Planning a summer trip?
When the time comes to take off for your adventure, you don’t want to be in the dark about your budget - or penniless. Figuring out your travel budget is the best road to successful and fun summer travels.
How to figure out how much your trip will cost
When you’re putting together a budget for your trip abroad, there are a lot of considerations to add up. To figure out how much your trip will cost, put together a list of how you will travel, what you will do and where you plan to stay.
One of the biggest expenses will be airfare to and from your destinations. It is best to book international flights well in advance to save money. Once you know the date of your excursion, get your tickets right away, even if you have a few months before you leave. Fortunately, traveling between countries in Europe through airlines is pretty cheap, so if you plan to go to more than one country, you won’t have to pay too much for these short flights.
Europe has some of the best public transportation in the world at affordable costs, and it’s fairly easy to hop across the continent on trains and buses. From high-speed rail to efficient underground subways, many countries offer bundle deals for travelers. Depending on how many places you are visiting, you might be able to get a group of five tickets for longer train rides at a discounted price.
Hotels and hostels
A popular way to travel across Europe is to hostel hop. With inexpensive prices geared toward young people, you can stay in a dorm-style room for around $20 per night. Rooms may cost more or less, depending on how many people are staying there. Hostels can be a great experience for young people and give you the opportunity to meet other travelers from around the world. With so many sprinkled across the world, it is important to find one close to public transportation and in a safe area.
Calculating how much you will spend on food can be a little more difficult than your transportation costs, because you probably won’t be cooking much while traveling. If you’re staying at a youth hostel, there might be a communal kitchen where you can cook a meal or two with friends or other guests, but most likely you’re going to be eating out often. Think about how much you spend per meal going out in your hometown.
Attractions and tours
As a student, you might be able to get into a lot of places at a discount or even for free. As a foreign visitor, however, you might end up having to pay full price at certain museums and attractions. Without carefully budgeting these costs, you could end up overspending. Beyond cost, it’s important to think about which sights you really want to see - you might not be able to get to all of them during your time abroad. Choose a few that are your top priority and look online or call ahead to see how much admission runs. European countries have world-famous museums and historical tours you won’t want to miss.
Perhaps the greatest joy of traveling is shopping in a different culture. For a shopping budget, it might be better to overestimate how much you think you will spend. How much you should buy will depend on how much room is left in your luggage or backpack, as you will probably have to carry whatever you buy with you on your entire trip. If you buy bigger items, it is possible to ship goods home, but it will cost more.
Put the plan into action
Once you figure out these costs, you will have your goal and need to know how you plan to finance your adventure. If Mom and Dad or other relative are pitching in, ask them how much of your budget they are willing to cover. With the remaining balance and the time until your departure, start saving each month so you will be able to fully enjoy your trip.
The information contained in this article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice and its authors make no claims about its accuracy or completeness. The authors of this article do not hold themselves out as providing any legal, tax, financial or other advice and do not make any recommendations or endorsements as to any investment, financial plan or any other product or services. The materials contained in this article do not constitute advice and you should not rely on any material in this article to make, or refrain from making, any decision. As laws and regulations change frequently, we cannot guarantee that the information contained in this article is current or applicable to your specific circumstances. Laws and regulations may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Legal, tax and financial advice must always be tailored to your specific circumstances and nothing in this article should be viewed as a substitute for the advice of competent legal, tax or financial advisors.