The most challenging part of travel is figuring out how much money you need. For those travelling All Inclusive or if you go on a Cruise ship or an organized tour, this part is easy as you book your airfare and your trip and you are done! However, for the remainder of us who travel on their own, it is often challenging to figure out how much saving we have to do before we can depart on our next adventure. I would love to hear from others how they figure out how much money they will need. Below is how I manage it:
Norway: One of the more expensive destinations
1) Flight- For those living in North America or for anyone going on long-haul flights, this would be the biggest expense that you may not be able to save on. Exceptions are if you are flexible on dates and destinations or are lucky to find a promotion.
2) Internal transportation – I have in the past underestimated how much it costs to fly or take a train. After learning my lesson, I try to estimate it prior to deciding if I can afford this destination or not. For example, a flight between Paris and Rome can easily be done for 50 Euros on no-frills airlines, however, it is impossible to fly in Canada without paying at least $250 US for a flight.
Egypt: You can go for less than $500US for a week!
3) Accommodation – This is something that you can control, you can stay in hostels or luxury hotels – it is up to you! Therefore, I typically set some money aside for accommodation and look for the cheapest place to stay on www.booking.com. While some cities like Paris maybe way more expensive than Prague, you can still get away with staying at a hostel or a basic hotel as a worst case scenario.
4) Exchange Rate – This is probably one of the more critical parts for budgets which unfortunately many people miss. If you are coming from a country where the exchange rate is strong compared to a country you are planning to visit than everything would be much cheaper. Therefore, you may not even need to worry about a budget at the destination. For example, going to Vietnam a Coca Cola bottle will cost you about $0.40-$0.50 US compared to Iceland where it would cost around $2-2.50 US. There are many sites which can tell you the average prices which you can compare to back home. This will give you an indication of what multiplier to use when looking at cost of food, sightseeing, and local transportation.
At the end of the day, money should never be a reason why you do not go travelling. If you only have one or two thousand dollars than the developing world maybe more affordable, or maybe explore somewhere new that is not too far from home! Alternatively, I have been able to save for travel by minimizing eating out, going out and decreasing shopping for non necessities to a minimum! Happy Travels!