Create Travel Budget:
Purchase When Travel Prices Fall at or Below Your Budget
A very critical element in travel planning is to create travel budget. After being inspired to narrow down your destination options this is the first step you should take in your trip planning. You must know your travel budget to calculate the best time to purchase your travel, in my opinion. It’s too easy to wait too long for a “Better” price on various travel elements. Without a travel budget to help trigger WHEN you purchase your travel, you can easily wait too long to purchase your travel. If this happens you’ll often see prices jump up, you’ll pay more and you’ll regret not having purchased when the rate was well within your budget.
What if I purchase travel because it is under my budget and it comes in cheaper later?
Shrug your shoulder and focus on the good times your going to have on your trip. Since you have purchased under budget you have still gotten a deal. In some cases you can go back and try to get a match on a lower price on a travel element. If you can do that, go ahead and try to get the better price. If not…again if you have set your travel budget and come in under…enjoy your trip and don’t waste any more time on something that you can no longer control. Nobody gets “The” best travel price on every travel element all the time. Pricing in travel is highly dynamic, changing all the time. You’ll just drive yourself crazy if all you think about is missing a better deal. When you create travel budget this should trigger your travel purchases.
“If you have found a good below budget deal, be pleased about the deal, book it and move on to focusing on enjoying your trip!”
What is your time worth?
Too often people miss coming in under budget with their travel purchases by waiting for that next better deal. Often, this next better deal does NOT come. When this happens you can often end up paying more. Often, when this next better deal does come, it comes with a price. Your Time! Often, you will have spent countless hours to save say $20. What is your time worth. If you spent another 5 hours to save $20 is it worth it? My time is worth more than $20 an hour and I would guess your time is as well.
What Travel Elements Should I Consider Budgeting For?
All of the below should be considered yet some won’t be applicable pending your specific trip:
- Ground Transportation – Shuttles/Taxis/Ferries/Sub-ways
- Airport Parking
- Home maintenance – Mowing the grass/Picking up your mail and such items
- Babysitting and/or Pet Sitting or housing
- Lodging – Hotel/Condo/Home Rental etc…
- Lodging Fee’s/Resort Fee’s
- Internet – Connectivity Fee’s/Internet Security (VPN)
- Destination Activities
- Childcare – Child Activities without parents present
- Gear – Skis/boat rental/sports equipment
- Travel Accessories – Luggage/Alarm Clocks/Power Adaptors/Backpacks/Luggage Locks
- Travel Insurance
- Weather Accessories – Clothing/Bug Spray/Sun Tan Lotion
- Communications access – International Phone Access/Sim Cards/Phones/Phone Dial Cards
While #’s 1, 6,9,10,11 will make up the majority of the expense on your trip, potentially all of the above item categories will drive your total trip cost and total trip budget.
Click Here to work through a travel budget spreadsheet we’ve put together to set your travel budget.
Know When To Book:
An example of knowing when to book would be the following:
1. You create travel budget for air for $400 per round-trip ticket.
2. During one of your price checks the air price round-trip from your airport to your desired destination comes in at $350 round-trip. It had previously been $410.
3. $350 being below $400 is well within your travel budget so you should go ahead and purchase your air ticket.
Of course you may also decide to rework your travel budget at this point. As you recognize savings with travel purchases against what you have budgeted, you have expanded your travel options. For example, if you saved $200 for a family of four on airfare you might decide to upgrade how much you’ll spend on lodging to trade the air savings for maybe a better quality hotel. Whether you keep the savings on a travel element purchase in your bank or transfer the savings to increase another travel element’s budget…this is up to you.
When you set your travel budget, however, you help provide structure to your trip planning that can save you time, help you take advantage of travel deals, help you know when to purchase and help to drive an overall better trip planning process. When the mystery and anxiety is taken away from your travel planning you can enjoy your actual trip that much more!
NOW THAT YOU’VE CREATED YOUR TRAVEL BUDGET: IT’S TIME TO SET YOUR PLANNING TIMELINE!