Setting a Budget
In planning our 8-day trip to Puerto Rico, we set a budget based on two factors:
- what we thought was a reasonable amount to spend on a vacation of this distance and duration
- what we felt comfortable spending
These factors will vary for each family; we decided on a budget of $2500 for 3 people for 8 days, including airfare and lodging.
Tracking expenses: Travel Wallet app
To track our expenses, we used a free app called Travel Wallet. Travel Wallet allows you to:
- set your maximum budget
- create categories of spending
- input each expense - We rounded each expense to the nearest half dollar.
On its main screen, Travel Wallet will list each expense in the order in which it is input, and display the remaining balance of the total budget.
A drop-down menu gives the option to set an exchange rate (not necessary for our Puerto Rico trip, as U.S. dollars are the official currency), so travelers can input expenses in the currency being spent, but see their report in U.S. dollars.
A "statistics" option will calculate the dollars spent, both by category and as a total, as well as showing the remaining balance.
What We Spent
Our Travel Wallet statistics summary calculated that we spent:
- $1200airfare for 3
- $550lodging (half of the rent for the 3-bedroom condo shared with the grandparents)
- $290rental car, including a pass for unlimited tolls
- $265food: restaurants, street vendors, kioskos, coffee shops
- $49.50food: groceries
- $46entertainment: tours, admission tickets
- $99souvenirs and gifts
Travel Wallet shows our final expenditures as:
Travel Wallet was a great assistance in maintaining our budget, helping us stay (just) under our predetermined maximum. So now we have half a dollar saved for our next trip.
More Budgeting Ideas?
Do you have an effective method for setting a budget and sticking to it when traveling? Tell us about it!
Note: we have no affiliation with Travel Wallet.