How to Manage Your Travel Expenses On Vacation

Traveling, especially for leisure, can be an exciting time in anyone’s life! When we get overwhelmed with the fun we are having, it is easy to take our wallets out at every chance we get because we are on holiday. Unfortunately, the expenses hit you once your vacation is over, and you’re wondering where all your money went. With some sensible steps, you can avoid overspending and manage your travel expenses without breaking the bank.

Photo Credit: Marie Maerz/ Shutterstock.

Your budget – having realistic expectations

Steps to take:

Step 1: An estimation of your overall costs

If you have never been there before, do some simple research on how much things cost at your travel destination. Look into the costs of your accommodation, flights, activities, food and drinks, and any other miscellaneous expenses you may incur. Online calculators can help you create a realistic budget. 

Step 2: Divide your overall costs into smaller chunks

Once you have an idea of how much money you should be taking with you or what you have available to spend, you should break it down further to the daily amounts. Don’t forget to keep within your budget.

Step 3: Needs vs. wants

Decide on what will be of most importance to you on your holiday. Is it leisure activities? Or dining out? That way, you can spend more on these and less on other things.

Your accommodation – making smart choices

Step 1: Look at a few possibilities

Comparing different vacation types, what they have to offer, and what they cost is highly beneficial before you book your trip. Things such as deals, early-bird prices, and booking directly with hotels instead of through a booking app can be cheaper. Getting value for your money isn’t difficult with the right knowledge. Resources such as this Times Travel website have helpful information on affordable holiday destinations and can help you make the right decision.

Step 2: You aren’t stuck to one option

Know that you aren’t stuck to choosing only one option of accommodation and that there are a variety of places you can stay at, such as an Airbnb, a holiday home rental, a hostel, or a resort. Self-catering places can also help you save money on eating out every day.

Food – budgeting on meals

Step 1: Plan your meals beforehand

If you are clued up about the food options around you, you can plan what to eat in advance and be smart about it—have lighter meals throughout the day and a proper meal for dinner, or vice versa. 

Step 2: Local grocers

Shopping at the local stores and cooking meals yourself, as mentioned above, if you’ve opted for self-catering accommodation, can help you stretch your budget further. Many holiday destinations have local markets where you can buy fresh produce. It can be a fun activity to immerse yourself in the culture.

Step 3: Tourist spots are usually more expensive

Experienced travelers know that local eateries are less expensive than tourist hot spots. Find out where the locals eat for a more cost-effective and authentic experience. Street food can be delicious! 

Getting around – transport and logistics costs

Step 1: Look into the public transport system

Renting a car or a taxi can be a lot more expensive than using public transport options such as buses, rickshaws, or trains. 

Step 2: When possible, use your legs

One of the best ways to explore any holiday destination is by walking. When you’re in a car or a bus, you miss any hidden gems inside smaller streets, alleyways, etc. Plus, it’s free to walk. Turn your trip into a walking holiday, and be sure to pack appropriately for the walk. Some advice can be found on this Explore! Website.

Step 3: Bike rentals

Nowadays, you can find bike rental options in most destinations as a way to go greener. Take advantage of this; it’s cheap, fun, and a great way to get around.

Additional things to think about for your budget

  • Look for free activities in the town, village, or city.
  • Book activities in advance for cheaper prices. One pass for multiple events can help here.
  • Keep in mind currency exchange fees.
  • Overall, keep track of your spending as you go along.