Logistics of RTW travel – part 2: How to create your spendings budget

Happy new year! Just like that it’s 2017… and if you’re like most people who make New Year’s resolutions, chances are that you’re in the high percentage who vow to live a fuller life (yes, you can Google stats on resolutions). And further to that, for a lot of people these days, living life to its fullest involves adventure and exploration and travel, myself included.

For better of worse, once I get a dream into my head, it can quickly escalate into an idea, and a pretty concrete plan on how to turn it from dream to reality follows shortly thereafter. I’m an auburn-haired Italian Scorpio – all of the traits for being head-strong/stubborn are with me. That’s why I wanted to start my 2017 blogging with something practical and helpful for the other adventurers and dreamers out there; the next part in my how to travel series 🙂

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Now that you know where you’re going and how long for, its time to start on the budget. Yes, its tedious. Yes, it can take a bit of the romance and spontaneity out of travelling. And yes, some people can get away without it. But when you’re planning to travel for 4 months while keeping up with your mortgage repayments and bills back at home, not taking out a personal bank loan, and not using a credit card so you return completely debt free (and you’re not rich), you have to budget.

This is a daunting task, and unfortunately the point at which most people give up on their travel dreams. That annoys me because while it may be a little time consuming, it’s actually not that difficult. There are a lot of different methods people use to budget for travel, be it short or long trips, but this is the method I use.

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It’s a two-parter, working out first how much money you’re going to need for your trip, and then how you’ll save it in time. Today, we’ll start with part one (duh). Again, this was all done using my Evernote app, which I highly recommend – alternatively, open up a new word document to get planning!

*** Before you start reading, please note that I’ve used a quick, three week example rather than my own itinerary, because it’s way too long, and I’m also basing this all on a 2 person trip. Adjust as needed 🙂

 

STEP ONE
The first step is to set out a template that you’ll be able to fill in – there are obviously several ways to do this, but here’s how I set mine up:

*** TRANSPORT ***
FLIGHTS:
01 January : Melbourne – Los Angeles
02 January : Los Angeles – Calgary
08 January : Calgary – Ketchikan
12 January : Ketchikan – New York City

HIRE CAR:
7 days hire Calgary (02 – 08 January)
TRANSPORT TOTAL:

 

*** ACCOMMODATION & SPENDING ***
LOS ANGELES (01-02 Jan)
– Accommodation:
– Sightseeing:
– Food:
– Other spending:

CALGARY (02-08 Jan)
– Accommodation:
– Sightseeing:
– Food:
– Other spending:

KETCHIKAN (08-12 Jan)
– Accommodation:
– Sightseeing:
– Food:
– Other spending:

NEW YORK CITY (12-20 Jan)
– Accommodation:
– Sightseeing:
– Food:
– Other spending:

ACCOMMODATION TOTAL:
SPENDING TOTAL:

 

*** INSURANCE & VISAS ***
Insurance:
Visas:

TOTAL:

 

*** COSTS AT HOME FOR 3 WEEKS ***
Mortgage/rent:
Utilities (gas/water/electricity):
Insurance (home/car/health):
Phone:
Other:

TOTAL:

 

STEP TWO
Now that you have your template, the hard work begins. With the flights, I’m fortunate enough to be able to do it all myself, given that I’ve worked as a travel consultant for several years and know exactly what I’m looking for. I know this is obviously not going to be as simple for others, so there are two ways to approach this:

1. For the bigger international flights (for example, our big ones will be Melbourne to Los Angeles, New York to London, Rome to Osaka, Bangkok to Melbourne), enlist the help of a travel agent. Shop around until you find one you are comfortable with and trust, because its a mammoth task, and the right partner can make it a hell of a lot easier and fun, rather than stressful.

2. For the “smaller” domestic flights, like Los Angeles to Calgary and Calgary to Ketchikan, get on a website like SkyScanner, Kayak, Webjet etc, and check them out yourself. Flights are generally released 10 months or so in advance, so if your dates aren’t available, just compare a few random dates to get a rough price range.

If you have trains or hire cars, do the same for them, too.

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STEP THREE
Update that part of your template…

*** TRANSPORT ***
FLIGHTS:
01 January : Melbourne – Los Angeles
Emailed travel agent, $950-$1200 one way per person

02 January : Los Angeles – Calgary
Checked SkyScanner, $180-$300 pp

08 January : Calgary – Ketchikan
Checked SkyScanner, $290-$400 pp

12 January : Ketchikan – New York City
Checked SkyScanner, $350-$450 pp

HIRE CAR:
7 days hire Calgary (02 – 08 January)
Auto with aircon through Avis, approx $500
Plus gas

TRANSPORT TOTAL: approx. $4600

 

STEP FOUR
Research accommodation next. Again, don’t worry too much about the exact dates; you’re just looking for a rough price range. Use sites and apps like Airbnb or Booking.com to compare options, and fill in what you find.

 

STEP FIVE
Look at any anticipated sightseeing costs, as well as a guesstimate on what you might spend on food and other stuff (shopping, souvenirs, etc). The easiest way to guess at this would be working out how much per day you might spend on food (eg $30 per person per day) multiplied by how many days you’re away for. Again, it doesn’t need to be precise, just a rough estimate.

*** ACCOMMODATION & SPENDING *** for 2 people
LOS ANGELES (01-02 Jan)
– Accommodation: $150 (at airport)
– Sightseeing: –
– Food: $50
– Other spending: –

CALGARY (02-08 Jan)
– Accommodation: $800 (2 nights Calgary, 5 nights Banff)
– Sightseeing: $150 national parks pass
– Food: $200
– Other spending: $200

KETCHIKAN (08-12 Jan)
– Accommodation: $500
– Sightseeing: –
– Food: $250
– Other spending: $300

NEW YORK CITY (12-20 Jan)
– Accommodation: $1400
– Sightseeing: $40pp 7 day metro pass
$35pp Top of the Rock tickets
– Food: $500
– Other spending: $600

ACCOMMODATION TOTAL: $2850
SPENDING TOTAL: $2400

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STEP SIX
Factor in travel insurance! Get a few quotes, compare what they all cover you for, and add that in. Also, costs for any visas.

*** INSURANCE & VISAS ***
Insurance: $400
Visas: N/A

TOTAL: $400

 

STEP SEVEN
Lastly, some of you may still need to factor in costs at home. For my quick three week example, not so relevant, but absolutely necessary for our 4 month trip! It’s probably a safe assumption that most if us do the internet banking thing these days, so just check your last few debits, and add anything else that is applicable.

*** COSTS AT HOME FOR 3 WEEKS ***
Mortgage/rent: $1200
Utilities (gas/water/electricity): $250
Insurance (home/car/health): $250
Phone: $80pp
Other: –

TOTAL: $1700

 

STEP EIGHT
Now that you have all that information, put it all together in summary form:

TRANSPORT: $4,600
ACCOMMODATION: $2,850
SPENDING: $2,400
INSURANCE: $400
COSTS AT HOME: $1,700
TOTAL FOR TRIP: $11,950

 

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Hold onto all of that now, because you’ll need it for the next step of creating your savings budget!

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7 thoughts on “Logistics of RTW travel – part 2: How to create your spendings budget

  1. Pingback: Logistics of RTW travel – part 3: How to create your savings budget | Eat. Travel. Blog: Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Dreamer

  2. Pingback: Logistics of RTW travel – part 4: Tracking your bookings (& saving your sanity) | Eat. Travel. Blog: Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Dreamer

  3. Pingback: Logistics of RTW travel – part 5: 10 things to do before you head off | Eat. Travel. Blog: Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Dreamer

  4. Pingback: Logistics of RTW travel – part 6: Staying healthy on the road | Eat. Travel. Blog: Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Dreamer

  5. Pingback: Logistics of RTW travel – part 7: Packing! | Eat. Travel. Blog: Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Dreamer

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