How To Budget for Your Travels
Going on vacation is probably one of the things people look forward to most throughout the year. It’s a time when you can let your hair down and hang out with the family. Whether you’re trekking across the country, jetting off to some international hot spot, or flying domestically for a weekend getaway, you’ll likely need to save some money if you want to make the most of your vacation.
That’s why it helps to budget for your travels well ahead of time so that there are no unfortunate surprises that creep up on you when it’s time to take your trip.
Here’s how you can plan financially for your next trip.
Determine How Much You’ll Need by Looking at Your Last Trip
Do you remember what your expenses were on your last vacation? If not, go over your previous trip, step by step, and see what your costs were.
Determine how much you need for accommodation, transportation, meals, and activities. It’s also wise to think about whether you’ll need passports where you’re going.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to apply as soon as possible before your trip to ensure they arrive on time. Generally, you’ll pay $112 for the application fee and a $35 execution fee. If you need it expedited (in the next four to six weeks), it’s an extra $60.
Visas and Vaccinations
If traveling internationally for an extended period, you may need a visa or vaccination to enter and leave whatever country you’re traveling to.
Do some research beforehand so you know what you need before you’re denied entry into a country after spending thousands of dollars getting there.
Typically, you’ll pay anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to get your vaccinations, depending on where you’re going and what vaccinations you need.
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they don’t have to buy travel insurance because it’s a waste of money. But if something goes wrong on your trip, you’ll be thankful you took the time to consider it and get it.
Travel insurance is essential even for weekend trips. In this time of pandemics and potential travel limits, you just never know what could go wrong. You always want to ensure that you and your possessions are insured in case you’re injured or lose something valuable.
If you’re going to be doing extreme activities, like jumping out of planes for sport or bungee jumping, then you should definitely consider some sort of travel insurance.
Analyze Your Spending
Go through your budget and analyze your spending. There could be things you’re spending money on that you might not even need anymore.
So go over your budget (if you have one) and determine which things you might be able to cut. You can then use that money to put toward your trip.
If you don’t have a budget, go over your bank statements and see where your money’s going and coming from.
Start Saving as Soon as Possible
The last thing you want is for your trip to roll around and you don’t have enough money to pay for everything, let alone have a good time — the whole point of the trip.
That’s why you must start saving as soon as possible. Once you figure out exactly how much the trip will cost, you can break it down into weekly figures to contribute to a separate account designated specifically for your travels.
Create a spreadsheet and start tracking everything you buy and all the money coming in. Then, figure out how much you can reasonably put toward your vacation fund each week, month, etc.
Add money to your account regularly, and if you get extra money, throw it in there. You can also add your money to a high-interest savings account to allow your money to grow while you’re waiting to spend it.
You can even make it automatic by having the bank take out money each month and set it aside in a separate account, or you can just set it aside in that same account. (Some banks, like Ally, let you divide your balance into sections to save for different things — one of which can be travel.)
Find the Best Deals to Save the Most Money
If you want to make the absolute most of your trip, finding the best deals on flights, hotels, and rental cars is crucial.
Start scouring the internet for the best travel deals (like Groupon). You can even use comparison tools to compare prices from multiple sites at once.
If you frequently stay in hotels, consider using a hotel rewards program, like the Marriott Bonvoy program. Rack up points, and you can use them toward another stay.
So, if you’re a frequent traveler, this could be particularly beneficial for you.
Budgeting for Your Travels
Budgeting for your travels doesn’t have to be complicated. Following the above steps can help you take more frequent vacations while sticking to your budget.
The ByteLyfe micro-journaling app can help you in journaling your travel experiences. The app makes creating text entries, pictures, songs, videos, or any combination easy. It’s fun and easy to record, remember, and reflect on your travel adventures.
Keeping and organizing your travel journal is a breeze with an app like ByteLyfe’s micro-journaling app. Download it to see how it can help enhance your travel journal experience.