Budgeting for a vacation

A vacation with a big budget doesn’t mean that it will be more memorable than one on a shoestring. The problem isn’t how much money you have, but how you use it. Don’t let your fear of budgeting turn your vacation into a disaster.


An incredible vacation depends on several factors: your companion, destination, time, health, and most of all: your budget – an indispensable factor.

A calculation of your budget before your trip will give you control over every situation, especially if an accident happens in a strange place. Instead of having only a rough idea of potential expenses in your head, you should outline a specific spending plan.

Decide how much to spend and your ideal length of stay

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Budgeting for a vacation

The destination you decide to go to largely comes down to your budget. The first problem you need to solve is the maximum budget you can spend for each person during the trip and that depends on your salary and savings.

Next, you should decide the maximum length of stay. The longer the trip, the smaller your daily budget. If your trip is short, you can spend more money each day. You can adjust the length of your holiday on the go, because sometimes the destination may not be as appealing as you anticipate, or vice versa, you need more time to explore. Plans are only plans that serve as guidelines for a great vacation.

Flights and accommodation for the vacation

You can save a lot of money if you know how to book cheap flights. You can do more than just search for flights on the official website of an airline. Thanks to growing demands from tourists, many OTAs can help you hunt down the best deals and give you optimal choices. Social media is also a useful tool. You can participate in Facebook groups dedicated to sharing information about or exchanging flight tickets.

Agoda is an online travel agent that helps you book cheap hotels in Asia. You can also find deals on promotional sites. Reserving a room is important when visiting a new destination, especially during the holidays when hotels are expected to be over-booked.

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Budgeting for a vacation

Once you decide, make bookings and reservations as quickly as possible. If you delay, the cost can rise and you may have to revise your plan.

Very few people buy travel insurance because they want to save money. No one wants accidents to happen, but you cannot anticipate every situation. Even when things go smoothly and you have the best vacation of your life, spending money on travel insurance is a good idea as to its buys you peace of mind during the trip.

Create a summary list of expenses

Once you have set your budget and know the maximum duration of the trip and the cost of flights and hotels, it is essential to make a detailed plan. This plan can include details of your destination and services offered there. For example, if you wish to spend 10 million VND during your 5 days in Danang, you will need to account for a day trip to Hoi An in Quang Nam Province.

You can find information on the Internet or from friends and map out things like eating lunch at Mrs Buoi or spending 500,000 VND to buy souvenirs. You need to plan for the most basic spending, but you don’t need to include everything. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned, but having the details will save you time later on.

Your destination does not only depend on cost. Dining, sightseeing, and shopping are the real experiences of every trip. You should get to know Google Destination, which suggests an appropriate destination based on your budget and dates. Mastering technology will save you from a few headaches when planning a trip.

Backpackers, who wish to explore new countries and regions, should check out websites like Solo Travel or TrekHard. It’s great to know the daily average cost of your backpacking destination. Don’t expect an exact figure, but this number will usually be accurate.

Extra cash

Don’t forget that you can run into trouble at any time. You may lose your return ticket, or shop until you drop during a sale. In case you are pickpocketed or run out of cash, make sure to have your ATM or credit card with you. You should always have some small change on you because there are many situations that require it: paying for tuk tuk rides in Thailand or buying a tasty snack on the streets of Cambodia.

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Budgeting for a vacation

If you are driving, bring money for gas and backup tools in case there’s some problem with your vehicle. Don’t bring just the money that you’ve estimated. If you don’t have enough money for your grandiose plan, don’t hesitate to re-plan.

You have worked hard for a long time before deciding to go on a nice vacation; so don’t let it become a disaster because of your inability to plan. Money management skills will not only help you during your vacation but in all aspects of life.

Thuy Linh | Wanderlust Tips

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