You’ve decided to set out on the trip of a lifetime and you’re excited to immerse yourself in a new culture. You’ve done plenty of research on the area you’ll be visiting, learned about the different customs you may encounter and are totally prepared to try lots of foreign dishes. But how much will your trip cost? Do you have money saved for the essentials, exploring, and souvenirs? If you don’t know what your daily expenses will be, it can be difficult to plan properly for your trip. Keep reading to learn more about money management for teens and how to best prepare for your trip.

How to Budget for Travel

1. Preparation Expenses

There’s a lot that you’ll need to take care of before you ever step foot on an airplane. That means you’ll need to set aside a certain amount of your trip budget for preparation expenses. These preparation expenses should include all the money you must spend before reaching your destination. Some common items to consider in your preparation expenses include:

  • Passport and Visa — To travel to a foreign country, you must have a current passport and depending on where you’re visiting, a visa may be required as well.
  • Travel Insurance — While travel insurance isn’t a requirement to visit a new country, it can be extremely helpful if something goes wrong while you’re far away from home.
  • Vaccinations — It’s always a good idea to research whether you’ll need to update your vaccinations before traveling to a new country. Vaccinations are relatively affordable and can save you from a great deal of trouble later on.
  • Luggage and Travel Gear — This is a very personal and broad category, but it can include everything from suitcases and backpacks to money belts, hiking gear, international phone plans, cameras, and other electronics. Basically, this should include anything that will make your travels more comfortable.
  • Transportation — Depending on where you book your trip, much of your initial transportation needs should be included in your program fee. However, other transportation expenses like bus fare or train fare may not be included in the overall price of your trip. So, double-check what is and isn’t included—and make the proper adjustments to your preparation expenses.

2. Actual Trip Expenses

You’ve landed at your destination, so how do you plan on spending your money during your stay. Giving yourself a budget of exactly how much you can spend each day is a great place to start. For example, if you save $700 and your trip will last 10 days, you can spend $70/day. Some factors to consider when planning for your daily expenses include:

  • Food and Drink — Many teen travel programs may include one or 2 meals as part of your overall costs. But even if that is the case, you should set aside money for meals and refreshments for the duration of your trip. This will allow you the freedom to explore the local cuisine as much or as little as you please.
  • Tours and Activities — This is the best way to ensure that you’ll get to try all the different activities of your choice while abroad.
  • Souvenirs — Whether you’ve got a whole group or family and friends that will be waiting for gifts upon your return or you’d simply like to purchase a few special souvenirs to remind you of your travels, you should set money aside for this purpose.
  • Emergency Funds — Just like at home, you never know when you could end up in an accident while traveling abroad. So, it’s a good idea to set some money aside to use in case of an emergency.

Girl Buying Souvenirs while Traveling Abroad

3. Allow for an Occasional Splurge

It’s impossible to plan out every detail of your trip abroad and it would be a shame to fall in love with a certain activity or a souvenir that you can’t afford, all because you didn’t prepare properly. Or maybe you’ve already set your mind to test out the most expensive restaurant in your destination city. Whatever the splurge may be, it’s important to give yourself some wiggle room in your budget to indulge a bit on your travels. As long as you stick to your regular daily budget for the majority of your trip, you can afford to splash out on something extravagant at least once.

Start Planning for Your Next Adventure with Travel for Teens

Having a tough time getting started on your Europe travel budget? There are several budgeting apps available on iOS and Android that can help to make budgeting for a trip abroad much easier, including Mint and YNAB. If you take the time to plan properly and work at creating a solid budget, you’ll find that managing your money while traveling abroad doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Ready to book your next trip? Contact us today for more information on our available programs.