Planning Your Travel Budget (Part 1 of 4)

Creative Commons License photo credit: Leonid Mamchenkov

Figuring out a budget can be one of the most stressful things about planning a trip,  especially if  math makes you dizzy. Even so, it is one of the most important things you need to do before you can take off adventuring. Finding out you’ve run out of money on the other side of the world is even less fun than doing math.

I’ve come up with a list of 8 important things to consider when trying to put together a comprehensive price tag for your trip. Whether you are going abroad for a month or a year, these are all important things to consider. Over the next two weeks I will be explaining them in depth. The first two deal with pre-departure costs:

  1. Start-up Costs- It would be nice if you could just buy your plane tickets and take off, but there are costs to be accounted for right from the get-go. You’ll need to budget for all equipment you’ll have to purchase prior to departure. Do you need a heavy-duty backpack, a camera or even a new bikini? If you’re traveling to the third world you’ll  need to get some immunizations or malaria pills. Create a special section of your trip budget containing all of these items. Consider all equipment, clothing, medical prescriptions and technology you will need to invest in.
  2. If you are moving to another country you will also need to consider the costs of setting up somewhere new, like shipping, airline overweight costs, and all of the many things that go into setting up an apartment (first months rent, deposit etc.).

  1. Administrative fees– You also need to take into account whether you need to apply for a passport or any travel visas. A US passport will set you back $65, more if you need to expedite it. You may not be able to get all of your visas before you go but some simple research should tell you how much they will cost.
  2. Insurance is a good idea for most trips abroad, so be sure to factor in this cost as well. You can check out World Nomads or Insure My Trip for an estimate.

These costs are easy to forget about when creating your budget but they can seriously cut into your bottom line. Next up: transportation costs.

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