At the beginning of this week, I decided it was about time I whipped up a budget plan for my next travelling trip at the end of the year.
Like every other traveller, I had an extravagant itinerary mapped out in my head however, I had no idea whether I could actually afford it.
Queue, my genius (if I don’t say so myself), flexible budget plan…
If you are planning a trip of a lifetime, then follow these simple steps to ensure that your travel dreams can become a reality… aka. you can afford the luxuries of food and water whilst you are away…
FIRSTLY, what day-to-day essentials do you need to consider?
Accommodation, food and travel are the three main essentials that you have to take into account whilst travelling.
SECONDLY, what extras do you need to think about?
It’s inevitable that there will be a lot of exciting excursions and activities that you’ll want to splash out on whilst you are away. However, these touristy extras tend to come at a hefty price!
Whilst I was travelling the East Coast of Australia in my gap year, I hadn’t prepared my budget for the cost of the unmissable Fraser Island and Whitsunday trips. Both set me back just under half of my budget for the whole month I was there.
Other extras may include – bus passes, bungee jumps, diving, wine tasting etc, which will all eat away at your daily budget if you don’t consider them beforehand.
NEXT, the all important question… where do you want to go?
You now need to decide, which countries you would like to visit and how long you would like to spend in each.
If you are planning on travelling spontaneously (kudos!) whilst you’re away and are not sure where you’ll end up and for how long, try narrowing it down by continent. If you know you’ll be travelling around South East Asia but you’re just not sure where, you’ll still be able to get an idea of how much you should budget daily.
Whereas, if you suddenly decide to jet off to sun yourself in Oz when you’ve budgeted for a hippie lifestyle in India, you’re going to see a ginorrrmoussss increase in your daily spending, which will probably result in you eating out of bins and drinking goon…
So, you now have some sort of route mapped out. Next up is research, research, research. How much will hostels/hotels/food/travel cost you in each country?
Although doing this research can be time-consuming, it is more than worthwhile!
I started my research by looking on Hostelworld/Hostelbookers to get an idea of how much hostels/hotels will cost in each country. I then wrote down the prices of a few hostels and estimated an average. For example, in Australia the hostel prices varied between £16-£22 therefore, I have budgeted for around £18 a day on accommodation.
For food and travel, your best bet is doing a Google search. I did a search for daily costs in South America, as this is a continent I have never visited, and to my surprise I discovered that countries such as, Brazil are a lot more expensive to travel in than I’d thought. I now know that I’ll need more money than I’d anticipated when travelling through this continent.
Consider any pre travel extras
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to stock up on all of the cool travel gadgets available before setting off on your trip.
A state of the art camera, a waterproof camera, an Ipad to blog on, a kindle. All of which will stack up a rather sizable bill… and that’s before you’ve even considered flights, backpack, insurance, jabs, visas, clothes, guide books, travel towels…
FINALLY, throw it all into a spreadsheet and add some formulas
Once you’ve considered these aspects of your travels, wack it all into an Excel spreadsheet!
Add together your estimated cost of food, accommodation, travel and everyday extras in each country, to work out your average daily budget. For example, in my Excel spreadsheet, the formula =B3 (food) +C3 (accommodation) +D3 (travel) +E3 (everyday extras), worked out my average daily budget in South Africa. I then multiplied it by the number of days I intend to travel in that country and added on any extras such as, wine tasting… VOILA, I had my total budget for my time in SA.
Once you’ve done this with each country and added on any pre travel extras, you will then have a guestimate of how much your trip is going to cost you overall.
You can edit your spreadsheet whenever your plans change or you spend less/more than you’d budgeted for. Therefore, if you end up spending less on accommodation in one country than you’d expected, you can change it in your spreadsheet, which will then work out your total costs in that country/overall for you.
Although it’s always great fun to travel on a whim and be spontaneous, if you only have a limited amount of money whilst travelling, throwing together a budget plan will ensure your trip isn’t cut short due to running out of money.
How does everyone else budget for their travels? Please comment, Facebook or Tweet me to let me know :)!