What is a Realistic Budget for Traveling?
One you can afford – seriously.
Look at how much you earn. What can you put aside for a trip? What are you prepared to sacrifice to make your trip a reality? Maybe you’ve been saving for a while and have a few thousand dollars in the bank. You do? Great. Well that’s your realistic budget. If you want to fly to Europe tomorrow and you only have ten dollars in the bank then you are not being realistic. But it might be enough to get you in to the local museum for a few hours escape.
When you are setting your budget, be practical. Everyone has different needs for their travel experience and if your travel plans include overseas flights, you will need to budget accordingly. Sure you can find great deals and get there cheaper than you might have expected, but make sure you have enough money in your budget to not only get you there but to travel around, find a place to sleep, oh and have enough money to be able to eat!
So how do you go about setting a budget? Following these steps might help:
1. Draw up a table with two columns.
2. Column A is for Expense Items. Column B is for Approximate Costs.
3. In column A write down all the things you can think of that will cost you money while traveling. These might include: air flights, car hire/fuel allowance, travel passes, sight-seeing tours, accommodation, food, insurance, immunizations, and souvenirs.
4. In column B write an estimate of how much you think these things will cost while on your trip. You can research your travel costs quite easily on the Internet. Food allowance might be a bit more difficult. If you are traveling alone, as a couple or in a family you will need to budget food costs accordingly.
5. Now add up the costs. This will give you an estimate of how much your trip will cost. Can you afford it? Yes – then this is a realistic budget for you. If not, then you may have to rethink your destination and the type of travel experience you want.
Remember that this table will only be an estimate of your travel costs. You must also budget for incidentals and prepare yourself for things to not go to plan. For example, have you got enough money in your budget to buy new clothes if your luggage goes missing? A realistic travel budget will have extra built in to it to cover emergencies. Setting yourself a budget of about sixty-five dollars a day, if traveling alone, is a reasonable amount. If you are traveling as a family or in a group, this number will be vastly different.
Also consider if you will be traveling and working. If this is the case, then you may not need as much to start with, just enough money to get you to your destination and a place to live while you look for work. (And enough money to buy you food until you begin earning a wage.)
Start making your travel plans with your budget in mind. Don’t exceed your budget, always keep a little in reserve so you can buy that fantastic Italian leather handbag or go jet-skiing in Hawaii if the desire takes you!
This article is brought to you by: Stuart S. Travel – Your Online Travel Guru