How to make a budget for travel overseas


Traveling could require a sizeable amount of money. It entails on a budget ranging from five to six figures, depending on the destination. Planning for an upcoming trip without an idea of the estimated cost in mind is definitely not the right approach. Yet this is a common mistake people do.

You have decided to embark on that trip you have been dreaming and planning about. You are set for your choice destination. You have ticked all the boxes on your travel checklist. Do you know the overall cost for your trip? Have you considered your accommodation type and how much may be needed to sustain you throughout your stay? How much do you need for other expenses while you are traveling? When can you afford to go on this vacation without causing a major strain on your finances?

Travel expenses vary greatly depending on how you like to travel, so it is pertinent to make a travel budget in the pre-planning stage.

Consider the following while making a budget plan

  • Travel documents

There are basic travel documents required when visiting another country.

 Collating the necessary supporting documents and filing the necessary charges often requires some funding especially where express service is required when racing against time. Travel documents requirements vary from place to place. There are countries you can visit with just an international passport and your flight ticket whereas others require additional documents.

  • Transportation

This consumes a big part of your budget especially when visiting a country that is far from your point of origin. Cost of a return ticket from Nigeria to the Republic of Ghana on a nonstop flight costs from N90,000 whereas visiting places like Micronesia from same point can cost up to N3,000,000 considering distance and accessibility.

To cut down expenses, you may consider using other cheaper means of transportation if the intended journey covers a short mileage.

  • Other Transportation

Upon arrival at your destination, you would have to pay your way to your final location or may even have to do airport transfer where applicable which can be via private shuttles or public transport stations. There may also be a need to connect through a domestic flight if your location is farther. The option is determined by preference and one’s budget. The more convenient the mode of transportation, the higher the cost.

Public transportation is usually chosen by many because it is budget-friendly. For an idea, you can search the internet to know the estimated cost of transportation for taxis and public transport facilities within the destination city.

  • Accommodation

Lodging is also a factor to consider when planning your budget. With a wide range of accommodation is usually available for every traveler’s request – urban and rural. Lodging facilities range from resorts to luxury lodges, apartments, holiday homes, camp grounds, hostels and affordable hotels.

The choice is yours to make. Simply go online, check them out, read customers’ reviews and ratings, see the prices for the areas you wish to stay, book on hold where applicable and put a call through to the facility manager for confirmation.

Be sure to multiply the cost per night by the number of nights you wish to stay. Also confirm if extra charges or taxes will be required upon your arrival.

  • Food

Have you considered the dietary lifestyle of the place you wish to visit? How much will it cost to feed on continental dishes or on their local diets? Is it cheaper to eat out or in your hotel? If you are picky with foods, you have to be prepared for this part because finding your ideal choice of food maybe tedious and pricey.

Be open to new foods. Excite your taste buds. Do not go to China and expect to see your local cuisine like edita iwa ye iyak or ewedu soup – specifically looking for the handmade type that is traditionally prepared using a short bunch of broomsticks. You may not be so lucky.

If you want to tighten your food budget, lodge in facilities that cover breakfast. Depending on the overall living cost, you should also consider apartment rentals where you will have access to a kitchen. You could cook few times to save cost.

  • Sight-seeing/Tourism

Going to recreational parks and fun centers is not left out. You may want to explore your environs for something fun. Are there entrance fees, attraction sites or museums? Do you plan to go on a safari? Add these to your travel costs too and make sure you know what is and is not included in the tour itinerary.

If you are a shopaholic, set aside a good amount of money for your shopping spree.

Do you want to save money when you travel?

Seek less expensive lodging, go with cheap dining options, walk instead of using public transportation( where applicable), shop only for important items, spend less on extras. Most of all, be happy. Don’t become miserable due to a miserly attitude. Have fun!

  • Track your travel spending

While you travel, it is a good idea to keep records of your daily expenses. It will guide you and help you know where and how to curtail unnecessary expenses. You will also know if you have spent within your estimated budget or have gone beyond it. This way, you will have a better idea of your spending habits when you travel. With this information, you can plan your next trip better.

Looking up travel expenses and making a realistic travel budget is an important part of planning a vacation. It lets you know what you can go for, based on your financial capacity. It also gives you an idea on where to cut cost and in order to make your trip less expensive.

Get yourself a budget tracker app, plan your expenses and book that vacation!

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Vivian Etefia

Written by Vivian Etefia

From years of experience, i noticed most people have limited access to relatable basic travel information: the wheres, whys & hows of travel & hospitality.
This blog seeks to address these issues. Let me inspire you into the world of travel.
I am Vivian Etefia. A travel operator based in Lagos, Nigeria.