have to plan, of course, services like Airbnb are a better choice for you.
Want breakfast in bed along with the possibility of going swimming or to the gym without leaving the building? Get a hotel. Hotels cost more than apartments but often provide convenience.
Attractions to Visit
Attractions cost. Attractions are also free. It’s also impossible to provide a list because everybody has different interests.
Public attractions tend to be free. We are talking castles. We are talking natural parks. We are talking beaches. If you are trying to save money but still want to enjoy your trip, you can absolutely do that. The world is full of free stuff.
However, if you want to step up your trip, there’s plenty of paid attractions to take. Skydive. Take a boat trip. What you do will depend on the location so the best thing to do is to research activities that you can do in the city that you are visiting.
You should consider getting insurance, especially if traveling for a few weeks. If something happens and you don’t have insurance, you are on your own.
Insurance prices differ. The more you have to lose, the more they cost. Consider the insurance that will cover you the best if anything happens. In most cases, nothing will happen to you but you can never be too sure.
When it comes to your travel, make sure that you have considered things like insurance.
Room for the Unexpected
Your wallet gets stolen? Your phone breaks?
Whether you like to plan your trips or whether you like to explore, you should never fail to leave room for the unexpected. Meaning that you should always have some spare cash tossed somewhere. We are talking at least $200. And bring two cards if you have them. And hold them in different places. That way, you minimize the possibility of somebody taking your items.
Ryanair canceled one of my flights recently. I was stuck. They weren’t keen on offering a flight with an alternative airline at that point, and they cost an enormous amount of money when you want to book on the day of the flight. Due to that, I missed my trip. And I wasn’t prepared.
It’s hard to provide with a post that helps you plan your travel budget because so many factors can differ.
But once you know what you want out of a trip, you can plan to your best abilities. And if you are looking to track your spending while traveling, Tripcoin is a great app for that.
Written by Michael Smolski.