Calculating the cost of travel for your next vacation can help in having a more planned out travel approach and it could just help you save some money.
1- Estimate travel budget for chosen transport mode.
Before you can begin to calculate travel costs, you’ll have to first decide your preferred mode of transport, amount will vary for each.
For a car, you’ll want to take into account the gas price for the trip, if you don’t own a car but plan on renting one, multiply the car rental rate by the number of days you intend on using the car.
With this you should be able estimate your rental budget, choosing the ones with a great mileage can help you save fuel costs too.
Side note: Calculate the fuel needed.
If it’s a road trip, you can plan transport more efficiently by calculating the total budget for getting to your destination.
After determining the total amount of miles to be covered, you can then calculate the needed amount of fuel by dividing your car’s mileage by the total miles to be covered for your trip.
So for example, your car’s mileage is 30 miles and you’re going from Los Angeles to Santa Monica, assuming the total distance to be covered on the map is 300 miles, then the total amount of purchased fuel needed to reach the destination (Santa Monica) would be 300 ÷ 30 = 10.
The total amount of fuel needed to get to Santa Monica would average to 10 gallons of fuel, we can further budget for the amount spent on the total amount of fuel required.
To do this, we would just take the amount of fuel required and multiply it by the average fuel price.
So building off of our previous example, 10 gallons being the total amount of fuel required for the trip and $20 being the assumed average fuel cost per gallon, to estimate the total cost of fuel price, that would be 10 x 20 = 200.
Meaning that the budget for your total fuel price to reaching Santa Monica would be $200.
If you’d like to determine your estimated arrival time for the road trip (excluding any unforseen delays or stops), then you would simply divide the total distance (300 miles) by your car’s speed (30 mph) which will equal to 10 hours.
Pro tip: Buy fuel in the morning.
Later on in the day, temperature increases and with this also comes a change in fuel density, buying fuel in the morning means you’ll be getting more fuel for the same amount.
If you aren’t using a car for transport then you should consider estimating the total cost of a roundabout trip for your destination, the process would then be something like:
• Finding out the ticket cost of a roundabout airplane trip.
• Roundabout ticket cost for a cruise ship.
• Roundabout ticket cost for a train
This is also the calculation you’ll make for any other mode of transport. It’s also a good idea to compare different transport modes to figure out which one you find more beneficial.
2- Consider services or activities you’ll be getting involved.
Another thing to account for when calculating a travel budget would be services and activities.
Services would be things like ordering food on a train or opting for premium services like a first-class airplane travel.
Activities would be things you’ve booked or will be paying for ahead of time in en route or in your destination like visiting an amusement park, eating at a fancy restaurant you’ve researched or even a day at the spa.
Side note: Research your destination.
Doing some background check into your destination’s lifestyle might help gain perspective on how to better manage your finances there or even if you’d like to visit that destination.
Pro tip: Get travel insurance.
Its very important to have a travel insurance for those times you might have spent money but aren’t able to get value for your payment, a travel insurance can reimburse those expenses.
Typically, you wanna make sure you’re insuring things like trip-cancellation or trip-interruption and other prepaid expenses whereby you won’t get a full refund if you had to cancel the trip.
3- Don’t forget your lodging.
Lodging is also another important aspect of travel planning, once you’ve browsed different lodgings and come to your concluded choice, be sure to take this into account when preparing your travel budget.
Calculate your hotel budget by multiplying their rate per day by the number of days you intend on staying.
So for instance, if the hotel had a rate of $500 per day and you’ll be staying for 4 days, that means your estimated lodging budget would be $2000.
Side note: Travel agencies are another option.
If you’re not too sure how to get around once you’ve arrived at your destination, the service of a travel agency can be helpful, just keep in mind the fee you’ll be paying them for their services.
Pro tip: Browse anonymously.
When searching for lodgings to stay at your destination, try browsing in incognito mode, this is because if at some point you’ve visited that site before and revisit it, it’s likely that the rates on that website would have increased due to cookies collected on your initial visit.
Some of the more popular lodge booking websites to help you get started include:
4- Spread it all out.
Literally, make use of a spreadsheet. This will help provide an overview of all your expenses and arrive at your total estimated vacation travel budget.
Side note: Sum it up.
Adding up all of your estimates like eating, transport and residence will help you come up with a rough estimate for your vacation.
Pro tip: Have some extra cash.
Its good to have some extra cash while on your trip, chances are, at some point you’ll be inclined to indulge in some inevitable miscellaneous expenses.
Planning out your travel and determining your budget is a good way to prepare, it also makes the whole travel process much more streamlined and predictable, Keep calm and enjoy your travels.