You’ve saved up, searched for the best travel deals, booked your flight, and reserved your room. All that’s left is daydreaming about your holiday getaway and counting down the days, right? Not so fast. Before you head out on your next big adventure, remember to plan for the not-so-obvious costs you’ll encounter along the way. By having a solid budget in place, you can avoid these potential travel budget-busters.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Emergencies can strike at any time — even when you’re on vacation. From vehicle breakdowns to medical emergencies to weather events, there’s always the possibility of a mishap. Rather than using your credit card, use the money you saved for unexpected events from your Emergency Savings Account.
Find the Right Transportation
When traveling to a major city, you may choose public transit instead of renting a car or rideshare services. Keep in mind where you’re traveling to and how you’ll get to and from the airport. Most airports are several miles from city centers and rides there and back can be costly.
If you rent a car or drive to your destination, make sure to budget for gas and any stops you may make along your drive. If you’re staying in a large city, be prepared to pay for parking at your hotel or in a parking garage.
Account for Added Airport Expenses
Overnight parking and pricey food and drinks are the most common costs at the airport. There are also baggage fees to consider. Check with the airline to see how many bags they allow and how much they charge. With some airlines, you’ll have to pay for your carry-on luggage, too.
Budget for Gratuities On-the-Go
Sure, you expect to pay gratuities when dining out. But there are other gratuities to consider when traveling, such as tipping your housekeeper, valet attendant, and bellhop. If you’re on a cruise, gratuities are more significant and typically get added to your final bill automatically.
Staying Connected Can Cost You
During vacation, you’re probably going to want to share your favorite moments on social media and keep in touch with your family or friends. However, you may have roaming charges from your mobile carrier, especially if you’re traveling internationally. So be sure to download your favorite movie or post to social media while you’re still on Wi-Fi, otherwise, you may have to budget for extra data usage.
Think Ahead for Taxes and Tolls
For domestic travel, you may come across state and local occupancy taxes when checking out of your accommodations. If you’re traveling by car, always check your route for tolls and plan accordingly. When traveling internationally, you may encounter entry and departure fees in particular countries.
Research Your Rentals
Are you headed to a theme park? Are you bringing young children or someone who may need mobility assistance? Then budget a little extra for stroller or wheelchair rentals — you can expect to pay at least $15 per day. Be sure to research the details before you head out.
Plan How You’ll Pay
If you’re traveling abroad, you could encounter foreign transaction fees when using a debit card.
Since these fees are typically accrued on a per-charge basis, you will want to use a credit card that doesn’t apply these fees instead. Be sure to pay off your balance as quickly as possible when you return from your trip to avoid paying extra in interest. Another alternative is paying with the local currency.
Add Travel Insurance for Peace of Mind
Travel insurance is an option that can be added to your vacation for peace of mind in case of lost luggage, travel delays, or a medical emergency. When you book your vacation with a FAIRWINDS Visa Signature® Credit Card, travel accident insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and lost luggage reimbursement are all a part of your included benefits. You can also purchase additional travel insurance to help you find the best coverage for your needs.
As you prepare for your upcoming holiday vacation, keep in mind that a well-planned budget is the ticket to a stress-free and enjoyable journey. This not only includes planning for hidden costs, but you can also open a separate savings account to make sure your future travel funds are set aside. Safe travels and happy budgeting!