Budgeting for Vacation

by Dual Income No Kids on February 4, 2008 · 0 comments

Whether you are treating yourself to a deluxe vacation or are traveling on a shoe-string, I’ve found that it really helps to budget things out. This certainly helps while traveling as an individual, but it is tremendously valuable for couples. I should also note that this applies when traveling with a friend as well, since often choices in where you go and what you do will affect both of your budgets.

Vacation is an easy time to want to treat yourself and spend in ways that you normally wouldn’t. While this is completely understandable, you’ll likely be much happier and content, even if you are set up to spoil yourself.

Here are a couple of steps that help to make sure that you are on the same page and know what to expect for travel expenses.

  • Determine the main purpose of your trip. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it helps to consider what you’d like to take away from the vacation. Whether it’s trying new foods, lounging on the beach, sight-seeing, or adventure experiences you are after, this will affect your budget significantly. If you know that food is the most important part of your trip to Italy, then you’ll feel fine by dropping some Euros on a nice meal. However, if what you really want out of your trip is to go sky-diving in New Zealand, you won’t be as content to have spent all of your money on an expensive hotel room. The main point is to make sure that you’re putting your money on what you value most. Looking back you’ll appreciate what you spent your money on more than if your dough was shelled out on something that you resented having to pay for.
  • Decide what level of travel you’d like to travel at. This could mean $3 hotels in Peru or $300 rooms in Dubai. I’ve done both, but it helps to have a good idea of what your expectations are before you head out.
  • Make a budget of expected costs. This should include accommodation, food, transportation, communications, entertainment, sight-seeing and souvenirs. Once you realistically think about the costs of everything, they tend to add up. This will help to make sure that you realize how much you will shell out before you are standing with the bill.
  • Make sure the money is already in the bank. It’s easy to over spend on vacations and think that you’ll just sort it out later. It’s best to look at what your expected expenses will be and then make sure that you’ve got your costs covered before you head to the airport or drive off into the distance.

If you do all of the above, I am most certain that you’ll be less stressed during your trip and relieved to have planned and enjoyed another well-deserved holiday. The stress of being on vacation with someone who wants to stay at the Ritz and someone who’d rather being eating bread and cheese for every meal is no fun at all.

I’d love to hear from our readers on what experiences they’ve had with budgeting for vacations (or not).

Happy Vacation Planning!


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