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How to work out a budget for on-trip expenses

How to work out a budget for on-trip expenses

28 Aug 2017 Angela Matthews Experiences, Travel Tips

You’ve chosen your travel destination, meticulously planned your flights, and have booked your accommodation. All the hard work is done, right? Not quite.

While these plans do naturally make up the bulk of your budget, they don’t account for the many on-trip expenses that, if not planned for, can throw your initial estimates out completely. You should spend as much time thinking about your everyday travel costs as you do when selecting the perfect flight.

There is no textbook method to begin planning this part of your budget, as your location and many other variables will determine the way you split up your budget. That said, there is definite list of standard on-trip expenses you should plan for.

Mobile phone and internet usage

Wi-Fi accessibility depends on the country you’re visiting, so check beforehand to determine if you can rely on this or if you’ll need to pay for roaming calls. If possible, book into hotels with Wi-Fi included, but do double check if there are limits to the number of devices you can connect.

Hustle and buses

Again, do your research carefully to determine the most affordable means of transportation in the area you’re visiting. There are countless options these days thanks to the rise of Uber as well as ridesharing services such as Lyft, and they are potentially cheaper than traditional cabs or buses. If you’re looking to rent a car, you’ll have to factor in fuel costs. Of course, your personal needs matter too; perhaps a rental car is the only option you’re willing to consider, which means you’ll need to compromise on other expenses.

To eat or not to eat?

That's a question you shouldn’t have to ask! You need to eat, and since you’re treating yourself to a holiday, we imagine you’d like to eat well, too. We suggest starting with looking up some local fast food menus as well as a few pricier restaurant options for special occasions to gauge how much your favourite types of food will cost.  If you’re a wine connoisseur and know that you’ll be indulging in a few glasses, consider that Asia is 25% more expensive than Europe or Australia when it comes to that lovely glass of red or white – these region-specific price differences can dramatically impact your budget.

General Activities 

If you’ve got any special visits to museums, landmarks, concerts, or sporting events planned, ensure you include the cost of entry in your budget – the last thing you’d want, is to skip something you’ve anticipated because you neglected to check costs beforehand. As lovely as tours are, these costs can add up quickly.

Expect the unexpected

Every city or country has its unique quirks, and no amount of research is too much. Have a look at travel blogs that cover your destination and take note of any unusual costs such as tipping expectations, which differ wildly from one region to the next.

Getting your budget organised for on-trip expenses will help you to set realistic expectations for your trip and allow you to focus on the decisions that really matter: what time you’ll wake up, how many hours you’ll spend lazing on the beach, and whether you should have another two servings of that local delicacy or not…


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