Planning Your Travel Budget (Part 4 of 4)

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This is the final installment of my four part series on things to consider when planning your travel budget. Previously I discussed start-up costs, transportation and daily living. In this post I will be talking about a few extra costs to consider and some thoughts on pulling it all together.

Two more factors for your budget:

  1. Costs at Home-Life at home doesn’t stop just because you’ve gone off adventuring. If you have obligations like car payments, or student loans, you will need to budget enough money to make sure these bills keep getting paid while you are away. If you default on your loans, the bank probably isn’t going to accept “I was lying on the beach in Thailand,” as an excuse. This category would also include things like home maintenance, pet care and cell phone plans.
  2. Safety Money– After you’ve figured out the costs of your trip it’s a wise idea to sock away a little extra money on top of that figure. This will be your rainy day fund in case of robbery, emergency, or simply spending too much on souvenirs. You might not have to use this money but you will feel a lot better knowing it’s there. I would suggest having at least $1000 extra on hand but it’s really up to you and your comfort level.
  3. On the plus side if you don’t use this money you’ll have something extra to come home to!

So to recap, the 8 major things you need to budget for are:

  1. Start Up Costs
  2. Administrative Costs
  3. Airfare
  4. Other transport
  5. Daily Living
  6. Extras
  7. Home Costs
  8. Safety Money

Add all of these together and you have a pretty good idea of your trip budget.

The daunting thing about planning a budget for a long trip is the amount of guesswork involved. You will never get it exactly on the nose but with some research you should be able to get a decent picture of how much money you will need. Always round up rather than down. You may have some opportunities to cut costs by staying with friends, working abroad or traveling in the off season, but in the end it’s better to have too much money than too little.

Some more resources on budgeting: Currency Converter

A really useful travel budget calculator

A sample budget

A budget calculator

How to Track expenses and stick to a budget

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