Budgeting

Budgeting for a trip

When budgeting for a trip, be it embarking on a gap year or taking a two week jolly to Ibiza, one thing to remember is when you’re away from home you could burn through your money very fast.

Plan Ahead

Even before you set foot on an aeroplane plan ahead and do some research on the countries you intend visiting. If you know you are going to spend two months in one country and only two weeks in another, create a budget planner covering food and drink, accommodation and entertainment for each day or week and try and stick to this budget.

If you can, divide your savings up and allocate them for the countries you are visiting. You’ll soon see, if you start dipping into money allocated for another country you’ll be home sooner than you thought.

Upfront Costs

When taking a gap year some of your biggest expenditure will be required upfront i.e. your airline ticket, travel insurance, visa costs and possessions. Whatever you have left over in your budget, will be your living costs whilst you are away travelling. If you are travelling for 12 months, apply for a working holiday visa for Australia or New Zealand or both. If you are lucky enough to be granted a working holiday visa this is great to fall back on if funds are running dry.

Book in advance

Along with food and drink, accommodation is going to be one of your biggest expenditures. By booking in advance, not only are you guaranteed a bed for the night, but also you may find it slightly cheaper than turning up on the day with no guarantee of a bed.

Consider joining a hostel membership scheme such as the YHA. For a minimal yearly fee the YHA offers its members discounted prices over non-members and with hundreds of hostels located around the world they will often pre-book your next hostel for you.

Look around for the best deal

If you are looking at doing several activities and tours whilst you are away travelling, compare different companies to see what they offer. This may go against the grain but don’t always go for the cheapest option. You want to make sure you are getting the best experience and value for money. Talk to other travellers, most people will always be happy to talk about their experiences and to recommend a good tour or activity.

Student/ISIC Cards

Arrange to get a student / ISIC card before you go travelling and always carry it with you. These cards are accepted all over the world and can offer some great discounts.

Barter

If you want to try your hand at bartering give it a go, but remember bartering may not be acceptable where you are planning on travelling. Do a little research before you go, as a visitor in a foreign country you must always respect that country’s culture. Bartering may seem daunting at first if you have never done it before, always pay what you believe is an acceptable price. If you believe the price is too high then walk away.