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How to budget for your international trip?

Includes money-saving tips.

· 4 min read

Traveling is a fulfilling experience that creates lifelong memories. However, it can also be expensive if not planned properly. Budgeting for your travel ensures you make the most of your trip without breaking the bank. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you budget effectively for your next adventure.


1. Determine Your Travel Destination and Duration

The first step in budgeting for travel is to decide where you want to go and how long you plan to stay. Your destination will heavily influence your budget as some places are more expensive than others. Research the cost of living, accommodation, food, and activities in your chosen destination. Additionally, the length of your stay will affect your overall expenses.

2. Create a Travel Budget: What should be included?

Before you start budgeting for your travels, let’s take a look at what are some of the expenses you will need to include in your budgeting.

Travel Entry Requirements: Passport, Visa, Other Documents

Before you can even start to travel, you will first need to confirm that you are able to travel and enter the destination that you want to visit.

Check your passport validity - most countries require you to have a passport with at least 6 months of validity before you can enter. If your passport is about to expire within the next 6 months, you will likely need to apply for a passport renewal; and there are costs associated with passport renewal.

You should also check any entry requirements for the destination that you are traveling to. Confirm if you might need to apply for a visa to be able to enter the destination - if so, you will have to account for the costs associated with visa application.

Some destinations could also have additional entry requirements, such as the need for a travel insurance. These are also additional costs that you would have to consider and include in your travel budget.

Travel Insurance and Vaccinations

Now that you have fulfilled the entry requirements, you can consider other expenses that you might need to budget for.

Consider the need for a travel insurance and what you would need to have included in your travel insurance. Depending on the level of coverage, your travel insurance premium would vary. Compare the coverage and prices across multiple insurance providers to find one that fits your needs the most.

You would also want to consider the need for vaccinations - whether it is a flu jab or other vaccinations, the type of vaccine that you want to take (if you decide to) could vary greatly depending on where you are traveling to.

Flights and Accommodations

Flights and accommodations are likely to take up a large part of your travel budget.

Compare prices across various sites and airlines to get an estimate of what is considered a reasonable price for your ideal destination and your period of travel. Remember to also factor in the inclusions and add-ons such as luggage fees or in-flight meals should you need them. A good way to get an estimate of the cost would be to use Skyscanner or Google Flights to compare the prices across various airlines.

Similarly, check out the prices of your accommodation option across different sites and platforms. Compare the prices if you were to book directly with the accommodation, or if you were to book through a third-party to get an estimate of how much your accommodation would cost.

Attractions and Activities

Consider the attractions and activities that you would want to do on your trip. If you will be visiting certain attractions, remember to include the price of the attraction tickets in your budgeting. Similarly, if you will be joining a tour, the cost of the tour will also need to be included in your budget.

Daily expenses: Food, shopping, transport, and communication

Finally, you will need to budget for your daily expenses during the trip. This could include things like your meals, transport to help you get around, shopping, as well as communication tools.

Do a quick search of the average cost of a meal at your destination, as well as the average transport costs. Check if there are transport passes available that you could use for the duration of your trip. Put aside a certain amount of money for your shopping.

You will also need to budget in the costs required for you to stay connected while traveling. There are various options for you to stay connected - whether it is traditional data roaming or getting a local SIM card or travel eSIM. Your data expenses could vary largely depending on which option you decide to go with.

3. Budgeting Tips To Help You Save Money When You Travel

Use Travel Reward Programs

Sign up for travel reward credit cards or loyalty programs that offer points or miles for purchases. Use these rewards to offset the cost of flights, hotels, and other travel expenses.

Book in Advance

It is usually more cost-effective to plan ahead, with some attractions and accommodation offering early-bird discounts. By pre-planning and booking in advance, you will get to enjoy better deals and discounts. But always remember to look out for the cancellation policy in cases of changes.

Compare prices

When budgeting for your trip, a lot of it is about comparing prices. From flights and accommodations to tours and attractions, there are a lot of options out there. Spend some time doing your research and comparing prices across the different sites to help you find the best deals.

Use a travel eSIM

One of the best ways to stay connected at an affordable rate while traveling is to use a travel eSIM. Save up to 70% of your data costs as compared to international roaming. With a reliable travel eSIM provider like Nomad, it is easy for you to stay connected as you travel.

4. Track Your Spending During the Trip

Download budgeting apps like SplitWise or TravelSpend to track your expenses in real time. These apps help you stay on top of your budget and avoid overspending.

But while it's important to stick to your budget, allow some flexibility for unexpected opportunities. After all, since you are already on your trip, why not make the most of it - as long as it is still within your means!

Get a Nomad eSIM to help you stay connected when you travel

Nomad offers data plans in over 170 countries, and you can be sure to find one that is suitable for your travel needs. And if you will be traveling across multiple countries, there are also regional plans available so you can stay seamlessly connected as you hop between countries. Data plans are available from as low as $1.10/GB.

The networks that Nomad's eSIMs use for each plan are stated on the plan details on the web store and apps, so you can check which networks are supported before buying your plan. Data sharing and tethering is also supported on Nomad's eSIM plans.

In the event where you run out of data, Nomad also allows you to purchase add-ons for your data pack. With a purchased add-on, you will be able to seamlessly stay connected with the same eSIM.