/How-to: Trip Planning – Rough Budget
Rough Budget Travel Planning How To

How-to: Trip Planning – Rough Budget

A rough budget should be a an approximate expenditure of main costs during a trip.

Welcome to Part 1 of Trip Planning. In this article we will explain our first step into planning our next vacation. To minimize stress, to be cost effective and time efficient.

First lets go down to the basics

  • What is a rough budget?
  • Why do we need one?
  • What are “main costs?”

A rough budget is an estimated cost of your next vacation. This cost is set by you with a realistic expectation of what you can afford considering your current situation.

  • A budget is an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.
  • A rough budget is an approximation of an estimate of expenditure for a set period if time.

We will be reviewing the true budget later in this How-To Series.

The reason we need a rough budget is to properly assess our travel and economic situation to prepare for our next trip. This will give us a rough idea on what places we can afford and which ones we can’t. You will be surprised by how many great places you can actually afford as long as you plan intelligently.

Main costs are anything directly related or absolutely necessary for your trip. In general it would be; transportation, a place to sleep, something to eat. Of course, we will inflate these numbers just a tad to make room for all extras in our trip.

Rough Budget

The rough budget should include all necessary costs of travel, it should not include souvenirs, activities, and miscellaneous purchases. These will be added into our true budget once we select our destination and complete our preliminary trip plan.

  • Air Travel Costs
  • Accommodation Costs
  • Transportation
  • Food

Travel Costs
Most likely this will be the largest portion of your budget. It should include only Air Travel costs, including any baggage or additional fees.

Accommodation Costs
This is usually the second largest or sometimes largest part of your trip heavily dependant on chosen location.

Transportation Costs

These should be fuel, rental car, public transport and/or any additional you might need to move around. (Remember that location of your hotel is extremely important into your decision of transportation.)

This varies person by person and location. You could make it work with very little. It’s up to you to decide what works best in your situation and to best suite your needs.

Our Scenario

Once we have our rough budget planned out. It is time to start researching our next possible destination. For the sake of this example. We will be working with these conditions.

  • Rough budget of $1800USD
  • Minimum stay of 4 nights
  • Preferably on weekends or long weekends to minimize our time away from work.
  • For 2 persons, $900USD Each
  • Our Departure airport will be Los Angeles – LAX

Keep in mind all these numbers are rough estimates. As you do more rough budgets you will get better at gauging how much to spend on certain things. I’ve noticed that $1300-$1500USD is a good rough budget to work on a 4-5 night stay for 1 person. We always tend to over estimate this budget just a tad until we start working with a concrete idea of what we are doing.

This budget is made to give you an idea of what you can afford and filter out destinations out of reach; based on destination, time of year and accommodations availability.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this How-To Series, where we will explore and review selecting our destination.