Do's and Don'ts: Travel Budgeting


How to Make a Travel Budget and Stick to It

Europe can be an expensive playground, but it's also a chance in a lifetime. So one of the best things to do is to set a budget so it doesn't completely break the bank. I think with my bucket list I'm going for broke, and then some, but I stick to a budget in hopes that maybe, just maybe, I will break even by the end of the year. But traveling to Europe on a budget is doable and sometimes you can even stay on a budget. So here are some tips on what to do and what not to do. 


Don't be too tight and limit yourself too much. The point of traveling is to see new things, so if you plan the tightest budget, then you won't experience what you want to. A budget isn't going to work if you always feel constricted or go over it. Live a little, it is possible with a budget.


Be realistic in what you're capable of. Know the areas where you want to spend your money and the areas that you can cut back a little. I know that for me, seeing the sights is more important than eating, so I budget accordingly. Also know that you get what you pay for in hotels, so know what the lowest you want to go is. I know that I want to be in an area that's safe and that is clean. If it needs that I have to break budget to get that, then I will. Plan a budget that is specific to you!


Don't forget to do some research. If there's something that you want to see, make sure that it's open when you go there. Also check to see if there are free days. Every first Sunday of the month museums are free in Paris, so it'd be a waste of money to go the day before and pay full price. But the most important is research average costs in the area. 20€ in Amsterdam and 20€ in Madrid have two different meanings. By knowing the average prices you can set a realistic budget.


Overestimate instead of underestimate. I believe that it is better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I always try to go as far under budget as I can, but I over budget as a safety net. Sometimes you can never plan. So isn't it better to factor that into your budget and not have to stress about it?


Don't forget to save up. Ok so you have your budget set but where is this money coming from? Save money where you can. Do you really need to buy a new pair of shoes if you have ones that are working just fine. I know my budget got smaller when I stopped buying junk food as much. Ok I crack and cave in sometimes but that's only allowed once a week. Know yourself and know what you can do without, or do with less of. You will save money a lot faster this way than just putting aside every month. And when temptation calls, I just think about where that amount of money could take me. Berlin? Strasbourg? Venice? Everything just seems so much less important.


Plan your travels based on location. Don't go from Paris to Prague to Madrid. Try to group areas that are close together so that you save on transportation. When in Madrid you can visit Barcelona and Lisbon for example. Or when in Budapest you can visit Krakow and Vienna. It's not worth making a zig zag pattern because it will always cost you time and money.

What's my budget? I spend a maximum of 60€ a night on accommodations. I then spend 40€ a day on food and transportation, such as the bus or the metro. And I spend 30€ a day on attractions and souvenirs. That brings me to a 130€ a day budget. Transportation to and from is estimated using

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