How to Set a Budget for Travel

Setting Up a Travel Budget That You Can Live With

Travelers are under the impression that you either go big or you go home.  That is why they often spend every penny they have and then some while traipsing across the planet.  Rather than have a clear picture of what they want to see and experience, many adventurers get a rabid case of wanderlust.  They are so in love with the idea of traveling that they forget to use their head.  Being careless with money today can cost even more in the long run.  With exchange rates and over-the-limit fees to consider, globetrotters can do themselves a favor by setting up and following a travel budget on their trip around the world.

Knowing how much to spend while on a trip of a lifetime is often hard to gauge.  If you have never visited a certain country, you may have not had the privilege of knowing how much everything costs.  This is especially true in countries with open air markets.  Vendors often drive up the price of their goods because they know that you are foreign to the experience.  Having a strategy and a well mapped out plan can make all the difference in today’s world.

Pick Up a Guidebook That Addresses the Country That You Are Visiting

Guidebooks of all types exist for travelers just like you.  Select the country that you are visiting and the type of adventure that you expect to have.  If you’re looking for a budget-friendly guide, check out the ones that are geared for students and families.  They are usually full of good advice and list the names of addresses of inexpensive hostels and hotels, restaurants, and attractions.

Know How Much Discretionary Income You Have to Spend

Draw up a budget based on what you think it will cost you each day to visit your destination comfortably.  Allot enough money for food, transportation, accommodations as well as sightseeing.  If you are traveling with a spouse and children, adjust that number accordingly.  You will need additional money for emergencies as well.  It is always best to keep a reserve set aside for this purpose.

Design an Itinerary That You Can Work With

Avoid tourist traps and high traffic areas of the city.  Instead focus on one or two destinations that you really want to see.  Schedule all of your sightseeing around these attractions.  Make sure that you have enough money to pay for entrance fees and transportation to and from each location.  Avoid buying cheap souvenirs.  Take some really great pictures instead.  Have them blown up to poster size, frame them, and hang them in your living room.

Keep Track of Every Penny That You Spend

A pocket-sized notebook is easy to carry and great for writing down expenses.  Carry one in your camera bag or purse for easy access and keep track of everything that you spend your money on.  This makes it easier for you to determine where your hard earned money has gone.  It will also give you a better idea of what you can or cannot afford on vacation.

Allow Yourself Some Extravagance

If you’re jonesing for a certain restaurant experience or dying to take in a Broadway show, make room in your budget for it.  This will enhance the quality of your trip and make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated when you return home.

Taking advantage of all that a city has to offer can be difficult if your trip is short or you lack the funds necessary to pay high admission fees or dine out every night.  Choosing to spend your money on the one thing that excites you has its benefits.  In short, it is always money well spent.

Keep an Emergency Reserve Fund

An emergency reserve fund is a necessity anytime you travel.  It can help get you out of unfavorable situations and serves as a safety net when you have nowhere else to go.  You should always have some money set aside in the form of extra traveler’s checks or a credit line to help you out of a bind in case you get yourself into one.

Setting up a travel budget is much easier than you might think.  A number of tools are available on the internet to help you with the process.  From calculators to templates, you can find what you’re looking for by doing a simple web search.  These items are only useful if you have staunch determination to draft up a travel budget and stick to it.  Without a solid plan, you will be like most travelers and spend far more than you intended to.

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