Seven on Sunday – Ways to Budget for your Backpacker Dream! [Part Two]
Hi folks. Today I complete last week’s ‘Seven on Sunday’ with the final three ways to budget for your backpack dream, whatever it may be. Here are points 1, 2, 3 and 4 from last week if you missed the original post!
5. Work out your daily budget
Different countries require different budgets. I am a serial planner and have a big spreadsheet which tells me for example UK 12 days @ $60 = $600, India 19 days @ $30 = $570 etc and then it tallies at the end.
Consider what you are going to pay for accommodation. If you are going for budget digs, then consider that to be LESS than half your daily budget. Maybe around 40 – 45%. I mean if you’re spending $500 for a top of the range or near abouts hotel, you may not need to spend another $500 for the day. Heck, you might not want to leave your room at that price. But for the budget traveler, this is a reasonable rule of thumb.
Because if you get a hostel bed for $30, $30 through a day in London may not get you far. You can self-cater and you might get free breakfast, but if you actually want to do something like visit a museum, have lunch out and take the tube, before you know you’re already close to spending $30.
In India however, you might have your own room with air con and TV for under $15, be able to eat a meal for $2, go most places you want to for $1 or less via rickshaw, you’d be surprised. In 1999 my budget was $20AUD a day for India and I was under budget. $30 a day in 2004 I was WELL under budget. And that included transport as well.
6. Allow for extras
The Taj Mahal I think costs around $40 these days to enter. Angkor Wat is more than that. Galapagos requires one to spend $120US just to enter the zone. A Eurail pass saves money in the long run but is a lot of money up front. You might want a couple of nights in a really nice hotel when you arrive to get over jetlag.
I personally budget these types of things as extra on top of my daily budget. This is a good way to ensure you don’t miss out on what you really want to see and do. On top of that you might need to budget for medication depending on where you are going (for example anti-malarials).
Then you have visas that you need to get to many countries some of which can be surprisingly expensive (and sometimes time consuming). So there are a lot of things to think of to make sure you day to day budget is just that.
- Tally it up and don’t forget travel Insurance!
The last thing (but it probably should be the first thing) you must include in your budget is travel insurance. They say ‘if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel’, and that’s a pretty fair point. You never know what will happen to you, and if you’re travelling on a shoe string you may not have the sort of money needed for hospital bills or emergency flights.
So you’ve got your flights, your insurance, day to day expenses including accommodation and any extras covered with your budget, now you can tally it all together and get a grand total.
DONE? No, not quite. Always have something in reserve. I was told many years ago an extra 10% is a good idea, and I agree. Think of it as peace of mind. Now, off you fly to your first destination. Where you gamble it all away and have to turn around and go home in a week in disgrace! 😛
Well it does happen. What techniques, approaches do you have when budgeting a trip? Please do comment below! May the Journey Never End!