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Guide to Creating a Travel Budget

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Written by: Tom Griffiths

Sorting out finances and deciding on a strict budget is something that many people struggle to do. However, there is a simple and effective way to do it.
This guide is going to subtley build you up to the fact that you’re going to have to get your pen, calculator and brain in gear to do a bit of simple maths. We’re talking money here, everybody’s hated subject. You need your bank balance to be bigger than Everest and fatter than Pavarotti at an ‘All You Can Eat For A Fiver’ contest. Also, you need make sure your cash last. You don’t want it running out at inconvenient times like halfway up a mountain in India when your donkey has stopped and needs another 50 Rupees worth of carrots before it can take another step…

Can I afford to travel?

Quite simply, the answer is yes. However, up until now you’ve probably been fooling yourself on this one – saying that it’ll cost too much and you won’t be able to save a decent amount in time. Frankly this is rubbish. You are only having these thoughts, because you’ve probably never really addressed it properly. Ok, now’s the time…

How much will I need for a six month round the world trip?

Let’s break it down. You know that it is going to cost you upwards of £800 for the ticket, £120 for insurance and then a couple of hundred for odds and ends, like backpacks, clothes, jabs and other stuff.
Travel Budgets

How much does it cost to go around the world?

You know the expression: ‘If I had a pound for everyone that asked me that I’d be a millionaire!’… well, guess what! There is no set cost for a round the world trip and there never will be. Some people will spend £1,500, others will spend £15,000. So, if you have this question on your mind, forget it. Time to think about things a different way.
What you need to do is work out how much you may need for your whole trip, from the time you leave home to the time you get back. If it works out to be more than you are going to have in your bank before you go you have three options:

  1. Earn more here before you go.
  2. Get a job and earn some more cash overseas.
  3. Spend less time away or make cutbacks on your trip.

Simple. You see, there isn’t a lot of rocket science to this and it’s not as difficult as some people make it out to be. To be honest, most people get so stressed about it that they usually make a complete hash of it.

The next step

To make sorting your travel finances as easy as possible, draw up a simple travel money planner and print it out. This will help you curb your pre-trip spending, logically work out what you’ll spend on the road and determine how much you’ll have to spend on essentials before you leave.
It’s important not to treat this part of your preparation as a test or drag. Have a go at it when you are in a good mood and you’ll enjoy the thought of working out how much money you are going to need. This stuff – along with all of the other pre-trip prep – should be one of the fun bits of your gap year, so treat it as such.
Finally, if the amount you calculate you’ll need to have the trip of your dreams turns out to be much more that you thought, don’t panic. Chill. Things will work out fine, as you will find a way. Whatever you do, don’t be put off going just because a few numbers freak you out. If you do, you will miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Good luck and have fun.

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