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How to Budget for Your Holiday

Setting a travel budget can be tricky. Sticking to that budget is even trickier. Whether you’re backpacking in hostels or staying in a 5-star resort, here are the top things to think about when you’re working out how much money to take on holiday. 

How many people are you travelling with?

Holidaying with kids comes with a whole range of extra expenses, and you’ll need to keep this in mind while planning your travel budget.

If you’re travelling with other family members, friends or a partner, chat in advance about how you’ll be dividing costs during the trip. This will save you money while also preventing awkward silences when the bill comes after dinner.

What type of holiday are you planning?

Perhaps you’re going on all-inclusive cruise or boarding a coach tour that covers some of your meals and entry tickets. If so, you’ll have fewer costs to consider while mapping out your holiday budget planner. For self-led getaways, you’ll need to factor in all the extra expenses that come with day-to-day travel (e.g. meals, drinks, accommodation, transport, attractions, shopping).

Where are you staying?

There are accommodation options to suit any budget. Whether you’re staying in an overwater bungalow or a luxury suite in the city, make sure you factor each night of accommodation into your holiday budget.

Even if you pre-pay for your accommodation, keep in mind that there will likely be extra expenses during your stay (e.g. Wi-Fi, minibar, bottled water, laundry service, housekeeping tips, valet parking).

What will you eat and drink?

Dining costs can quickly add up during a holiday, even if you don’t eat at fancy restaurants each night. Follow these top travel tips to keep your wining and dining budget under control:

  • If your accommodation offers a complimentary breakfast, take advantage of it.
  • If your room has kitchen facilities, use them! Stock up on groceries to cook your own meals, or at least grab the essentials (like milk and coffee).
  • Use a refillable water bottle.
  • Pack picnic lunches for daytrips rather than dining out.
  • Seek out local eateries rather than touristy cafés and restaurants.

How will you get around?

If you’re travelling in major cities, look into the public transport options. If possible, get an electronic travel pass rather than buying single-use tickets each time you travel.

However, keep in mind that taxis and ride-sharing apps are sometimes more cost-effective if you’re travelling in a group. Do some cost comparisons to see which mode of transport will have the least impact on your holiday budget.

What activities will you do?

As a general guideline, we suggest assuming you’ll spend between $100 and $150 per day (per person) on sightseeing stuff. But you should also be prepared for incidental costs like sunscreen, souvenirs and snacks.

If you’re travelling a shoestring budget, visit the local tourist centre and see what kind of free events or festivals are taking place during your stay.