Budgeting for your travels…
Budgeting and saving money for travel can be hard, so we’ve rounded up our top tips to help you! It’s really worth planning in advance so that you can make the most of your next trip. There’s no point in flying to a new destination if it’s going to make you bankrupt, or you’re going to be worrying about every dollar you spend there! This article is about Creating your ideal budget.
Where do you want to go? How long for?
Destination and length of trip will determine “big ticket items” that are necessary. A flight to Hawaii will largely differ from a flight to Australia, just as a one-week vacation will cost much less than one-month of travel. Deciding these factors early on will give you a great idea of what to expect in terms of cost.
Note: Make sure you have selected the right amount of luggage when you book your flight! If you want to take checked baggage with you or heavy/specialist items – this is best booked in advance. Last-minute costs at the airport are a way to kill your budget, so make sure this is all paid for before you get to the check-in counter.
Vaccinations, visas and passports
Travel expenses that people often forget are those that happen before leaving home. When thinking about making a budget, don’t leave out these essential items:
Depending on the country of choice, a visa may be necessary. Visas can have long processing times and associated fees, meaning that it is best to organise this as soon as you have booked your flight. Always check with your travel agent if you’re unsure about whether you need a visa.
Remember to see whether your passport needs updating – usually airlines require that you have at least 6 months validity on your passport, so make sure you renew this when needed. Ordering a new passport can take 2-4 weeks sometimes! There’s nothing like realising your passport is expiring the week before a trip.
Vaccinations and medication
When travelling outside of Canada, you may be at risk or become exposed to several types of diseases. Some of these include yellow fever, malaria, influenza, rabies and hepatitis. Luckily, most of these illnesses are preventable with vaccinations. Some, like malaria, do not have a vaccine. However, anti-malaria medication is available and can help stop you from becoming infected. It is important to research what vaccinations or medication you might need to acquire before your trip. You can use the Government of Canada website to search and find this information: Travel Vaccinations. Visit a Travel Health Clinic if you need any vaccinations or medication; prices will vary. Appointments often need to be booked ahead of time. If you need more than one vaccination, costs can escalate very quickly – so it’s imperative to add rough prices in to your budget in the first instance!
Accommodation, activities and food
Many people underestimate the daily expenses that will occur on a trip. The best way to make a rough estimate is by asking yourself the following questions:
- Was my flight part of a package? Are any hotels, activities or meals already included?
- What activities do I really want to do? Some of the best activities, such as scuba diving or helicopter flights, can make a significant dent in your travel wallet. We suggest making two lists: one for all the bucket-list activities that you’re not willing to sacrifice; one for secondary experiences that you could add on later if your budget allows.
- Do I want to eat out, and how often?
- Are there any other transportation costs? If you’re visiting more than one location, then take into consideration the cost of trains, buses, boats or domestic flights that you might need to book closer to the date of departure or pay for at the location.
- Shall I bring back any gifts for friends/family or souvenirs? The answer to this question will determine how much spending money you will need when you’re at the destination. Whether it’s Belgian chocolates, New Zealand wine or Indonesian hand-made crafts – you’ll want to make sure your budget (and suitcase!) has room to accommodate these extra items!
There you have it! If you research and plan effectively, you can create a budget that matches your dream vacation. We know this can seem like an overwhelming list of things to consider before making travel reservations, but you’re not alone! Consult with your favourite Lloyds Travel agent and they can help you with everything.
Stay tuned for the second part of this blog series, all on How to save for your travels. AND, here are some itineraries to get you excited.