Most of us have to plan ahead before we hop on the road or the take to the air, whether it’s for business, pleasure or necessity, and the first thing that usually comes to mind is “What’s it going to cost?” From an overnighter in a town down the road to a prolonged trip around the world, it’s only sensible that we try to estimate the costs involved accurately, so there’s no financial drama to face when we get home again.
There are thousands of helpful sites to visit, based on when, where and for how long you’re planning to travel, but a few basic tips can apply to any trip you may take. The first is obvious if you’re in the category of the gainfully employed: figure out how much the time away from work will cost you, based on either an hourly rate or, if you’re not employed by the hour, estimate as best you can what you’ll probably lose in income.
Transport & Accommodation
The majority of travel costs are usually related to transportation, so you need to work out what modes you’ll be using, from airlines to rental cars to boats and bicycles. This takes some research of course, but you’ll find plenty of information online and through travel agents. Plane, bus or train tickets are easy, since they’re set costs you can discover in advance. If driving your own car, add in the cost of fuel based on the distance driven divided by your vehicle’s stated mpg.
You need to decide where you’ll stay each night away, and if you do some advance planning it’s possible to get a considerable discount at most hotels, B&Bs, campgrounds or anywhere else that offers overnight accommodation.
Booking ahead of time almost always saves money, so keep that in mind and don’t just pack a bag and hope for the best.
Most certainly you’ll want to eat out when on your business trips, and that can be a very expensive proposition if you insist on dining at four star restaurants. The fact is that in most places on the planet you can find very good food for a fraction of what you’d pay in such an establishment, so again you ought to scout out the less-known-but-highly-praised eateries and plan to be a bit adventurous.
Ultimately, when planning to travel, research pays off in a big way. Nobody can anticipate every expense, but if you know most of the expected costs you can allow a bit extra for incidentals and still not go over your budget.