Planning for a great vacation but not sure if you’re spending just enough or engaging in frivolous expenses? Follow these tips to understand the kind of bucks you should spend on your travel plans.
Nothing quite refreshes your soul like traveling - we all want to dump those schedules and workdays and set out to travel the world. Isn't it?
But making impulsive travel plans without a budget is no solution to this.
For someone like you who has never done this before, we understand how intimidating the word "budget" sounds, but there are different ways to get your head around it besides just spreadsheets and Excel.
Indeed, no formula tells you how much to spend on your vacation, but we can help you plan and create the ideal budget for your upcoming travel plans without disturbing your savings.
Recall The 50-30-20 Rule
No matter where you are in your budgeting journey, the 50-30-20 rule never gets old where 50% of your income goes towards your needs, 30% goes towards your wants, and the rest 20% goes to your savings. Now, as your travel plans fall in the wants category, you'll have to plan it with that 30% of your income.
However, the challenge is that you cannot earmark the entire funds for your occasional spending under travel. This is because you still need to count the miscellaneous expenses you didn't plan for. So, ensure you keep a sliver of this fund allocated towards the potential costs you can incur during your travel.
Start a Travel Fund
Even though you follow the 50-30-20 rule ardently, allocating 30% of your income for your travel plans seems impractical. However, starting a travel fund can give you an estimate of how much money you can put aside every month, considering your other expenses.
Besides, a travel fund gives you the flexibility to plan and execute your travel plans accordingly.
Figure Out What You Can Afford
While planning and budgeting for a trip, it's essential to understand how much you can afford to spend on your travel plans. Maybe your dream is to go to an international destination, but if it seems out of your budget now, don't force it.
You can either try and wait till you save up for the trip, or you can plan a trip to another destination on your travel list.
Don't Rely on Loans and Credit Cards
If you are short on funds for your travel plans, please don't rely on loans and credit cards.
Taking loans to fulfill your dreams makes no sense because you will spend more than what you originally paid. When you use a credit card while traveling, always consider the extra charges on some cards, like foreign transaction fees you can incur on purchases you make outside the country.
Estimate the Cost of The Trips
It's easier to see what you could have cut and what was a total waste after you've spent the money. But planning a trip without a budget is a fool's errand. Still, many people have no idea how much they plan to spend on a vacation.
Do your research, find out the costs of accommodations and food in your travel destination, and make a budget for your probable expenses.
Utilize Your Reward Cards
Reward credit cards come with many travel benefits, including points you can use to purchase hotel stays and flights. Accumulating travel points is a great way to offset the cost of a trip if the credit card charges are purchases you would already be making, and they are amounts you will be able to pay off at the end of the month.
Credit card points can be helpful when used responsibly, but ensure not to go overboard.
Enjoy Like a Local
The best way to save on your travels without reducing the quality of experience - is by enjoying your trip like a local. For example, if you want to explore the sights, use a train or a bus just like a local to get there instead of a cab.
The same applies when it comes to food. There's nothing like getting an Airbnb, cooking your meal, or trying out the local street foods.
Start With Early Bookings
If you have finally saved up enough for your trip, don't board a flight tomorrow - that's the easiest way to lose all your money. If you want the best deals, book your hotels for at least two months before the trip. The same goes for the rest of the bookings - the earlier you book, the better and cheaper deals you can avail yourself of.
To Wrap Up
There may be millions of theories on budget planning for your trip, but ultimately, it all boils down to only one thing - BALANCE. Planning the best trip is nothing but balancing your expenses and savings. The fix is deceptively simple - create a budget, save for your vacation, plan carefully, and stick to the plan.
Consider enlisting the help of a trusted travel agent but whatever you do, think about how much you'll spend before you go. Otherwise, you could end up spending money you don't have.
With Jar, saving money is nothing but a cakewalk as you can start your savings journey from as low as Rs. 10. The best part about the app is that your savings are automated. Once integrated, the app can automatically deduct money and invest it directly in digital gold.
Wishing you a happy journey ahead!