Traveling is so important—experiencing different cultures, learning about more than just the information we have at arm’s reach, and really getting a chance to take a step back and see all that the world has to offer. Like anything else, though, money is required to make travel happen. With all that we need to budget for in today’s society, how can we include travel in the mix? It isn’t nearly as scary as you might think! What are the best ways to budget for your dream vacation?
Look at Your Overall Funds
It’s always a great idea to keep a close eye on your finances. Paying attention to your bank account is the first step in really taking charge of your financial situation. Get a feel for what you have, and what you’d be willing to spend on your dream vacation.
If You Don’t Already Have One, Create a Travel Fund
Whether you create a separate spreadsheet for setting money aside for vacation and fun activities, or you have a physical envelope where you throw in cash, having that separation is necessary when contributing to your travel plans.
Be Reasonable with Your Plans
After you’ve looked at your funds and created a separate travel fund, start getting serious about what you’d like to spend. Be reasonable and realistic with regards to your current financial situation. There are great ways to save while on vacation and still get to experience the city or country to its fullest potential.
Create a Budget for Your Accommodation and Transportation
Accommodation and transportation are likely the two biggest components to your budget. Do your research, and don’t make plans hastily. Keep an eye on plane tickets for a week or so before you purchase. Be sure to do lots of research on the best and safest locations to stay in the area you’re going before you book your lodging. Add these two components to your spreadsheet to keep track of spending.
Create a Budget for Food and Activities
Again, add these two components to your spreadsheet. These can shift a little bit more as food and activities won’t likely be paid for until you reach your destination. You have a little leeway here when it comes to funds, whereas accommodation and transportation can be taken care of ahead of time for the most part.
Cut Some Expenses and Add Some Income
Now comes the fun part. You’ve planned it all out, you’ve built your spreadsheet and done your research, and now you have to put in the work. Depending on your financial situation, take a look at how many expenses you can cut until your vacation. Perhaps you hold off on getting massages, going out to eat, or spending the day on the golf course until after your vacation is over.
You might also use the time before your vacation to grab some extra shifts or work overtime to help make up for travel expenses.
A Final Note
Financial troubles are not uncommon, and if you find yourself in a deep rut it’s important to seek help immediately. Reach out to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to help get you back on your feet.