Tips for Travel Budgeting – A Practical Post
Ah, the travel budget. A necessary evil to ensure that you can actually afford your trip and afford to enjoy it how you planned. It can be really intimidating planning a budget for a place you’ve not visited, but a budget is a key part of the planning stages. The first cost you’ll need to consider is the flights and they are often the most expensive part of the travel. Next comes accommodation, on-the-ground transport, food, entertainment and spending money. Ouch, it seems like a lot to budget for, but here are some tips for keeping your budget reasonable and for figuring out how much your trip is really going to cost you:
1) Save on Flights
Flights tend to be the first purchase you make, unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where you can drive to your destination or take a train. The best way I find to save on flights is to consider using a range of different search engines and if you can be flexible with the dates you’ll find yourself saving some considerable money. The websites I like to use the most are Adioso, Skyscanner and Kayak. Compare, compare, compare and don’t book until you’ve landed a great deal.
2) Save on Accommodation
While hotels are nice, sometimes they can be a pain to stay in. If you need to get laundry done, that’s expensive and if breakfasts aren’t included, then often there are no facilities for you to self cater. As such, I prefer to stay in apartments or houses on Airbnb where possible. This can be a great way to save money, especially if you’re traveling in a decent sized group.
3) Compare the Local Costs
Get an idea of how much things actually cost on the ground. How much will a mid-range restaurant be? How much is a take away coffee? Local train ticket? These are all important questions which allow you to get an idea of costs in this country and will help you create a realistic budget. I recently found a great infographic that helps to show how costs are in different countries. It is catered towards a South African audience, but you can easily just convert the cost into your local currency to see how much random, but common purchases are in certain countries in the world.
Be warmed it can be a little bit addictive.