Budgeting for International Holidays

March 14, 2024

How to budget for an international trip

Is it time to travel abroad for a vacation or visit children who have moved abroad? Been saving for months? Do you have enough money to travel? Planning an international trip requires careful planning.

Budgeting is the best answer to these questions. Everyone who wishes to travel needs a budget to make realistic plans and choose the best spending possibilities.

Consider your vacation budget a guide, not a rule. You may estimate things based on your study and make mistakes. Instead of being rigid, make the budget flexible.

Let’s look at some simple steps to create a realistic budget for an international holiday.

How to Create a Travel Budget:

Getting there

Transportation is the most expensive element of traveling. Your means of transportation depends on your destination. Start researching and considering the different options.

Determine the cost of flying, busing, taking a train, renting a car, or taking a cruise. Estimate travel costs if you plan to visit multiple places.

When searching for affordable tickets, many aspects must be considered. Most travellers prefer to fly. First, be flexible about dates and locations. Seasons, holidays, and days of the week affect airfares. Midweek flights are always cheaper than weekend or holiday flights.

Fly nearby to a cheaper destination instead of an expensive one. Be flexible about your route—taking a detour can save you money.

If you're planning a long international trip, a round-the-world ticket can be cheap and easy.


Once you've determined your destination, figure out the estimated cost of accommodation there. Explore the many hotels, resorts, hostels, etc. available. When we travel, each of us looks for something different, so check the pricing of the experiences that are closer to what you want. For example, if you are a budget traveler, you should consider hostels, economy hotels, or shared living arrangements. Try to choose accommodation that includes at least one meal. Alternatively, if you are on a tight budget, check for hostels or accommodations with shared kitchens.

Even if you don't know how long you'll stay in each destination, you can calculate a daily cost based on lodging prices.


Some people already have an idea of how much they will spend on meals each day. Have an estimate of how much a meal will cost in the destinations you'll be visiting. This figure should be determined through research.

Expect to spend extra on meals if you're staying in a hotel and eating out every day. If you're staying in a hostel or apartment with a kitchen, set aside money for groceries.

If you don't have time to investigate, set aside at least 2 to 2.5 times the cost of your accommodation per night for one day's worth of food. This is a good rule of thumb for budget travel.

If you're on a longer journey, aim to eat at least one big meal a day. You'll save a lot. Also, always choose locally sourced and seasonal goods. To get an economical sense of local culture, consider meeting up with locals and eating home-cooked meals through meal-sharing apps.


Every place is unique, as is every traveler. So, the next step is to consider and determine the best way to go around once you've arrived at your destination. Some of you may want to explore your destination on foot, while others may prefer to use public transportation, cabs, or bicycles. Whatever the best accessible alternative that meets your preferences, calculate how much you would need to set aside to freely roam around the area you are in.

To estimate transportation costs, determine how to get from one city to another, how long it will take, and how much each leg will cost. If you want to rent a car, check out the cheapest car rental deals worldwide. Certain websites provide information and pricing for train journeys to destinations throughout the world. If you're traveling in Europe, we recommend purchasing rail passes through Eurail to save money.

Look for public transportation ticket alternatives. You are quite likely to get cheaper tickets if you book them in advance or for a longer period of time.

Visas and travel insurance

Long-term travelers should budget for visas, travel insurance, and immunizations. Travel insurance is considered superfluous and wasteful by many travelers, but this is not a luxury but a necessity. Even a one-week journey requires it, especially for energetic travelers who do extraordinary things or visit unusual places.

You can check if you need a visa by visiting your country's foreign office website or searching "Do I Need a Visa For?" Multiple countries in a bureaucratic region can be expensive and difficult to visit. For a small fee, a private visa service can speed up the visa application process and reduce stress.


Have a rough idea of what you want to do on your trip. In terms of cost, relaxing by the beach or going hiking differs from a city tour or a music festival crawl. So, plan out your primary activities. Build a list and prioritize them based on time and expense. What is vital is that you understand the entry fees or costs for these places or activities.

Most of the time, reserving some activities in advance can save you money. Many countries have specially developed tourist cards catering to certain interest groups, offering unique discounts and offers on activities.

Gifts and souvenirs

Souvenirs and gifts are an integral part of travel. The majority of the time, we want to bring back a small souvenir from our travels or gifts for family and friends. If you want to buy anything while you're there, set aside some money for it. However, you won't know for sure how much anything will cost until you get there.


Another very important aspect that you need to add to your budget is the purchase of an eSIM from KnowRoaming. You can find an eSIM package for numerous destinations worldwide, stay connected, and avoid roaming fees.


Always plan to have a little cash on hand in case of unexpected expenses. If you ever need to replace a lost ticket, pay for an emergency at the hospital, or pay unexpected bills, this will protect the rest of your travel money. Having a little extra cash on hand when you return home is also a good idea.

Overall, in planning your overseas trip's finances, being adaptable is the golden rule. Allowing for on-the-road splurges helps alleviate travel tension, but be careful with your spending to avoid running out of money or returning home to a hefty credit card charge. If you want to avoid the worst kinds of vacation experiences, a tight budget is like a chain around your leg. Spend less time being frugal, more time enjoying your trip, and less time being grumpy because you planned ahead of time.

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