Instructions on How to Budget for International Vacation
Budgeting for an international vacation is easy, but not that easy as you understand it. It requires serious carefulness to prevent yourself from bearing unplanned risks. Imagine you went for an international vacation and run out of money, or you do not even have money to return you back to your home country. The reason behind this failure is simply because you did not plan well for all your vacation expenses. Many people plan to go for an international vacation, but it takes them a long period of time to achieve such dreams, yet they have money for the vacation package. This is just because, they do not take time to plan and prepare themselves for their travel. Here are 7 steps to follow while planning for an international vacation.
1. Determine How Much Money You Are Willing to Spend on Your Vacation
It is a good idea to think of the money you currently have or you expect to get before going deep into planning your budget. If you are planning to go for an international vacation, you are not even allowed to decide which countries you will have to visit, which kind of accommodation you will take, where you will go for sightseeing or which kind of entertainment activities you will attend without knowing the total amount of money that you want to spend on your whole vacation expenses. Thus, you must first determine what you can afford by assessing the total amount of money you have available for the vacation. Speaking from experience, I was to budget all the expenses during my journey for $5000, and I had to visit three countries, but I was supposed to plan accordingly so that I will not exceed the vacation package. I had to start my journey from my home country of Rwanda. After leaving Rwanda, I had to visit Norther Soudan, Egypt, and Japan as my countries of interest. At first, I was not able to figure out how I could make it with this amount of money, but from planning, I was successful.
2. Decide What You Actually Need
Depending on the total amount of money you have available for the international vacation, you will now be able to decide on what you need. After knowing the amount of money you have, you can then decide which countries to visit by considering all the expenses you will have to spend in those countries of your choice. Furthermore, you are then allowed to decide which places you will go for sightseeing, entertainment, accommodation, and so on since you know your complete vacation package. While planning for your international vacation, you need to start planning from the biggest expenses to the smallest expenses. It is not a good idea to start researching for the cost of small expenses like food or car rental in a given country when you have not yet found that of big expenses like transport expenses from country to another. Planning from big to small expenses will help traveler, including the prospective first-time travelers to save money for coming expenses.
3. Make Research for Various Costs and Do Check-ins
When it comes to creating a budget for international vacation, you need to first plan and budget all costs ahead of time to prevent you from running out of money during your journey. There are several websites that talks about the costs of different expenses like airfare from one country to another, the cost of accommodation, food, and sightseeing in different countries.
It simply requires to focus your effort on searching different cost of expenses to make sure you at least know how big you are going to spend your money. Every prospective traveler must make a research to find different costs of expenses like transport expenses in different countries, accommodation expenses, sightseeing expenses, food expenses, entertainment expenses and so on. But note that if you are planning for an international vacation, the online costs change day in and day out; thus, you must do some check-ins to see whether the costs of expenses have changed or not so that you budget accordingly.
4. Draft Your Budget by Using Online Budgeting Tools
To draft your budget, you must think of different kinds of expenses that you must include in your budget. The main expenses that must be included in the budget for the international vacation are: the transport expenses, the accommodation expenses, the food expenses, the entertainment expenses, the sightseeing expenses, and the miscellaneous or the expenses for an incidental fund. While budgeting for these expenses in different countries, remember to budget for the expenses before leaving the country in which you will start your journey. It is good to start from big expenses to small ones. For instance, it is advisable to start with transportation expenses like the expenses from one country to another instead of starting with the food expenses in your budget.
5. Exchange Your Currency
While creating the vacation budget for international travel, you need to exchange the currency to be able to pay for expenses in the countries you are travelling in. When I was creating the budget for my trip, I was supposed to exchange the currency from USD to the Sudanese pound (SDG), the Rwandan francs (RWF), the Egyptian pound (EGP), and the Japanese yen (JPY). Before leaving my home country of Rwanda, I was supposed to pay a total of $745.61 which RWF 641,660.54. During my journey in Northern Sudan, I was supposed to pay $747.98 which is SDG 4,986.55. I also paid $1,360.95 which is EGP 22,682.54. Finally, I paid $2,077.82 which is JPY 207,781.62. Actually, you cannot be able to use one currency in all countries for every country uses its own currency as it is shown above. Thus, make sure that all the expenses are budgeted in their respective currency depending on the country you are planning to visit.
6. You Can Also Include Fractions While Creating Your Budget
Like percentages, the fractions help to estimate how much money, time, and so on have been spent on various expenses by referring to the overall package. Using my budget, I wanted to calculate the time spent on different activities in fractions. It is very easy to express any calculation into a fraction. To calculate the time spent on different activities, I used the formula below:
Calculating time spent = Time spent on an activityTotal time spent on all activitiesFor instance, while calculating the fraction of the time spent during my flight from Rwanda to Northern Soudan, I used to the formula above;
Total time spent during the whole journey in all countries: 143.4 hours
The time spent during the flight from Rwanda to Northern Soudan: 8 hours
A fraction of the time spent during the flight from Rwanda to Northern Soudan:
= 8143.4 = 0.055788006
This does the same to calculating the fraction of the budget to be devoted on accommodations, food, and sightseeing or excursions. It is just to take the spent on an activity divided by the total time spend on all activities.
NB: The addition of all calculated fractions gives a sum of 1. Thus, for instance, if you have calculated the fractions of the time spent on various activities, and you do not get a sum of 1 when adding all of them, it is meant to say that there is an error in your calculation.
7. You Can Also Calculate the Percentage of Time Spent on Various Activities in a Given Country
It is very easy to calculate the percentage of time spent on various activities during your vacation travel in order to know exactly how much time you spent on them without estimating or guessing. The formula below can be used to soften the calculations.
Percentage of time spent on an activity = Total time spent on an activity times 100Total time spent on all activitiesFor instance:
If the total time spent on travel expenses is: 59.7 hours
The total time that was spent for all activities: 91.7
Percentage of time spent on travel expenses: 59.7*10091.7 = 65.10%
To calculate the total time spent in each country, you can use the formula above and simply follow the same steps.
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