While traveling on a budget has its ups and downs, its important to preserve sanity and health as much as cash… you didn’t travel across the world to stare at the outside of museums or live off bread and cheese. So, take it from us, you’re gonna want to plan a budget to help keep you on track, but no matter how hard you try to stick to it, you’re gonna go thru more money than you think. We know a couple people who spent more in 6 months than some earn in a year. Hey – if you have the funds, then go out and do it. But for the rest of us, budget travel is a must.

Planning the financial aspects should be one of the first things you do as you’ll need to know how much you have to save. Set a goal and stick to it so that you’ll be able to achieve your dreams. Temptations to spend money will be everywhere – a souvenir here, a meal out or a night on the town there – you want to be able to afford the fun stuff and if you keep your finances in control you’ll be able to.

Examine the following expenses when planning your budget:

Consider Your Initial Costs
These costs include your airline ticket, backpack, passport and visas, guidebook, hostel card and any other equipment you will purchase before you leave. If you’ve never traveled before, your initial costs may be high… If you can borrow stuff from friends you’ll save yourself some money as well.

Decide Where You’re Going
Different places will cost more than others. Cities like London and New York, as well as anywhere in Japan or Scandinavia are some of the most expensive places where in Southeast Asia you can live on a few dollars a day. A cup of coffee in Paris could be a night’s accommodation in Thailand… Travel costs will also vary from season to season. You will also need to decide how long you plan to be gone…

Determine Your Daily Budget
First off, how many days are you planning on being away. Next, decide on your budget variables. Many of these costs are unavoidable but you can decide how much to spend on each.Accommodation

       – hostels are the most fun if you are on your own, but you can save more if you camp. Hotels will drain your wallet very quickly. Staying in one place for a while is cheaper than moving every night or so, as hostels and the like usually offer weekly rates.

Food

       – your best bet is to buy food from the grocery and cook it yourself. Deciding what and where you eat can have a major impact on your funds. Restaurants are great, but you can spend a fortune. To some, us included, alcohol is just as important as water and can get to be rather expensive.

Sight Seeing

       – you probably won’t be going to a museum everyday, but for the sakes of your budget $5/day is a good average.

Transportation

         – wanna blow your budget? This is the place to do it… If you’re heading to Europe, check out a

rail pass

       which will save you a ton of money in the long run. Remember, taxis drain your wallet as fast as hotels and restaurants – use your own two feet wherever possible (no, we aren’t recommending hitch hiking or trying to walk across the Outback)

Once you’ve figured out your daily budget you should multiply it by the number of days you’ll be away. Say you’re going to be gone for 2 weeks and your daily budget is $50, then you would need $700 just for daily expenses. Tack on your initial costs and you’ll have an idea of your total budget for your dream trip. It’s best to set aside a few hundred dollars before you leave just in case of emergencies – then resist the urge to find emergencies.

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