Are you tired of your day to day routine? Longing for warm sunshine and soft sand? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to experience Mardi Gras in the vibrant streets of New Orleans? Maybe a vacation is just what you need! Sounds great, but vacations do take money. Follow this step-by-step guide to creating a budget for your next vacation and you will be well on your way to hitting the sand or the streets, or both!
1) Determine your destination.
This is perhaps the decision that will affect your budget the most. If you want to travel half-way across the world to a remote village in Thailand, you will obviously need a larger budget than if you want to take a road trip to a vacation hot-spot located within a few hours of your home. Once your destination is determined, you will need to calculate travel costs.
2) Decide the length of your vacation.
Do you want to take a 3 day mini-vacation? Or do you prefer a 4 week escape? Your budget will increase the longer your vacation.
3) Choose your lodging preference.
Is a 4-star hotel your style, or would an affordable VRBO fit your vacation needs? Researching what lodging costs in your preferred locale is essential to determining an accurate budget.
4) Decide what you will do for meals.
Will you eat out for every meal, or will you purchase groceries and cook for yourself most nights? Research food costs for the place you will be vacationing. Schedule an itinerary if possible in order to set up a realistic food budget. Remember to budget for 3 meals per day, plus snacks. Also, many places charge for water.
5) Determine your choice of transportation once you arrive.
Will you drive your vehicle or rent a car? Will you take a train or a cab? Research transportation costs at your destination and plan accordingly.
6) Choose any extra activities you want to experience.
Have you always wanted to swim with the dolphins or visit the Louvre? Decide what activities are important for you to experience on vacation and include those costs in your budget.
Now it is all about saving! It works well to put a specific amount aside each paycheck. For example, if your vacation budget is $4,000 and you intend to take the vacation in a year you will need to set aside approximately $334 per month. By setting aside this money monthly you will ensure you have the funds necessary when vacation time rolls around and therefore you can relax and enjoy your time off.
Lastly, enjoy your vacation! You have planned and saved, now it is time to relax and have a wonderful time!