How Much Should You Spend When You Travel?

Ah traveling is always a debatable topic amongst the frugal and personal finance enthusiasts. Travel abroad or stay local? Nice hotel or cheap hostel? Eat out or picnic? Pay for entertainment  or look for free alternatives? These are all questions that people try to find the answers to when they travel. Now the key to these answers lies in how well you understand yourself.

You need to understand your likes and dislikes as well as what you are looking to accomplish with your trip. Some people like to just sit back and relax on a beach. Others like to go clubbing and drink all night.   For me its all about new experiences. I need to see, do, and eat everything. If I wanted to relax I could just stay home for a lot less but it’s these new experiences that rejuvenates me. Coming back I try to incorporate those experiences into my day to day life and make myself a better person.

The Answer To The Question “How Much Should You Spend When You Travel?”

As much as you need to to enjoy the trip and get what you want out of it. If you are going to spend the money to travel then why skimp out on things when you get there. Now I’m not advocating that you shouldn’t save for the trip ahead of time, or that you shouldn’t try and find deals or use coupons, because that would be irresponsible. But what I am saying is don’t sweat it if you can’t find a deal or a coupon or if you see something that you want to do that you didn’t account for just go a head and do it. In the end its better to have spent an extra $1000 to make the trip completely memorable than to have spent $8000 on a trip and come home miserable.

Our Personal Experience From Europe

When my wife and I think of our trip through Europe we always remember our time in Spain with disdain. It was our first country on the trip and we were trying to be frugal. Unfortunately this meant us wandering the streets hungry looking for something cheap to eat or us making sandwiches in a park using some sort of cured pork product. By Portugal I had had enough and the wallets open a bit. We didn’t go crazy but enough that we were having many more sit down dinners and enjoying ourselves. Lately I’ve begun to wonder if we would have enjoyed Spain a lot more had we not tried to save on every little thing.

My Hawaiian Honeymoon Experience

The trip was just amazing. We budgeted $8000 and ended up coming in under budget. We got to do everything we wanted and enjoyed a lot of local cuisines.  Below are just a few of the pictures and why we spent what we did.

This was the view every morning from our apartment balcony. It cost about $1600 Canadian for the week and was well worth it to experience a sunrise like that every morning during our stay.

What we have here is a simple meal consisting of butterfish, some vegetables and rise. It doesn’t bother me that it cost $36 because it was probably one of the best pieces of fish I have ever had. It was crispy on the outside and every morsel melted in your mouth.

Being in Hawaii I could not return to Toronto without surfing.  I found a group lesson for $65  but would have certainly paid more to feel the thrill of riding the waves. I swear it looked like a 20 foot wave!

This was the sunset view from a restaurant that we ate at twice. The meal cost us about $120 each time. The food was great and this amazing sight made it all the better. I will always remember how the sky was ablaze.

The word on the street was that you couldn’t leave Kauai without seeing the Na Pali coast.  Mother Natures handy work in carving out an entire coast line of shear cliffs. We took a 7 hour boat tour that cost us $240 after we had used some 20% off coupons. Once again just another amazing site.

Finally you can’t do Hawaii without going to a luau.  It was a bit corny but I got to try kalua pork, poi and see an amazing fire dance show. All worth the $100 for the both of us after we used the 25% coupon.