I love to travel and a huge chunk of our budget is spent on traveling. I will forgo lots of material things and stretch our grocery budget to the max, just to afford our trips. I really work hard to maximize our travel budget as best as I can.
Unfortunately, I always seem to spend more on our trips – once I am in the travel mode – than I had planned for. Visiting new restaurants, ordering the local specialty, buying artwork (that is a vice of mine!), and visiting the local museums. If it is something local or unique the the area that I am visiting, I simply find myself experiencing it all. My grandmother, a world traveler herself, once told me, “The only thing you regret when traveling are the items that you did not buy.” Not the best advice when you are working with a budget! And I admit, my collection of artwork brings me joy. Every time I look at a piece I am reminded of the location and often the person that sold us the piece. There is history to the art.
Any words of wisdom for me? Where I am so good with budgeting in all other areas of my life – I simply do not do well with sticking to a travel budget when I am on the road!
What worked for me was planning. I tried to spend all of my money before I get there. Meaning, if I know I want to try out the local restaurants I will go on groupon or other sites to see if I can pay upfront. Usually groupon is something like $15 for a $30 meal. I have my coupon or discount and I don’t have to worry about tapping my budget when I sit down for dinner.
I also do this for any activities. You can even buy them for movies, wine tours and so much more. If you can do the research on all things you KNOW you will purchase before you get there that can help instead of stumbling upon the gems and hoping it fits in the budget.