How to Plan a Budget for Travel and Leisure that Doesn’t Cost Too Much

Photo Credit: The Wandering Angel
(Creative Commons)
Once in a while, we feel the need to take a vacation. We may want to escape from the daily grind of our job - enjoy life a little bit. That's normal. 

We need to have a work-life balance. Not everything in life is about work. Sometimes we should take the time off to do something else 
  • enjoy the company of our loved ones
  • travel to places we have never been to
  • see interesting places
  • eat food we have never tasted before
  • meet people and learn about different cultures
But you may be thinking that doing all those things will cost too much. You are partly right. It will indeed cost you. But it doesn't have to strain your finances. 

The Solution is a Travel Budget

Creating a budget for travel is important because:
  • it will let you know how much you can realistically spend on traveling
  • it will help narrow down where you can go and what you can do
  • it can give you peace of mind that you are not spending too much thus enjoying your travels better
What you need is to follow some simple guidelines when doing your budget. Be proactive in including budget for travel. 

Make use of these steps as a guide to your own planning.

  1. Review your budget for the year and find out how much you can really afford for travel purposes. Do not let travel expenses put your other financial needs in jeopardy. Be realistic about it.
  2. Create a table with categories for the type of expenses you need for travelling. This would include:
    • Transportation
    • Accommodations
    • Food
    • Entertainment
    • Miscellaneous – souvenirs, buffer, other expense
  3. Estimate the cost for each of these categories then add them all up.
  4. If the result comes out to be more than your allowable budget, you need to figure out how to save on each item.
  5. If the result comes out to be less, then save the excess for your next trip.
  6. Bring a copy of your budget so that you know if you’re spending more than you planned for. It’s a good reminder to stay on track.

How To Save on Travel Expenses

Planning your travel in advance can help a lot to save on expenses. 
  • You can avail of air fare promos. Although you’d better watch out for this because it can ran out pretty fast. 
  • Also, booking way in advance would cost a lot less than if you do it near the trip date. Here’s a sampling of domestic airlines available in the Philippines:
  • There are also hotel accommodation promos available on group buying sites. These are very popular today. In the Philippines, some of them include the following:
  • Tour package promos from airline companies, travel agencies and group buying sites may also offer good deals.
The only disadvantage with tour packages is that you will have to adhere to a strict schedule. This may not be ideal if you want to do other things you just found out when you arrived. You are also limited to places you can go to because these are all specified in the tour contents.

There are a number of ways to save so that you can travel within your allotted budget. You should take advantage of them all as much as you can. 

It’s good to enjoy the fruits of your labor once in a while. But don’t spend way too much or it might spoil the pleasure you ought to get from your time off. 

Create a realistic travel budget and stick to it!