HOW TO | Make sure your travel budget is realistic

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So, you want to go on a holiday? You don’t care where, just anywhere where there is sun, beach and cocktails. You are that desperate for a holiday you could just spin a globe and wherever your finger lands you’d go.

You haven’t had a holiday for a while and have a bit of money saved in the bank, but when it comes time to actually book, you might not be too sure of exactly where to start.

How do you make sure you allow the right amount for the four main categories you’ll need to include in your budget?

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Transport
  • Entertainment (shopping, attractions, experiences)

I’m no financial advisers, but below are some things to think about when planning your next trip.

Where to go?

The best thing with London is we are so close to Europe and you can usually snap up cheap flights to Spain, France or Italy in the summer time. Also keep in mind places within the UK like Brighton and Cornwall. You don’t need to whip out the passport to experience a holiday!

When travelling from Sydney the normal hotspots are Bali and Thailand. But if you are able to ditch the idea of a beach and be happy with a poolside cocktail in a swish hotel, then consider other asian countries like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Hong Kong. They don’t have beaches but the resort pools are incredible and you also have your own masseuse on standby! Also don’t forget the Whitsundays, Noosa and even some hidden spots on the south coast (example: Gerroa). Australia is known all around the world for our beautiful coast line, so we shouldn’t take it for granted!

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Accommodation: Before deciding what style of traveller you are, you need to be very, very honest with yourself.

Just because hostels exist for $4 per night does not mean they are a good idea for everyone!  If you are used to luxury hotels, clean fluffy towels each day and sumptuous buffet breakfasts will you really enjoy yourself in 12 bed dorm rooms, with scratchy towels meant to last you a whole week and toast and jam in the morning?

There’s no shame in not being a budget traveller.  Don’t kid yourself that you’ll enjoy roughing it if you know you absolutely won’t. Perhaps midrange guesthouses are more your style. Maybe you can do budget travel for a few weeks if you balance if out with a few weeks of comfort afterwards.

Dorm Room / Barnacles Hostel / Dublin / Ireland

 

Transport

So flights are booked, I’m sorted right? FAIL. Transfers in between travel can be expensive and can really add up. Where is the airport and how are you getting to and from? If the cheapest flight leaves at 6am in the morning and the cheapest way to get there is by tube but the trains don’t start running till 5am – WHAT CHU GUNNA DO? Once a friend stayed the night before at the airport and fond she wasn’t alone and that over 100 people had the same idea! If that’s what you’re going to do that’s fine, as long as you’ve got a plan!

There are ferry transfers which sometimes need to be booked in advance with smaller European Islands and the Whitsundays and also Shuttle bus transfers that need to be book. Always check where you are going on Google Maps to be sure you have it sorted. Also email your hotel to find out how to get their from the airport. Again, with so many variables it pays to have the best idea you can of what type of traveller you are – sometimes it’s just easier to jump in an Uber to get places – again if this is something you want – make sure you budget for it!

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Spending Money – Keep it fluid.

Spending money is really dependant on a lot of things. Some places you visit have 100 tourist attractions and museums that are a must (pretty much all of Europe), so entry fees into these places are important to keep in mind. Some museums are free to the public on certain days (MoMa in NYC is free Thursday nights) – so worth researching.  If you discover after the first week/month that you are way over budget, you need to take steps to bring it back into line (not as many drinks out or take a few pieces of fruit from the buffet breakfast for snacks). If you find that you spend a lot less in a particular country than you expected, DO NOT be tempted to live it up and use up that buffer.  Somewhere down the track you are bound to go over your budget and will need the extra that you saved to cover this extra spending.

Trust me, I know!

Taking the time to get your budget right before you leave home will pay off when you don’t have to spend nights lying awake worrying about money on your trip.  The idea of travelling is to enjoy yourselves, see the world and learn plenty! Hope this has offered some help.

Spicedfox xxx

 

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