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How to Budget Your Trip Like a Pro

Travelers Today       By    Staff Reporter

Updated: Jan 10, 2020 06:51 PM EST

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How to Budget Your Trip Like a Pro

(Photo: Unsplash)

Americans are traveling more than ever before. An increase in the availability of airports and cruise ships has made it easier for people to travel. In 1980, the United States State Department issued just 4 million passports per year.

Forty years later, nearly 21 million passports are issued each year. It is likely that the biggest obstacle to your next international trip is cost. 

The number of person-trips each year sits at 2.3 billion. Americans are spending over $1.1 trillion in the travel industry.

Read on to learn how to budget your trip like a pro. Explore tips for establishing a vacation budget and saving enough for a dream trip!

What Is Your Maximum Budget?

Before you start planning and saving, set a top-line budget figure. This is a number that you will not exceed under any circumstances. You can also an online resource like a free budget template or expense-tracking program to help determine how much of you're income can safely be allocated towards your trip budge 

A maximum budget is helpful because it will rule out certain vacations.

In addition, it provides a savings target so you can start putting money aside.

What Are the Detailed Cost Elements?

Now that you have a maximum budget, you can start drilling down into each cost element. For example, how much do you plan to save for transportation or lodging? These are likely the two biggest costs drivers for a vacation.

Next, there are various other smaller cost elements. While less significant than plane tickets, smaller costs can add up and break a budget.

Unless you are traveling to an all-inclusive resort, a food budget is critical. Can you limit spending by preparing meals on-site?  Being forced to dine out often has the ability to drive up your vacation budget considerably.

There are also entertainment expenses to consider. Do you plan to go out during the vacation? Are you planning to buy tickets to a show or attraction?

You should also budget for local transportation, souvenirs, and any administrative costs. Lastly, are you missing any wages or paying for pet care while on the trip?

What Time of Year Are You Traveling?

A fixed budget is sufficient for many vacation costs. However, one major variable to consider is the season you are traveling in.

For example, consider that you want to explore a side of the world you haven't before with a Mediterranean cruise. The peak season for Mediterranean vacations is May to August. With school out for summer and warmer temperatures, demand is through the roof and prices are much higher.

If you want to reduce prices, consider traveling in the early spring or fall. Temperatures are still comfortable and there are much smaller crowds. Seasonal planning is critical regardless of your travel destination.

A Recap of How to Budget Your Trip

You are likely to pay a pretty penny for a dream vacation. However, you should not go into debt to pay for a vacation.

With adequate planning, you can come in under budget on the next vacation. Tips like considering the weather and creating a detailed budget go a long way.

If you enjoyed this article about how to budget your trip, check out our blog for more great content.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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