5 rules for travel budgeting

We all love to travel – there’s nothing better than sitting on a beach with a beer in hand and watching the sun go down. However, sometimes getting there can be a problem! Budgeting for a holiday can be a hard endeavour and it sometimes seems like you will never quite make it. So to help you out on your next adventure we’ve compiled some suggestions for travel budgeting.

The most important thing to know before trying to budget is knowing that what you are saving for is really worth the effort – and believe us travel always is! So here we have our 5 rules of travel budgeting.

travel budgeting

Rule 1: Always do your research.

Research is a very important part of any holiday. You have to know what you are getting yourself in in for, especially on longer trips. Try to think of everything you may need and do on a daily basis, and this will help you estimate your trip cost. Once you have travelled a bit more you will know what you can live on in a day for that particular destination you are in.

Rule 2: Don’t get overwhelmed.

In the early stages of budgeting and research, it is quite easy to get overwhelmed by the estimated cost of your trip. Just remember there are always ways to save a few dollars, for example cheaper accommodation and land-based travel (rather than flying). If money is tight you can get out and explore the world anyway! Try to pick your destination wisely there are many places in the world where the average cost of living may be lower than your home country. This means your dollar will stretch a lot further – wahoo! Also try to give yourself enough time to save for a trip, there’s nothing worse than paying for your holiday with credit to find you have to come home to pay it off later, yuck!

budgeting for travel

Rule 3: It’s budget time.

At this stage you should have most of your research done and you will be starting to get an idea of how much your holiday is going to cost. It’s now time to set a budget. This can be weekly, fornightly, or monthly, but whatever way you do it you know how much you need to save to get to your end goal. To help us save for a trip, we hunt out a cheap flight to our destination quite a way in advance. We find this gives us the motivation and a deadline we need to get our saving going.

Check out this great site for the best ways students (and non-students!) can save money while travelling.

Rule 4: Spread it out.

During the time you are budgeting for your trip try to spread out your spending. You can slowly book and pay off things towards your trip as your savings increase, whether it’s accommodation, transport, or activities. The big benefit in doing it this way is that by the time you leave on your holiday it’s all booked and paid for! It’s more preferable to shell out money in smaller sums over a longer period of time rather than seeing huge lump sums leave your bank account at one time – the blow to your savings doesn’t seem so bad. This way, it’s only your spending money that is left to save. You will find that if you have done your research and booked and paid for activities you may not need as much spending money as you may think.

travel budgeting

Rule 5: Rein it in.

If you’re having trouble saving for your trip there are always ways you can increase that bank balance. Take your weekly spending at home into account and try to figure out what is in that week that you really could live without to get to where your savings need to be. That could be just one less dinner out, maybe cutting back on a bought coffee or two – you would be surprised how how every little bit can help! Just remember one less mojito now can mean two more on holiday!

So there you have it, our five rules for budgeting and saving while planning your next adventure. If you have any budgeting advice or ideas or even budgeting questions please feel free to contact us here at The Global Couple – we would be happy to help. Send an email to hello@theglobalcouple.com – we always love to get emails from our readers!

travel budgeting

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  1. I really like these suggestions!
    I also have to say that setting up a sub-account in your bank account is a must. If you’re saving for a holiday then you should be setting the money aside from your everyday spending but also aside from your normal savings. That way there’s a clear number and idea of how much has gone into an account for that specific purpose.

    Also, travelling to countries where they have interesting ways to travel is good. For example in Phuket it’s really cheap to get a bus from Patong, Kata and Karon to Phuket Town as long as you’re aware of times back and forth. Made our trip so much cheaper and so much easier. We also got to see loads more of the country than if we’d taken a taxi or a tuktuk.

    • Petra

      Yes that is a fantastic suggestion Samantha! It’s crucial to know exactly how much you have saved for travel and that it doesn’t get mixed up with your other savings. The bus in Phuket sounds ideal – we didn’t know about that and spent a fortune on tuk tuks when we were there!

  2. Great tips! I like saving up “points” from my day job. It helps ease the cost of personal travel. Love the mural photo, beautiful colors!

  3. I really liked this post, thanks for sharing!
    My partner and I are planning a quick trip overseas at the end of the year, but we’re finding it a bit difficult at the moment to put money aside for it – so your tips will be a huge help. Thank you!

    • Petra

      Glad you found the post useful Christel. Good luck with the saving, it’s much easier to save once you have booked the tickets we find!

  4. Great tips for budgeting for a trip. I like to watch my spending every week to make sure I don’t spend my money and wasteful things such as eating out or going to a bar. I find when I cut back on things like this and going to Starbucks, it leaves me with a lot of money to go toward a vacation instead.


  5. Great tips guys! The golden rule is – if you want it hard enough, you will find the way! I follow my own set of rules and so far – it is working for us 🙂 http://www.wanderingveronique.com/?p=1312 I really like the do the research tip – always be prepared for the costs so you can minimize your stress as well. We try to buy all our tickets in January and we use our Avios points too – that way we are flying to Berlin for £70 and I will be going to Bologna for £35 in May! It is important to plan ahead, as the price of the tickets might add up a lot to your budget. As per accommodation – there is always a way to find something cheap, if you are willing to do some sacrifices 🙂 Happy travels!

    • Petra

      Totally agree Monika! Thanks for the link, I’ll take a look. That’s awesome you got those great flight deals! It’s a shame New Zealand is so far from Europe haha. Have a great time!

  6. Pingback: 5 guidelines for journey budgeting – It’s All About Camping

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