Ask Away...: Budgeting on Vacation

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Budgeting on Vacation


photo by mynameisharshavia PhotoRee


It's already expensive to take a vacation these days, so the fact that you have to also cover expenses for drinks, meals, tourist attractions, and cab fare is not at all fun when planning a vacation.   And if you are already on the budget I posted about before, there are several ways to incorporate vacation expenses into your planning.

Here are tips to make sure you don't go into more debt from a vacation!

1. Save up ahead of time
Every paycheck, put a little bit of money away, even if it's on a yearly basis before you know where you're going on vacation.  

2. Plan out your vacation activities
Make sure you have an idea of what restaurants and local eateries you want to check out as well as the tourist attractions you want to see.  Then research the prices for each. 

 
3. Eat Cheap and Local
Instead of going to chain restaurants check out local places that are small businesses or family owned.   They tend to have more reasonable prices and better customer service.  More specifically...
Breakfast:  Check out local cafes and coffee shops
Lunch: Street vendors or sandwich shops are best
Dinner:   If you MUST get an appetizer - split it.  And skip dessert and grab ice cream from a street vendor.  MUCH cheaper!
**Order water with your meal! Not only is it free but it will keep you hydrated while you're running around !

4. Plan FREE Activities 
If you plan one activity a day, and you are going on a 5 day vacation, make sure you choose free scenery activities on 2 of the days. 
 Examples: beach, walking trails, strolling around town, statues, etc.

5. Be Budget Friendly When Packing
Pack comfortable shoes for walking so that you can 1. Save money on cab fare or car rentals and 2. Burn off the extra calories from the meals you eat.  Also, be sure to pack snacks and protein bars so that you can munch on those in between meals so you're not starving at dinner time.  When you are starving, you tend to order bigger meals that cost more and then you end up eating less.  
**Save on meal costs by packing breakfast bars!

BONUS TIP
Set specific allowances for each meal and each day's activity. 
If you budget out $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $30 for dinner, you will be more disciplined when selecting items off the menu.  Trust me, it works! 


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