‘To travel is to live’ is a quote by the famous author of several highly imaginative fairy tales, Hans Christian Anderson. Travelling expands one’s mind and overall outlook on life in a way that very few other experiences can. However, no matter how gripped by wanderlust we may be, the fact of the matter remains that travelling, especially in this day and age, requires money. And usually, a significant amount of it. In the wake of the steadily rising tourism industry and increasing ticket prices for all modes of travel, it has become necessary for anyone who desires to go globe-trotting to budget their travel expenses. When holidaying with friends it is very easy to go with the flow and let things get out of hand, and therefore it is even more important to keep track of your hard-earned finances in such situations. If you are wondering how exactly this is done, we’ve got you covered.
1. Start budgeting early on. And by early on, we mean at least 6 months in advance. The first step is to be mindful of your usual daily expenses, which means listing everything you spend on for a month. This will give you a baseline to start your budgeting process. For the next few months, reduce your nights out and your shopping sprees, while being very careful about what you actually do spend on. It might take some time to get the hang of this, but if you focus on your upcoming holiday, you will find it will get easier.
2. Make a list of your travel expenditure. To do this, you must account for anything and everything you will be paying for. This includes transport, food, accommodation, activities, shopping, tours and any other expenses that come to mind. Putting it down on paper, onto a computer or feeding it into an application on your phone makes it easier to quantify and adjust as required.
3. Fix a budget limit. For everything. This step is in conjunction with the previous point and allows you to be very truthful with yourself about how much expenditure you are genuinely willing to put into your trip. Travelling is definitely an investment in the experience department, but if it breaks the bank and leaves you broke, the purpose of a stress-free holiday is utterly defeated. This brings us to our next point…
4. Plan with the bigger picture in mind. Yes, a vacation with friends is going to be an absolutely heavenly experience, and yes you deserve a break after working so hard all year long. But do your friends tend to splurge unnecessarily and you find yourself unable to keep up? And do you then over-spend along with them, just to fit in, and the vicious cycle continues? A holiday is meant to give you a breather from life and its accompanying stressors, but if you don’t plan your budget while keeping in mind the rest of your plans for the year, you just might end up unable to cope with the aftermath your trip. So go have fun, but make sure you have enough money in the bank to pay for your groceries, bear the cost of your college fees or support your new business.
5. Now talk to your friends. Once you have it all figured out in your head, you are ready to discuss your plans and budget with your pals. Talk openly about the accommodations, shopping, activities and transport you are willing to pay for, and decide on how the bills will be split. This should be done well in advance to ensure the whole group is on the same page and to avoid conflicts later on.
6. Planning well in advance also has the advantage of keeping you prepared to cover any unforeseen costs and accommodate changes in the status of your vacation. It helps to have a small amount kept aside, above and beyond your planned budget, in case of emergencies.
7. Don’t be afraid to voice what you’re thinking. It is admittedly quite hard to stay firm on your stance, especially with good friends who know exactly which buttons to push to get you to sway in your resolve. But it is precisely because of this that it is absolutely crucial that you be crystal clear to them about the things you are and are not willing to compromise on and how important it is for you to stick to your planned budget. This will establish understanding in the group and prevent clashes and conflicting interest later on.
8. Remember to check whether you need to get vaccinated for certain diseases, which is particularly applicable if you are going abroad. If, for instance, you are planning a trip to tropical areas, get vaccinated beforehand and keep anti-malarial medications on hand as a precaution. It is highly recommended that you consult with your General Physician before embarking on any journey, or consult with one of the doctors at Click Pharmacy for help and advice regarding illness prevention on your travels.
9. Focus on having fun! Travelling on a budget in no way means you cannot enjoy yourself. There are plenty of things one can do at reasonable rates. Eating at places where locals frequent is a smart way to save money since locals know where the best deals are while getting a taste of the culture of your destination. One can often find marvellous, budget-friendly items when shopping at local stores and markets.
10. Do not get overwhelmed. With a little bit of effort and time, you will find that budgeting isn’t a difficult thing to do. On the contrary, you will feel liberated from financial worries and will be able to truly apply yourself to getting the best bang for your buck from your holiday.
It is easy to get carried away on holiday with friends and splurge above and beyond your means, only to pay the price later. Abiding by the recommendations outlined above will help cut out the stress of over-spending on your holidays while also allowing you to enjoy your days off.
To read more on topics like this, check out the travel category.