How to Budget for Travel

Travel Tip: How to Budget for Travel

Many people think that travel is something that only the rich can do. They don’t believe that it can be extremely accessible for anyone. This is part of the reason that BarrisTourista publishes tips and tricks for saving money on travel…to show that travel is, indeed, doable. No matter what your budget is, here are five travel budget questions to consider so you can fuel your wanderlust and determine what is most important when you start to budget for travel.

  1. What are your travel goals?

Starting at the beginning, it is important to identify your goals before going forward. I always advocate SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely) goals. Do you want to take two big trips this year? Will you be traveling during the holidays? What do you want to accomplish this year in travel? But in addition to SMART goals, throw in some aspirations as well so you have something to look forward to.


  1. What type of traveler are you?

Okay, you have to be honest with yourself on these questions, or this whole exercise is moot. Knowing yourself is going to be the key to having a rewarding and realistic travel experience. Are you someone who likes to backpack or do must you have  4- or 5-star accommodations? Do you have certain times and destinations you must travel/visit, or do can you be flexible? These are just a couple of questions to consider, but if you don’t take to answer these questions and assess your travel style, there is a very real possibility your trip will be a disappointment…or it won’t even happen.


  1. Are there alternative airports that you can fly into to save money?

If you live in a city with multiple airports, or near a major airport hub, it may behoove you to check to see if you can find a significant deal from an alternative airport. Live in LA? Check out Burbank, Long Beach or Orange County airports. NYC? Try Newark. Miami? Try Fort Lauderdale.

This also works on the destination end as well. If you want to go to London, for example, check a bunch of airports in Europe, like Paris or Dublin. Once you are across the pond, it is very inexpensive to get around the continent, but the key is first and foremost to get there.

Read Also: The Do’s and Don’ts of Glitch Airfare


  1. What are you willing to sacrifice?

This is the word no one wants to hear but everyone has to consider. If you want to have the trip you want, but funds are tight, you may have to make some sacrifices in order to travel. So what are you willing to give up, and what are truly necessary or non-negotiable items?


  1. In which programs do you have loyalty memberships, points or status?

You want to figure out when it is most advantageous to cash in accrued points or miles from loyalty programs, as that can save you substantially on your travels.

How to Budget for Travel

Travel Sense & Cents Budget Sheets BarrisTourista How to Budget for Travel

So there you have it. There are five huge questions to consider when making a travel budget. Want more? Check out the Travel Sense & Cents Budget Sheets, which pose detailed budget questions to help you get to your travel goals. And for not only budget help, but also trip planning, check out the Travel Sense & Cents Workbook, which includes the budget sheets, calendars and trip planning guides.

For more travel tips and tricks, check out BarrisTourista.com every Thursday. And to make sure you never miss another tip, sign up for the list and you will also receive a 5-Page Travel Deals Mini Guide. 


I am a lawyer. I am a journalist. I am a writer. I am a photographer. And I love to travel.

42 comments on “Travel Tip: How to Budget for Travel”

    1. Jay, do and bring things that calm and entertain you. If you are nervous, be sure to bring things to occupy you so you don’t have a lot of time to stress. Or bring items to help you sleep (eye mask, etc.). Most of all, the more you fly, the less nervous you will be (hopefully). Good luck!

  1. These are awesome tips. I’ve found that flying into an alternative airport can save a lot of money. I’m super spoiled in terms of hotels and lodging, so I like to spend less on the flight and more on the hotel LOL.


  2. I am the traveler that looks at my wallet and think goodness we won’t be going anyhwere anytime soon lol. I am usually decent when it comes to budgeting though making sure I budget right with a little to spare.

  3. Thank you for the ideas. I’m among those who say I’d love to travel but the way my bank account is set up… (LOL) so I can really use your tips on traveling. Definitely bookmarking your blog.

    1. Regina, you can do this, I promise! Check out my Tips section on the blog for advice. And on Tuesday, check out this month’s frequent flier sound off. She is all kinds of inspirational!

  4. I am such a planner. I usually plan anywhere from 6 months to a year in advance. My priority is always my hotel. I will skimp and save everywhere else and splurg on my hotel!

  5. I am definitely a creature of habit and it spills over into my travel. I like to go to the same places a lot because they feel familiar (Aruba is basically home for me) but I definitely need to get better about budgeting so that the trips are less stress and more fun.

  6. We love traveling as a family! However, we’re a little different than the norm in that we don’t have the itch to explore far away … we prefer to explore our own country (which is pretty honkin’ huge as far as countries go, lol!). I definitely plan almost every last detail, and I budget many months in advance. It’s so worth it!

  7. Money always seems to be the biggest obstacle for me when it comes to travel, so I”m loving these tips! I’ll have to sit down and work this out for myself – make it possible!

    1. Jessica, I am all about doable tips LOL. And check out our resources section of BarrisTourista.com, as I have created budgeting sheets and a trip planning workbook. Click on Buy Now and it will take you to a page to check out the workbooks. 🙂

  8. Great tips. We don’t travel ever. We’ve been on two trips before we had 6 kids, so I don’t see us traveling much anymore. I do have lots of friends who travel though so I’ll direct them here!

  9. I am loving these tips because I am living proof of someone who practices them and travels a lot and I ain’t rich by any means. Awesome tips

  10. Such a smart tips! I always thought that traveling is expensive. I’m not a traveler but I would love to.

    1. Ryan, it can be expensive. But the key is to be flexible. Just today I have seen a deal from Chicago to LA for $68 ROUNDTRIP, and deals from places like New York to the Caribbean for under $300. It can be done!

  11. This is a great list for people who want to be serious about traveling. So many people make excuses not to travel instead of coming up with realistic budget to travel appropriately!

  12. i love to travel! is is so much fun for me and i love learning and experiencing new things. thanks so much for sharing these awesome tips.

  13. I agree, with proper budget planning one can make a safe & wonderful journey anytime. And these are some simple yet effective tips that could come handy for everyone of us.

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