Planning Your Travel Budget (Part 3 of 4)

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Welcome to Part 3 of Planning Your Travel Budget. I’ve already discussed start up costs and transportation.  Today I’ll be talking about cost of living. You cost of living varies wildly depending on where you a traveling and the style of travel to which you are accustomed. As a result, this is one of the trickiest things to estimate and probably involves the most math.

  1. Daily costs– Accommodations, food, beer and recreation money. You need to be honest with yourself: what kind of traveler are you? Are you a bare bones budget traveler who will sleep more or less anywhere and eat bread and cheese every night? Or do you prefer private rooms and sit down meals? I think most of us fall somewhere in between monastic living and being fat cats. Your going to want to cut corners but still be okay with spending the 8 euros to visit the Prado.
  2. You’ll also need to factor in where you are planning on traveling. Daily living in Vietnam is significantly cheaper than in Switzerland. Do some research to get a good idea of what an average cost per day is in the regions you are visiting. One resource is: Budget Travel for Around the World.  Lonely Planet guides also offer great guidance as far as costs per day.
  3. Cost per day X number of days= an estimation of what you’ll spend in a given country or region.
  1. Extras– Sometimes you will want to do things that your daily budget doesn’t account for, like bungee jumping in New Zealand or going on safari in South Africa. Try to anticipate any of these large expenses ahead of time so they you can set some money aside for them. Once again, the internet is a vast resource for pricing out these activities.
  2. Also consider how much you will want to spend on souvenirs.  There are a lot of great cheap deals but also a lot of really nice, expensive things to buy. If you think you will want a traditional Turkish coffee set, a Persian rug or some nice gold jewelry in Italy, you should take those prices into account. Keep in mind you also may need to ship some of these things back home which can also be pricey.

Well if you aren’t totally overwhelmed yet, tune back in on Sunday when I will tell you the final two things you need to consider for your travel budget.

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5 thoughts on “Planning Your Travel Budget (Part 3 of 4)”

  1. Ah, the ‘extras’…it is much easier to say “when i am ever coming back here to get this chance again” than “well i must conserve and stay on my budget” and when one looks back on their travels, their adventures, and their life….i tend to think the regrets are on what we did not do…plan on ‘extras’

    Not to mention, the ‘extras’ are most often your stories and your smiles from the road.

    stay adventurous,

  2. The lonely planet source you cited is great. A recomendation I really like is Christine Gilbert’s recommendation on her blog ‘Almost Fearless’ She suggests the following formula:

    “Avg hostel cost per night X 3= Accommodations + food + other expenses”

    That’ll pretty much provide you with a per diem for wherever you may find yourself. It’s great because it gives you one research point from which to depart and budget accordingly. I looked back at my past trips and saw that this formula would have worked exceedingly well!

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