How to make a budget for a trip
A budget is essential in every trip because it will tell you an approximation of how much money you have to put together to make it a reality, it is the simplest way to land dreams to start working on them little by little. Now, if you have never traveled on your own and the trips you have made have only been in tours or all-inclusive packages organized by a travel agency, it is time to forget everything you know about organizing a trip and start from scratch .
So, how to make a budget for a trip?
The main variable that will define how you will make your budget is the time your trip will last. The longer a trip lasts, the more difficult it will be to plan for the future and therefore make a budget. Within a week’s trip it is easy to know how much you will spend on transportation, hotel, meals and others; while on a trip of 1 month or more it is much more complicated but not impossible.
Regardless of the travel time you make, the simplest way to budget and control it during the trip is to determine a daily amount of expenses. This daily expense will tell you how much money you need exactly for lodging, food, transportation, leisure, museum tickets, etc.
The amount you assign to each category depends a lot on your travel style. It is not the same to stay in a hotel 4-5 stars than a hostel. Eating in the street or local restaurants will always be much cheaper than eating in international restaurants or focused on tourists. Traveling by land is sometimes cheaper than traveling by plane. Moving with public transport to get around the city is cheaper than paying taxis. However you may need to prepare additional budget and if you lack money you can get it easily by using long term loans.
Each way of traveling is unique so perhaps you prefer to sleep in a good hotel but you do not care whether you eat on the street or not. There is no good or bad way to travel, just different.
The main categories to make a budget are:
Lodging, food, transportation, tickets and excursions, leisure and extras.
In the leisure section you can include a daily expense to go out to a bar or have a glass of wine once in a while. Even if it’s a daily budget and you do not drink a beer every day at the end of the week, what you did not spend can be spent without remorse. $ 3 per day at the end of 5 days is $ 15, enough to buy a couple of beers on a Friday night.
The extras are things of the day to day that we do not always spend but it is good to have it in case you need it, like that mid-morning snack, a bottle of water, that bracelet that you liked so much in the market. They are small things that do not imply a strong expenditure but that if not budgeted eventually the money will go away and you will not know why or how.