How to decide your travel budget

Travel is as expensive as you want it to be. I truly believe that everyone has it in their budget to travel. What everyone doesn’t have is a budget to stay in an overwater bungalow suite in Bora Bora for two weeks. That’s ok. Traveling within your means is better than not traveling at all.

It is important to know what your preferred travel style is and what you are capable of budgeting for. Personally, I’m not going to have my clothes crammed in a backpack I have to strap to my back, and stay at hostels. So I must budget my travel fund accordingly.  

What should you budget for travel?

People always want to know what it’s going to cost for their dream trip to (fill in the blank). 

How much you will need require you taking a lot of things into consideration. Your destination, time of year, and travel style will play the biggest factors.

For the types of trips I plan in popular destinations like Italy, I know that the majority of my clients are going to average $300 - $400 per day, per person.  That’s because I am factoring in so many parts of their experience beyond just what their hotel costs each night.

To try and visualize what I am talking about, take a look at my suggested Italy Itinerary that provides a 2 week trip throughout the country, hitting some of the most popular and well-visited areas, and staying in some of my favorite properties. This itinerary, including flights, will probably be around $10,000. If you do the math, that breaks down to around $350 per day/per person. 

Can you travel to Italy for less? Absolutely. But you must know your preferred travel style and plan for that accordingly.

How much should you spend on a vacation to Italy

Do you need a 5 star property with the top amenities, or are you comfortable finding an AirBnB without room service and nobody to make your bed every day? 

Would you like a VIP tour of the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the public, or are you ok heading out on your own without a tour guide?

Do you prefer being picked up at the airport and delivered to your hotel, or can you manage figuring out the city’s public transportation? 

These types of questions will help you understand the budget you need, and prevent shock when you arrive home and see your credit card bill. 

However, you should allow (and budget for) the occasional splurge. Your budget should not feel like a ball and chain around your ankle, and make you miss out on experiences that are an important component of that destination.  

What to budget for your vacation

For me, this almost always involves food. I happily splurge on food and know that my best memories are shared over a meal and an amazing glass of wine. 

I will also gladly spend for those experiences I can’t have at home. Once in a lifetime really does mean something to me, and I want to go home knowing that I invested in some pretty amazing memories.

Does your travel fund need to be built or does it need to be put to the side? 

If you are putting it to the side, actually do that. Have an account set up so that there is a specific amount of cash that has a purpose. It’s not there for a shopping spree, unless that shopping spree is happening in Paris! 

If you are developing a plan to save up, you must decide when you are going, how much you are budgeting to spend for your vacation based on your travel style, and work backwards.  It becomes simple math if you decide that a year from now you need X amount of dollars to go to Ireland, and you would rather stay in castles than bed and breakfasts.

I hope this helps move your closer to your next dream vacation, and plan accordingly! Contact me if you are ready to start putting together your next amazing trip.