You’ve chosen your dream destination, read all about it online and want to book your tickets right away! There is probably one more thing bothering you. How much will this trip cost? I know, money is the first thing that can stop you from chasing your travel dreams. Use my simple travel budget template for your next trip to plan and manage your trip expenses wisely!
How much money will you need for daily expenses, insurance, hotels, and flights? Are the numbers starting to follow you everywhere you look? And, you are maybe even starting to doubt if you can afford to go on this vacation at all. Travel expenses can vary greatly depending on your travel style, destination and the time of the year you are traveling. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead, consider the costs and make a travel budget early on. Use a Travel Budget Template at the end of this post to plan your vacation budget well and save money where you can!
Start By Budgeting Your Transportation
Unless you’re driving just a few hours from home, transportation is probably going to be one of the most costly parts of the trip. In my travel budget template, you will see that flights accounted for more than 30% of my weekend trip to New York. Start your research with estimating your flight costs to lay a base for your budget.
Try Out Skyscanner’s Everywhere Function or Google Flights
I always check prices on Skyscanner before booking a trip. The “everywhere” feature brings up the cheapest destinations you can fly to on any dates. Another great engine for flights is Google Flights – and it is really easy to use! Be sure to check the date grid and adjust your filters to find the best prices for your dates.
Budget Your Accommodation
Lodging will probably also be a big part of your budget, (unless you’re counch-crashing and your cousin’s sister-in-law lives in your dream destination). Decide what type of accommodation you prefer, whether it’s hotels, AirBnb or hostels, compare prices and find one that would fit your budget. This will help you get an idea of what lodging costs in the destination you want to visit.
Book Hotels Through Booking.com
Among other tips on my Budget Travel post, I highly recommend using booking. Com. Sometimes you can even pay at the property, which means you don’t have to pay before you travel. Another great feature is the cancellation policy on most accommodations. You can cancel a few days before your trip without any fees! If you haven’t tried out booking.com, use this link and you will get $20 back after your first booking!
Budget for Other Expenses
Budgeting for Food
Preparing your own meals is a great way to save, but if you’re eating out, add that to the budget. See if you can find a hotel with breakfast included, that will help you save a little bit. You can plan to spend about $15-$20 a meal per person when you travel. Counter that in your budget when you use my template for your travel planning. And, don’t forget to add snacks, they add up fast!
Budget Restaurant Tip:
If you are traveling to a bigger city and would like to save a few dollars on your meals, use Groupon. Many restaurants add deals to Groupon to be discovered by tourists and locals and I have used it every time I travel for the last few years. If you have never used it, just download the Groupon app and start searching deals. It’s really easy and can save you up as much as 50%!
Make a Budget for Activities
Will you be taking any tours on your vacation? Check the entrance fees for museums, parks, theatres, or other attractions? Would you like to go on a hot air balloon ride? Add up these travel costs too!
Are You Going Shopping?
Most people like to buy a few souvenirs for friends and family when they are on vacation. But, if you are going to Paris, you may want to put away some money for a shopping spree. When is the next time you will be abroad? There is nothing bad about it, just make sure to add it to your budget!
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance
Often people choose to skip the travel insurance when they travel, but when something happens, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for your accommodations and flights and any other expenses you will have in an emergency, which could be avoided with just a few extra dollars.
Travel Budget Template
I made this editable and printable travel budget template to budget my weekend trip in New York. Once I was done, I thought anyone could use it by simply adding their hotel, flight and food prices to it! Make a copy and start editing your own!
Traveling on a Budget
Will you be traveling soon? Use the travel Budget Template below and bookmark this post for discounts and promotions. Also, read more tips on how to save money when traveling on a budget!
What do you use to find the best travel deals to travel on a budget? Let me know in the comments below, I am always looking for new programs and deals to join!
July 21, 2019
Thank you for these tips! I am definitely going to try some of these for my travels 🙂
August 4, 2019
Great tips! I’m an avid traveler and I find that while lodging may be the biggest chunk of a travel budget, it’s the easiest portion of your budget to evaluate and control. I prefer to put the focus on shopping, activity and food budgets because they can quickly spiral out of control when traveling. Food is always more expensive than we think, especially when the exchange rate isn’t favorable! I like to add a lot of padding to my food and activity/shopping budgets – rarely do I turn down a nice dinner out or a dress I can’t get at home!
August 6, 2019
it’s really easy to get your budget out of hand! Great idea to give yourself some wiggle room! and budget for that new dress (or 2)!