Balancing Money: Traveling Budget
Today is a special day for us!!
Today marks 5 years that Chris and I have been together
But because today falls on a Monday which means work for the both of us, and because my schedule is wonky we won’t be celebrating until the end of next week.
When Chris and I make plans to travel, we put a lot of work and thought into what were doing and where were going. I also put a lot of work into the "Can we afford this?" aspect. A lot of times he will come up with something and I end up shooting it down because its too much money. Guys usually low ball actual costs of things I’m realizing . . .
Over the years, I’ve come up with budgets for our trips to make sure we have enough to relax and have fun without worry. I usually end up being right on the money! (heh)
Today I want to share the thought process and steps behind creating a traveling budget for our weekend getaway.
After looking and thinking about a lot of options, we settled on a weekend trip to the Poconos. The first thing we did was look for the main attractions in the area.
BushKill Falls – a scenic park with trails and 8 waterfalls
Mount Airy Casino – were suckers for lights and big buildings
Scenic Mountain Area – we are nerds as well
Next we looked for a decent hotel in the area using the Yelp app and Google Maps. We ended up finding an awesome deal for suite with a whirlpool and free continental breakfast for under $100 per night because of my AAA discount.
**NOTE: we almost always stay at hotels/motels during the week **
Once I had the room and attractions set, I went to work on costs.
I figured out that our budget for this trip would be $400 per person for 2 nights and ~3 days. Seems a little high to me but I always aim high in hopes of not going over budget and maybe even coming back with some.
How did I come up with the amount?
First I listed all fixed costs that I knew about:
Lodging – $100
Park Ticket – $10
And then made estimates for everything else . . .
Gas – $40 (2 tanks split)
Grocery Trip For Picnic Food & Snacks – $20
Breakfast - FREE were planning to go continental
Lunch – $30 there’s an Indian restaurant attached to hotel for one of the days, picnic lunch will be for the hiking day and I’m sure we will grab something quick on the way home Saturday
Dinner – $100 each night. Spending $50 each seems reasonable for 2 dinners, it is our anniversary after all
Casino – $40 I’m not a big gambler at all so ill probably spend only $20 of this in slots and the other $20 on a few casino floor drinks
Other – $60 I like having wiggle room because you never know whats at a place you haven’t been before. Plus, there are some good outlets up there.
I will obviously be taking this money out of my Balancing Money account. As I stressed in the first few posts of the series, certain things/experiences are totally worth spending the money on and I believe this is one of them!
Were very excited and its been nice to have a little getaway to look forward to. I plan on tracking each expense and more tips so you can all see how I did!
How do you handle travel budget? Do you make a plan or go with the flow?