How to Budget a Vacation
It may seem depressing to consider actually budgeting a vacation, but if you know how to budget a vacation you won't end up staying inside a cheap hotel room, dreaming of being rich.
- Decide how much you can spend. Every vacation has a limit—whether you officially budget it or not. Decide how much you can spend on your vacation based on the impact that amount will have on your savings.
Plan the destination, transportation and lodging expense. The most expensive part of most vacations is transportation to the location and lodging. The closer you are to home on your vacation, the less expensive some of these costs may be. Choose a destination and time of year that offers cheap airline tickets or that you can get to by driving. For lodging, try to take advantage of off-season specials and look at bed and breakfasts as a reasonable alternative to big name hotels.
- Determine how much you have left. Subtract your transportation and lodging expenses from your total budget and see what is left.
- Determine which attractions are a "must-see" and set aside money for them. You probably don't need to see every attraction within your vacation destination, so just choose a couple that you feel you can't possibly miss.
- Look for free activities. There are many free activities in every area—from parks to beaches, shopping centers to gardens. Find out what free events and destinations your vacation location has.
- Budget for food. You can review restaurant menus online and choose which restaurants you can afford before you leave. Don't be afraid to add in a couple of cheap fast food meals to help tame your budget.
Posted on: Feb. 28, 2010