on the subject of… vacation budgeting

seattle 142

Oh, how a week can fly by… It’s funny how a simple vacation can mess up your daily routine and before you know it, a whole week goes by and you realize you didn’t publish a single blog post.

Last weekend we went to Seattle for two nights with friends (I’ll write more about that later). Before most vacations Andrew and I sit down to decide what we’re going to spend–what’s our budget going to be so we don’t go overboard and overspend. We discuss what we plan to do while on vacation; like how many times we’ll go out to eat, or what attractions we plan to go see and do and then factor in how much it will all cost.

While we don’t budget every single thing down to the exact dollar we often give ourselves a daily spending allowance that we try to stay within. For example, our goal for this trip was to spend no more than $100 a day. While I can’t say we always stayed within the daily budget it helped us to really think about what we were going to do before we did it. Like since we knew we would eat out for lunch and dinner, we figured we should probably go to the grocery store to grab breakfast items to eat in the hotel room, instead of going out for brunch.

It’s little tricks like this that usually work pretty well to keep us mindful of our spending. But when we get home I am still amazed at how much we spent. I seem to remember our vacations used to be much cheaper when we were university students.

And then Andrew reminds me, “That’s because during weekend getaways with friends we would often sleep 8 to one hotel room and eat dollar-a-slice pizza to save costs.”

Man, oh man. Vacationing as an adult is expensive.¬†And by the way, we never did buy breakfast items from a grocery store… we ate out for brunch two days in a row. It just tastes too good!

Do you set a budget when you go on vacation?

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9 thoughts on “on the subject of… vacation budgeting

  1. Of course! :) But as long as we average over the year. Very important for us because we don’t want to dig into our principal and go back to work. BTW brunch is a combo. so it works as two meals. Good thinking. :)

  2. vacation budgeting as an adult is the *worst* — last time we did this, we designed a road trip to maine, and then when we budgeted for all the gas, hotels, restaurants, etc, we realized we could go to europe. would we rather drive to maine or go to europe? we ended up waiting on the decision, and then we just stayed home! i guess good for the savings.. but bad for the adventures… :/

    • Oh no! You just stayed home? But i know what you mean… sometimes my plane trip home to Michigan costs the same as a roundtrip flight to London, England! Grrrr…

  3. Pingback: The Secrets Of Traveling On A Budget – Simple Steps You Can Follow | Travel

  4. As a couple we also find it a big advantage to have location or the type of vacation largely dictate the budget. A week in NYC or SF can be done without overspending but you have to pay lots of attention. An all inclusive vacation, places with low costs of living like Thailand and Mexico and camping / nature trips have a much better chance of being on budget or lower cost. You would have to try to spend more versus other situations where it’s an uphill battle to keep within or under budget.

    • Very true! We did an all inclusive to Mexico for our honeymoon and it felt nice not to have to worry to much about budgetting once we got there. And camping is considerably cheaper… but when its a trip to a city like seattle or new york or san diego you really have to plan to eat out all the time and then all the touristy stuff you choose to do costs money too. I need to remember to look up local groupons in those cities before i visit them so I can try to find a good deal too! Thanks for your comment!

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