Sunday, 15 October 2017

A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Travel Expenses

The moment we get a job, we start dreaming about our bucket list and even swear to strike off all the destinations. Some people imagine getting wasted on the beaches of Goa with friends, whereas some are determined to finally travel overseas. No matter the destinations, we are worried about the trip expense. 

Vacations are expected to be spiritually and physically relaxing and with friends around, we don't want to nag about how much we're spending. So, with a serpentine bucket list yet to conquer, how to manage expenses, and sticking to them still remains unanswered. Read further for a step-by-step guide to managing money when on the #wanderlust mode.













PACK A TRAVEL JOURNAL

About a week back, I had mentioned about carrying a journal when you travel. This post would be an extension of that idea. As I had shared in that post how you can use your travel journal to write down expenses, I would further share how you can do that, while strategising them.

SET A DAILY BUDGET

The key here is to set a daily budget. For instance, every destination has its own value. Some places are expensive whereas some are dirt cheap. Also, factors like the mode of transport, hotel ratings, etc. are determining factors. Keeping that in mind, set a daily budget. On my recent Goa Gokarna trip, I had fixed my daily budget as Rs. 1,000. This budget included the stay, food, and the travel costs per person. (Mind you; shopping does not fall under this category, therefore, shop at your own risk.)

THINK – CAN YOU GO BEYOND YOUR BUDGET?

It may so happen that you set a budget to squeeze your trip within lesser rupees, but secretly, you have that 'limit' that you can afford. For my trip which was 10 days long, my daily budget was Rs. 1,000, which made my total travel budget as Rs. 10,000 (10 days x Rs. 1,000). However, back in my mind, I knew that I would be fine to spend few extra thousands. 

Depending on your bank balance and the priorities in your life, set an extended budget along with a daily budget. Can you afford to spend more than the daily budget? (Note: The extended budget includes your shopping expenses.) If you can spend a little more, then take that into consideration as well.

WRITING DOWN EXPENSES

Now we come to the point when you're actually travelling. In your journal, apart from mentioning crucial bits like the places you visited, the restaurants you ate at, and the people you met, unmistakably, do write your daily expenses down. You can do this at the end of each day before you hit the bed. If your journal is a mini diary, then dedicate one page for one day. 

To make the task easier, follow this format:

           15/10
Hotel           450
Breakfast      80
Lunch          120
Travel          100
Dinner         200
                    950

REVIEWING THE DAILY BUDGET

When on the trip, as you go through each page, you'll get an idea of how well you're sticking to the daily budget. If the budget is Rs. 1,000 a day, then exceeding it each day by few thousands is alarming. However, if it's moving above by a few hundreds only, then you're still fairing well. In the former case, you need to save money in the coming days of your trip, sometimes, even spending below your daily budget. 

Once you're through with these steps, I'm sure you would travel within budget (or the 'extended' budget). Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy more and worry less about your bank statements. Bon voyage!