For many people nowadays, travelling is equally important or some times more important than other financial goals such as buying a car, saving for a house or even investing for retirement. And these people do focus on the need for budgeting for travel. And it is not all that difficult as it sounds. Cutting back on avoidable expenses to facilitate regular savings and doing a bit of groundwork to capitalise on the various deals on offer can help one tick destinations off the bucket list!
How much is needed? / What costs should be included in the Budget?
Flight and Accommodation Expenses: One should start the budget with the biggest expenses first – usually this will be the flights plus accommodation. For longer trips, it is better to start planning 6-7 months in advance. For example one can manage to snag a Delhi to Bangkok round trip for Rs 15,000 by doing advance booking at least three months before a Thailand trip. The same flight fares later may soar to around Rs 30,000.
One can google and find out specific information on a country’s average costs of staying in hotels which can be an invaluable reference point when estimating expenses. With a rough idea of how long the trip will be, the daily cost based on room rates and meal costs can be worked out. Add to this a little more for activities, entry fees for places of interest and taxi/bus fares etc.
Expenses towards the Occasional Splurge: One need to include in the budget some extra money for an occasional splurge, too. The worst budget is a chain at one’s leg pulling the person away from the best (if slightly more expensive) travel experiences.
Pre-trip costs including visas, reliable travel insurance and immunisations etc : Some travellers skip the travel insurance part, but it is a must to include expenses for travel insurance, since it comes in handy when something does go wrong (lost luggage or cancelled flights).
Expenses for Travel Gear: Gear is another sizable pre-departure purchase. Travellers, especially first-timers, often over invest in specialised travel gear, but prioritising is the key to saving money while still making a success of life on the road. A strong, comfortable backpack preferably a good-quality model (a good bag should last a few tours) and a pair of decent shoes – durable and suited to the trip is essential and a must include in the expenses.
Research: Sites Like Booking.com or lonely planet provide detailed reviews and costing on hotels location and facilities. Including good deals.
How do I save money for a trip?
Once it is worked out how much is needed, one would then get a figure that one can save towards.
Saving regularly in an Account:
Saving and leaving the money in the savings account is an option. However the account should be a bit out of sight, yet accessible at short notice. The objective is not to earn high returns but to keep the money aside for a specific purpose. One can consider liquid funds, short-term debt funds and even a recurring deposit in a bank.
Research and planning to get the best deals:
Another money-saving strategy is to do some research on hotel bookings. Conveyance and hotel bookings account for the largest chunk of travel budgets. So it pays to be on the lookout well before your travel date, to seize the best deals. Due to lack of planning one may end up overspending on an international trip.
Being realistic and revisiting the budget:
If one is yet to hit the saving goal, then it might be time to go back and re-visit the budget. Being realistic is also an important part of the money-saving process. One can choose staying in a rustic beachfront bungalow in the Philippines for a lesser cost instead of in a swim-up luxury apartment in the Maldives at a huge cost or opt for Home Stay options.
Should I have a travel fund?
Building a separate fund for travel can be beneficial in several ways. With an adequate pool of money at disposal, one can get a good deal, instead of racking up debt or making a costlier last minute booking.
Travel Budget Planning Calculator
The travel planning calculator is a good solution for planning finances towards travel goals. Whether it is an extended foreign vacation or a quick local getaway, one can use the travel budget calculator to sort the financial itinerary for the next big trip.
A travel budget calculator is designed to help one plan a perfect budget for the dream trip by helping with the travel budget which include travel cost, food cost, cost of accommodation, fuel cost and other expenses. Such calculators aim to give a real picture of things with the help of a team of travellers and those who have already been in a particular country. And information is updated on a regular basis.
A travel budget planner usually walks one through a series of steps to determine the travel budget. It usually starts with entering the number of days one will be travelling and how many people are travelling. The program then calculates costs in a few categories like travel, hotel, food and activities etc. The user has full control over the categories to control over their budget.
Should I travel or save money? Why not do both?!
It can seem irresponsible to want to travel when one is working hard to be frugal with money and save towards family’s well being. But the thing is, travelling has a lasting impact on everybody in the family from adults to kids. There is even research that shows vacationing can support happiness and well-being.
Yes, travel is valuable and worth creating a plan to save money for a vacation! There is something special about taking time away from life to create memories, relax, and reconnect with near and dear ones.
Saving money is important too, because living life costs money – money is essential to pay bills, plan for future, provide for the family.
Thus one must save money, be responsible, and travel too!!
Debalina Roy Chowdhury