The Ultimate Checklist For Budgeting Your Travel

Budgeting -

Traveling can be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. However, it can also be expensive, and it is important to save money and budget the costs beforehand. Creating a realistic travel budget is a crucial part of planning your adventure, and it can save you from running out of money unexpectedly or returning home with a massive credit card bill. While it’s impossible to anticipate every single expense of your vacation, you can create an estimate by accounting for the most important aspects of your travel. Consider using this travel budget checklist and start planning the trip of your dreams!

Pre-Departure Expenses

When planning your travel budget, don’t forget about preparation cost. This can include everything from guidebooks and travel apps to visas and medical protection. Consider whether you’ll need to purchase any new clothes for a different climate or if you want to invest in travel insurance to insure against unforeseen costs like medical care, lost luggage, theft or accidents.

Transportation Costs

Reaching your destination will make up a big part of your travel budget. Research how the costs of getting to your destination differ between diverse modes of transportation, and decide whether you will be taking a plane, train, coach bus, rental car, cruise ship or other means of transportation. Don’t forget to take into account transportation costs to and from the airport, bus station or train station. Moreover, remember that you will need transportation to get around your destination as well. Take advantage of online resources to estimate public transit and taxi costs in the city you’ll be visiting to get a clear picture of these expenses.


Next to transportation costs, lodging is probably the most significant detail on your budget. Accommodations can vary widely depending on type and quality. Decide if you will be staying in a hotel, hostel, guesthouse, apartment rental, or free accommodations provided by hospitality services such as Couchsurfing. To make your budget as precise as possible, do your research, read reviews and compare prices. Don’t forget to multiply costs by the number of nights you’ll be staying.


As you budget for meals, remember that the cost of eating out differs from place to place and from country to country. A nice dinner at a restaurant in Paris will be several times more expensive than street food in Jakarta, so plan accordingly based on reliable pricing information. To save money on food, consider booking accommodation that includes breakfast or provides access to a kitchen.

Activities and Sightseeing

What are the highlights of your destination? Do they have entrance fees? Will you be taking a guided tour or blazing your own trail? The answers to these questions will determine your budget for attractions and sightseeing. Take some time to read reviews of each attraction and you may discover that some offer free entry on certain days of the week. Don’t miss out on a good deal!


In addition to sightseeing, you will most likely also want to plan for some entertainment. See if there are any amusement parks where you’re headed or if there’s a buzzing nightlife scene. Try to create a rough schedule of your entertainment plans and see if they fit into your budget.

Gifts and Souvenirs

You will probably want to bring something back to remember your incredible journey. Gifts, postcards and souvenirs can add up, so make a list of people for whom you would like to purchase gifts and try to estimate your costs accordingly.

Staying Connected

Consult with your cell phone service provider in advance to learn about fees in your destination country. Consider purchasing an international data plan if necessary, and remember that roaming data usage could have a massive impact on your spending. Scoping out the map before you go to find free Wi-Fi spots could go a long way towards saving money.

Emergency Fund

Be sure to set aside some money for unexpected events, and remember not to keep all of your money in one place. Divide your funds between cash, a credit card and a bank card, and remember to leave some of your money in a safe or other secure location while you’re out and about.

Track Your Spending While You Travel

No matter how well prepared you are for your journey, the only way to ensure that you don’t run out of money unexpectedly is to track your expenses over the course of the trip. The personal finance app inBudget can be a great help as it allows you to keep track of your expenditures, divide them into categories, and keep a running total of how much you’ve spent so far. Additionally, inBudget includes a public budget feature that allows you to share you budget with friends after completing your journey; your trip of a lifetime may inspire others to go on one of their own!

Tags: Budgeting tips, Checklist, Travel, Travel budget

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