In spite of world events, travel is still an activity that continues to be extremely popular. People will still have the desire to see new places and experience new things in the way that only travel can give them. Because of the importance of travel, an affordable and relatively pain free experience is high on the traveler’s adjenda. A successful trip starts off with proper planning, but many beginner travelers don’t realize that planning your travel budget, is just as important as planning your travel itinerary. The more successful you are with creating a budget that will work for your itinerary, the happier you will be about your travel experience.
Outside of major mishaps that can occur during travel, such as bad weather, theft, and mechanical breakdown, there are some costs that many travelers forget to take into account when budgeting for their trip. These are costs that can’t usually be avoided, but can be easily planned for.
1. Extra Hotel Charges
When most people book hotels online, most times they don’t see the extra taxes and fees included in the prices that are quoted. Sometimes when the quote is given, it will include estimated taxes, but the quote may not list the exact cost. Therefore, you should plan your budget to include unexpected taxes.
Other costs could be movies charged to the hotel room, tipping the concierge, and room service. These charges can vary greatly depending upon how often they are used. Movies charged to a hotel room can be as much as $10 per movie, and room service is usually more expensive than eating out at a restaurant.
The key is to determine before hand, a daily budget for extra hotel charges and stay within that budget. If you choose one day to go over your budget, use it from any leftover balance you may have from the previous days. If you use any of your daily alotment designated for the future days, you run the risk of spending all of your budget for extra hotel charges before your stay is up. Some self control is obviously required, however, it can also lead to having enough to do something really extravagant on your last day.
2. Transportation Costs
Transportation costs include expenses such as cab, bus, or train fares, any rentals of cars, bikes or motorcycles, and also gasoline and parking costs for rented vehicles. Many travelers will take into account the major costs such as car rentals, and even some occasional fares, but may leave out other required costs such as parking, and gas which can add up.
If you plan to travel to a destination where you will need to rent a car, it is a good idea to plan for at least $30 per day for every day you have the car, for parking expenses and gasoline. This amount can vary depending upon the destination, but if you are planning on being in a metropolitan area, you will find out that your $30 daily budget can be eaten away quite easily.
If you are driving to your destination, you should calculate the milage you get per gallon of your vehicle and then calculate the distance you need to drive to your destination and determine how many gallons of gasoline it will take you to get to your destination. Take the national average of the price of a gallon of gasoline, and add an extra 15% on top of that. Then you can determine how much it would cost to get to your destination by car. You should also add the cost of at least two tankfulls of gas once you are at your destination if you plan on using the vehicle after you arrive.
If you plan to use the public transportation system, you can look in any number of the latest guide books to find the expected costs of bus and train fares at your destination. Once you know these, and know your itinerary, you can make a reasonable guess on what your daily budget would be for public transportation. Always add an additional 10-15% for contingencies.
3. Special Attractions and Events
Costs for special attractions and events can really creep into your expenses when you are either traveling to your destination or are at your destination. Occasionally, featured attractions, or other events will pop up on your radar as you go through your itinerary.
When making travel plans, make sure you consider the trip in addition to your hotel stays along the way, food, and gasoline. Most travelers don’t take into account how they will feel as they are traveling. It could be that at some point along the way, everyone in the car is really getting on everyone’s last nerve, and a movie, or a half day at the amusement park will put everyone in a better mood to complete the trip without it resembling a Jerry Springer episode. Or it could be that your favorite band is performing in the city you will be driving though, and you just can’t pass up that opportunity.
It is usually difficult to know of every last thing before you start your trip, but you should still budget for unexpected activities you may want to do on your way to your destination. It will make traveling much more fun and spontaneous.
Planning your travel budget is something that can be a bit of an art, but there are decisions you can make that will make it less likely you will run out of money before your trip ends. Just take into account your everyday costs and will greatly increase your chances in establishing a budget that will give you enough money to complety your trip with minimal drama. You can easily find information and tips online to help you with your travel plans when setting your budget limits. Go online today to find these resources.
Copyright 2006 B Hopkins