In a few weeks, I’ll be going back abroad. While the experience doesn’t necessarily feel as meaningful as it used to, travel is still a huge part of my life. Part of that lifestyle is creating a budget for traveling, which often occurs while you’re already over there. If you’re going on a finite vacation though, creating a budget for traveling is obviously an easier endeavor. This is especially true when you have the whole family involved.
If that is the case, then you need to accommodate everyone on the trip. If you’re going on a cross-country trip, for example, an RV rental may make more sense than flying. Plane tickets don’t scale — the more family members you have, the more tickets you are going to have to buy. That being said, creating a budget for traveling also means taking the individual tastes of who you are traveling with into account.
For example, when I travel with Alex, she likes to do adventure tours. Adventure travel, like organized hikes, often end up taking multiple days and are generally a little pricey when it comes to travel add-ons. However, while I initially hated them, I’ve grown to like them. You get to experience a side of a different culture you normally wouldn’t see, and are literally putting your well-being in someone else’s hands from that culture. This helps you create a bond with that culture that you wouldn’t if you were just lazing around on the beach and getting served by locals.
But when you like something, you obviously need to budget for it. This is why creating a budget for traveling is so important — it allows you to assess your priorities. For some, their budget for traveling will go towards fancy hotels and nice meals out. For others, it means exploration and adventure. Regardless of how you spend your money, you need to recognize that traveling is often more expensive than you’d like to be. Still, no matter how well your trip is planned, things will inevitably go wrong at some point.
Maybe this means that when you budget for traveling, you factor in incidentals. But that’s not always realistic for everyone. Just like most vacations are finite, so are the budgets for them. More importantly, it means that you will be cutting back on the things you really want to be doing. While that’s a real dilemma, the best thing to keep in mind is that travel is not cheap. Even with flexibility and sites like Travelpirates, you often need at least a spare $1000 for a trip for two.
Not everyone has that, and also not everyone wants to spend their hard earned money that way even if they did. And that’s ok! Travel is not for everyone, nor does it ultimately change your life. Thinking otherwise is just rubbing your travel experience in people’s faces. But if you do do decide to travel, make sure to make a budget for traveling. The itinerary doesn’t need to be 100% set in advance. But it will give you an idea of what you want to do and how you want to approach your travels, making your travel plans customized not only to your desires, but also what you desire to spend.