Lifestyle, Travel, Business Tips - Yaşam, Seyahat, İş Dünyası

Top 12 Tips for Travel Budget Planning

Travelling is my number one passion. Visiting new places, trying new food, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures is a dream come true for me ! And I love making memories all over the world. 

When I am choosing a city to visit, I always create a travel budget before I start making plans. This way, I know how much I can spend in total. Once I have a total in mind then I distribute this among flight, hotel, food, shopping and misc. These are the five main spending items that help me plan. Miscellaneous is something I usually leave open for unforseen spending and I usually save 10% of my total budget for this. (Ex: If I have 1000 USD to spend in total, I save 100 USD for misc.) Believe me, I have always needed the misc. spending amount :) 


The total budget I have devoted to my trip can sometimes determine the city I chose to travel to. I am currently living in Istanbul, Turkey so I am logicstically in a perfect location to take weekend getaways to cities all over Europe. I create a list of 2-3 cities I would like to travel to and then I research flight and hotel prices first - these are the highest costs. And then I pick a city that fits within the range of my budget ! 

I use Personal Capital's Financial Software to do all my budget planning for my trips. This is perfect for vacation planning and it is perfect for planning your monthly and annual budgeting as well. They have a great blog that gives you tips about all kinds of financial planning. You can use a simple excel sheet to make a travel budget if you like, but I find Personal Capital to be great for planning my budget because I can access it on my mobile device while I'm travelling and I can update my spending while I'm on the go. 

My Top 12 Travel Budget Planning Tips : 

I have put together my top tips to use while planning your budget for any trip ! 

1. Pick off seasons. If you have a tight budget pick off seasons for travel, you will get a much better deal. 

2. Flight research. Try to be flexible with flight dates and times. If you are planning a weekend getaway, Thursday departures can be cheaper than Friday departures. And taking a very early morning (5:00-6:00 am) or very late night (after 11:00 pm) flight can save you alot ! 

3. Hotel research. While you are searching for a hotel do lots of research, check the second location tier of  the city center. These hotels are usually cheaper than the city center and they are usually located about 15-20 minutes walking distance to the city center. You can save alot from just changing one neighborhood. 

4. Online booking sites. Choose a few websites like,, that you find easy to use and sign up to their e-mail lists so you can be informed of destination discounts.

5. Daily essentials. Do your daily essentials (water, fruit, etc.) shopping from local supermarkets. 

6. Pre purchase Museum tickets. Research museum websites before you travel, some offer free entrance days and/or discounted museum passes if you purchase online. This will also save you time at the museum, you won't have to wait in line to purchase a ticket. 

7. Be local. Read local newspapers, magazines, blogs online and research local restaurants and travel tips - this will keep you away from the expensive "touristy spots". 

8. Social Media. Use your social media accounts as a research tool ! Go through your friends list and check if you have any friends living in the city you plan on visiting. If you find someone don't be shy, just drop them a message and ask them for local tips - no one can know a city better than a local. 


9. International Branded Hotels. If you feel more comfortable staying at an international branded hotel chain, then sign up for rewards programs and e-mail notifications to receive destination discount information via e-mail. 

10. Walk as much as you can. It saves you from transportation costs, it helps you burn off the calories from the delicous food and I promise, you get to see so much more ! 

11. Bargaining. Research the culture of the city, if bargaining is an accepted form while shopping, then most definitely polish your bargaining skills before you travel ! 

12. Travel lightly.  Weight limits for baggage has become crazy on airlines, so definitely check the weight limit on your airline ticket and try to travel lightly. Packing lightly may save you so much money! Don't forget to leave extra room for any shopping you may be planning to do :) 
© Zeynep Nili

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