Having returned from a fun filled and exciting trip to Yellowstone, this guest post couldn’t have been offered at a better time. I immediately accepted this post from Gemma. I am not a budget guy who plan for every minute expense. Naturally, I don’t budget for vacation travel. The extra income I earned from the blog helped us cover most of the cost towards the trip. Enjoy the post!
Splashing out on holidays must surely be the highlight of any family’s year. Learning to do so responsibly, and with some element of forethought when it comes to proper financial planning, is something that’s difficult but necessary to master.
Setting a holiday budget well in advance
The first thing to do is to make a budget at least 9 months before you intend to travel on holiday. One way is to make a budget on Excel where you can list your monthly income and, below it, all of your monthly outgoings.
Use the algorithm function to generate the net difference, which, hopefully for the sake of your holiday fund, will be in the black!
By multiplying this number by 9 (although you should bear in mind that the monthly net figure may change from month to month, so keep it updated), you can work out how much you will be able to save over the 9-month period.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’re travelling as a couple for two weeks of holiday abroad, you should budget £3,000 to cover flights for two, a hotel for that duration, and spending money while you’re there.
Bringing in some extra holiday cash
If you’re worried that your holiday fund is not quite that bountiful, there are extra ways you can earn some money. Consider having a spring clear-out of unused or unwanted possessions: DVDs, books, clothes, furniture, etc.
Selling these items through eBay or a similar website can generate a few extra pounds, just in time for your holiday. Equally, however, you may wish to do this clear-out before you start saving so you can book your holiday far in advance and possibly score a better rate.
(Related – Quick Cash – How to Earn Money Fast)
Be cost efficient while away
Another thing to consider is saving to make your holiday fund go further. If you’re staying in a hotel for the duration, consider shopping locally at a supermarket and making your own breakfast and lunches.
This will mean you can still enjoy intimate and delicious dinners in the evenings, but that you can be more practical and cost efficient in the daytime. Similarly, ask yourself if you really need to buy new clothes before your summer holiday!
Quite often we wear fewer clothes than we predict will wear on holiday, so you can save a pretty penny by being more frugal with your pre-departure shopping.
(Related – 101 Ways to Save Money Everyday)
Have an emergency fund!
An element of common sense and safety comes into play when you are travelling abroad on a budget. It is strongly recommended that you put a percentage of your budget to one side, in a safe place in your hotel room (ideally, a safe deposit box);
This will ensure that should something unexpected happen to you, you at least have a fund for emergency travel, or for food or any other necessities. As a rule, you may place 10 per cent of your spending money to one side for this purpose.
…and remember to have fun!
Holidays are all about having fun, relaxing, and letting loose – and this should remain your biggest concern. Do ensure that you are sensible when it comes to everything financial by setting a budget, sticking to it, trying to earn a little extra cash before leaving to cover incidental expenses, and finding ways to be more cost efficient while you are away.
If you do, you will have an even bigger smile on your face by the end!
About the Author: Gemma Stone is a travel fundi who spent a year back-packing in Nepal. She is based in London but one of her biggest interests is sniffing out budget holidays that don’t break the bank and yet provide a means to explore the world.
SB’s Thoughts: A trip out with family is perhaps the best gift you can give to them throughout the year. Even if you have a cash crunch a outing for few days is something you must plan for. Biking, camping, fishing trips, etc are cost effective and fun at the same time.
Going to a places a few hours driving distance, will save you flight ticket cost (Read – 8 Tricks to Get Cheap Flight Tickets). And, if you are really looking forward to a expensive holiday as a treat to your family and as a relaxation from the hectic day job you have, I strongly suggest you follow the guidelines above.
For us, the next trip will be a in late December to a place so far unknown. Will keep you updated in due course, readers.
Tell us more about how you go on planning for your trip. How do you build fund and how do you budget for it?