Vacation Budgeting 101

Vacation Budgeting

You booked your flight, you booked your stay and you gathered a list of attractions you may want to see on your vacation… but what does the rest look like?

If you aren’t staying at an all-inclusive resort, how much might food, entertainment or attractions cost you? Have you considered what might happen in case of emergencies?

If a vacation is in your plans this year or if you plan on traveling in the years to come, you should consider a “vacation budget” to help manage your time and money.

Why a Vacation Budget?

You’re on vacation, you’re enjoying your time off with friends or family, why should you consider a “budget” for your fun time? Having a savings plan or at least tracking your expenses and having an estimate to compare to, can help you save money and understand your financial expectations. Additionally, budgeting before the trip could help you have extra money for more fun, food, or emergency purposes.

The idea isn’t to budget out fun, it is to build fun into your plans and make sure you stick to a limit so you aren’t playing catch up on debt when you get back to reality!

Vacation Budget 101

  1. Write down all your estimated expenses- airfare, gas, rental, food, snacks, attractions, etc.
  2. Make sure to budget an extra $10-$15 when you estimate your expenses.
  3. Create a target total for the entire cost of the trip.
  4. Research the average cost for food, attractions, delivery, gas, etc. in the area you plan on visiting.
  5. In case of emergencies, budget an extra $100-$500 to have as backup!
  6. When you finally book your trip, add the actual expenses up and compare the expenses so far.
  7. Re-evaluate the actual expenses and adjust the budget accordingly.
  8. Keep track of your expenses on the trip and try to stay as close to your total as you can!
  9. Look for deals, coupons, savings opportunities in the area (sometimes hotels can let you know of deals or savings opportunities just by asking them).
  10. Have fun!

Vacation Budget Template

Use this template to help guide your savings plan.

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