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How to Budget for a Trip

Taking trips can be an exciting time, but they do not happen without stress. One of those stressors for many people is the actual budgeting portion. Budgeting is often a fun killer, as you are constantly reminded of what your limits will be. However, budgeting before the trip prevents embarrassing moments of your money falling short.

Step 1: Figuring Out What You Need

The best way to figure out the amount of money you need to set aside is by listing the major expenses first. These typically will be your flights, hotels, and any ticket prices for events. Once you have the big ticket items, you will want to start looking at meals, entrance fees, and a small amount set aside for any souvenirs. Finally, make sure you look at where you are traveling and add extra for splurges and tips.

Step 2: Cut Costs Where You Can

If you can stay in a hotel that has a fridge, then you can save money by not eating out as much on the trip. Consider planning a shopping trip as soon as you get to your hotel so you can make your own meals in your hotel room. Make sure you only buy what you need so you do not have to worry about transporting the food back home.


Finally, make sure you look for special deals in advance so that you can purchase tickets at their lowest rates. Plane tickets often get more expensive as you are getting close to the trip date, and many airlines have steep discounts randomly throughout the year. However, you should be able to find cheaper tickets on discount websites.

Step 3: Start Saving Early

While it sounds small, start saving as early as possible by throwing all of your change into a jar. Once a month (or week if you accumulate coins quickly), take the jar to a coin counter and put the money into a savings account. You can also start cutting your expenses by not eating out as much, or at all unless you meet a savings goal. 

Step 4: Move Money to Two Accounts

Once you start having money coming in, you will want to create two places you send the money to. It is best if you have one in a savings account at your bank, and then another on a prepaid credit card. This will allow you to keep some money on you, while leaving the rest of your belongings locked in a safe back at the hotel. Always remember that you will want a small amount of cash so you can tip taxi drivers and the bell hops.

Using this method above, you will make sure that you budget accordingly, and keep the money safe. You can fundraise if you are able, but it is always best to give yourself time to save up. Taking a trip is always less stressful when you get to leave knowing you have your finances under control for the entire vacation.

Photo Credit:  Dollar Photo Club/ david_franklin

How do you budget your money for trips?

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