wikiHow to Create a Travel Budget

Whether you are planning a weekend at the beach, or a year traveling around the world, you will need to budget the amount of money you plan to spend. If you do not plan on spending a certain amount, you might find yourself running out of money quicker than you wanted to. Create a travel budget by planning your expected expenses for transportation, lodging, food, entertainment and other miscellaneous items.


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    Save money for your trip before you leave. Increase your travel budget by putting away what you can while you are planning your trip.
    • Open a savings account specifically for your travel plans. Work overtime or take on extra jobs to save some money, and cut spending where you can leading up to your trip.
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    Budget for transportation. Set aside an amount you want to spend on getting to your destination, getting home and getting around while you travel.
    • Include projected airfare, rental cars, parking, gas, taxis, trains, bus fare, and any other expense related to transportation while you are away.
    • Get an idea of what you will pay for airfares, rental car fees and train prices by talking to a travel agent, reservation agent or going online to research the rates for the times and destinations you are planning to travel.
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    Consider your lodging expenses. This will include hotels, resorts and bed and breakfast locations in any of the places you visit.
    • Budget on a per-night basis or for the overall trip when it comes to lodging. For example, your travel budget could include $1,000 in lodging expenses, or you could budget $75 per night for hotels.
    • Look for hotel rates on sites such as Expedia, Kayak, Roomer, Orbitz and Hotwire. This will help you estimate the costs in your lodging budget.
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    Include a food budget that will cover your meals, drinks and snacks.
    • Expect to eat out for every meal if you are staying in a hotel or traveling to many different locations.
    • Budget for groceries if you stay in a place that includes a kitchen, or you will be traveling in a motor home and able to prepare your own meals and snacks.
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    Decide how much you want to spend on entertainment. Some of what you experience when you travel will be free, but budget for park fees, tickets, shows, excursions and other special events.
    • Look for prices on things such as amusement parks, national parks and museums by checking out guide books for the area. You can also visit websites to get an idea of how much your entertainment costs will run.
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    Consider what you will need to spend on incidentals. For example, if you are vacationing at the beach, you will need to buy sunscreen and possibly rent an umbrella.
    • Put aside a little bit of money for emergencies. This will protect the rest of your travel budget if you need to get something unexpected at the pharmacy, replace a ticket that you lost or pay for a long distance phone call from a pay phone in another country.
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    Remember to budget for gifts and souvenirs. This is probably the area of your travel budget that you have the most control over.
    • Set aside an amount you are willing to spend, and do not go over your souvenir budget. Your travel memories can be captured with pictures and stories.
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    Take into consideration currency conversion when you travel internationally. Once you have your travel budget created, figure out how much you will need in the right currency.
    • Find conversion rates at your bank or other financial institution. You can also go online to get currency rates. Try
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    Create your travel budget online. Sites such as Budget Your Trip and Saving For Travel provide tools that will help you figure out how much you need to budget for transportation, lodging, food and other expenses.
    • Set up an account and provide all of your trip details. The site will help you do your math and calculate how much money you will need in your travel budget.


  • Look for ways to keep your travel budget reasonable. For example, consider traveling during off peak seasons, visit areas where you can stay with friends instead of paying for hotels, and be willing to skip lunch or snacks while you are on the road.
  • Remember to pay any bills that will be due while you are gone. Pay them before you leave, or arrange for automatic payments from your bank account.

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