Travel budgets are a very personal thing. Some people want it all written down and stick to it, others just have it as a guide and then others don’t bother with budgeting at all. There are a lot of travel calculators and budget tracking tools out there all selling themselves as the best but, to be honest, not all travel calculators are created equal.
I’ve looked at a few in my time and found most of them too broad and generally unhelpful. In most you have to fill in your own fields which is great if you know what all your expenses will be but not so great if you have never been travelling before and don’t even know what you’ll be spending your money on past the big ones like flights, accommodation and a tour or two.
Here are some of the better tools I’ve researched to help you with your own travel budgets –
For the technologically advanced –
Check out your app store and there will be any number of free travel apps to help you track your expenses both before you leave and while your away.
Just download the app, enter what your daily or monthly budget is then head out traveling. As you go about your trip enter the amount you spent after each purchase and the app will do the rest. People seem to really like the feature which gives you feedback about your expenditures with cartoons making comments about your purchases and the easy to read graphical breakdowns of your spending.
Similar to Trail Wallet except this app will convert currencies for you so you know exactly how much your spending in your own currency. Another difference is this app will allow you to classify your expenditures by either cash or card as well as your category type (food, entertainment etc.)
For the old school –
There are a multitude of free budget worksheets and calculators but here are a few I found helpful –
If you’re just planning on a shorter holiday and want a ball park figure to aim towards, this is a quick and simple to use calculator. Choose your country, your style of travel, number of people and days away and it will calculate how much money you need. Handy for a rough figure but not so handy if you plan on traveling for longer than 12 days or to a country they don’t have listed.
Another quick and easy ballpark calculator of how much a trip might cost. Unlike the Travelex calculator you can add multiple countries and longer durations into the equation.
A comprehensive breakdown of all possible expenses which is handy for those non-obvious costs while traveling. The only downside is you having to actually figure out the amount for each category which could be a time consuming process.
While not technically a budget tool it will help you decide how to travel between destinations if you are undecided. As an example I entered the cost to fly or drive across Australia from Perth to Sydney and it not only calculated what would be cheaper but also what would be shorter, faster and better value for money.
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