Budget for trips to fully enjoy them and return home knowing you don’t owe anybody a cent. It’s a great feeling and well worth pursuing every time.
Perks of Having a Budget for Trips
First, it helps you to spend what you can afford and not get into debt or take on additional debt. Who doesn’t like being debt free? Does this mean that if you have debt you shouldn’t travel? That’s a personal decision but since travelling isn’t a necessity, it’s best to save for it incrementally. In this post I share some tips on how to start a travel sinking fund.
Having a budget for trips takes the guess work out of how much you will spend and also helps you not to go crazy overboard while travelling. Look at it this way, if you put aside 2,000 dollars for a trip and make a budget of how you will spend that, then you are already conditioning your mind to stay within your means. This is something that I practice and would you believe I often return home with money leftover.
You know what things cost because you have done some research. This means you will not spend blindly and protect yourself from being ripped off in some locales. After all, there is always another trip lurking in the wings for those of us with wanderlust, so we need to manage our spending to facilitate them all.
Tips on How to Budget for Trips
- Each pay period set aside money for this and keep it for only travelling. Not everyone can do this, if that is the case it means there are other priorities in this season of life. That is ok.
- Know your travel style and realistically budget for that. Give yourself time to save up as well. Budget travellers may spend less because they are open to accommodations and such at the lower price end. Travellers who enjoy more creature comforts may spend more, depending on where they are visiting. There is nothing like compromising and being miserable on a trip.
- Give yourself time to save up for different trips and put patience into action. We can’t all travel multiple times of the year. Some years, I travel two or three times and other times just once. Going off to Tanzania for example and enjoying a safari is pricey for me. That year, my focus was only on that trip which I saved up for over a period of time.
- I save for two kinds of trips simultaneously. My bucket list destinations that require a big budget are usually taken care of, by saving up bit by bit over a few years. I also take trips to places nearby to enjoy the thrill of travelling. In essence, 80% of my travel fund goes to the former while 20% goes to the latter.
- Be consistent. Don’t borrow from the travel fund or shortchange it. Of course life happens but dipping into the fund just because it’s there defeats the purpose of having it.
A Sample of items to Budget for a One Week Trip to Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima
- Flight to Japan
- Travel insurance
- Food (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks)
- Sim card for WiFi
- Hotels or AirBnBs in Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima
- Japan Rail Pass
- Other transportation
- Unplanned expenses/miscellaneous
- Treat yourself
This is the simple template that I use when budgeting for trips. I also have predetermined amounts for each category and I over-budget to help me stay on budget. This website is pretty good at giving realistic prices for different areas. I use it to gauge how much to set aside in each category. Budgeting wisely means over-budgeting a bit so you won’t be caught out.