How to Plan and Stay on Budget while on Vacation!

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We have all heard of the saying, people do not plan to fail, they simply fail to plan. However, planning is one step to the puzzle. It is actually sticking to the plan that makes the difference and most people find it difficult to stay disciplined. We hope to help you finally tackle it by providing you with simple actionable strategies and tools that make a huge difference and motivate you to stay disciplined.

The purpose of budgeting in the first place is to not spend more than your earnings. With this in mind, it is extremely important that we identify our needs from our wants. Needs are things that we simply cannot live without such as food, clothing, and shelter. Wants, on the other hand, are things that we actually can live with or without. They are sometimes triggered by impulses and how we feel at a given moment which doesn’t necessarily translate into a necessity. If you ever find yourself in a difficult position trying to make a decision about spending, always remember to ask yourself; is this a need (necessity) or want (impulse)? I guarantee you, you will be glad about the decision you made a few days after.


A penny saved is a penny earned


Another question to ask yourself is should I delay gratification or succumb into instant gratification? Most spending habits are usually based on impulses which are instant gratification only to regret it later after the fact. Budgeting is a tool that can help you to spend your money with a purpose. It enables you to take control of your finances. Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned. Although budgeting may sound to you like an unappealing activity, successful budgeting is absolutely critical.


Our Vacation Savings Estimator


Why is Planning Important:

Travelers who plan their trips have a distinct advantage over non-planners. According to an article by Project: Time Off’s, The State of American Vacation 2017, “workers who set aside time each year to plan out their vacation days use more of their vacation time, take longer breaks, and report greater happiness than non-planners with their relationships, health and well-being, company, and

job.” Although, it goes without saying the things that hinder people from planning. These barriers include but are not limited to; 64% of American’s say lack of certainty with personal schedule, while 57% say lack of certainty with work schedule and 50% say coordinating children’s schedule and extra-curricular activities is the barrier, according to the article. If you do not plan accordingly, you will make huge financial mistakes that can become costly. “Establishing your budget is the first step to financial success. As the saying goes, out of sight out of mind.”


Allocating your Budget is good planning:


Overcome budget-allocation inertia by organizing your budget according to the commonly used categories for it will save you time and effort. Listing all the categories in columns in a spreadsheet application, such as Excel, will help you to organize your costs. Since a budget is a pattern of

expenditures, realistic planning of finances is key to the implementation. A professional and transparent approach to budget planning will save you tons of money and your wallet and future self will thank you.


Budget Allocation Scenario


Here’s what you can do before you Trip:

When planning:

1. Work with an experienced travel consultant or planner. The devil is in the details. An article by Sally Black on Family Vacation states, “it takes 10-20 hours for a person to research their vacation.” This time easily doubles if you are especially researching a new and an unfamiliar destination. Even for experienced travelers, planning and booking complicated trips online can prove daunting. Therefore, getting stuck in dead-end queries that zap our time and energy and not even sure if our expectations will be met is not fun either. In fact, according to a 2013 Washington Post travel article, many vacationers ask professionals to sort fact from fiction after much internet research. After all cyberspace is not reality. The really surprising part is that only 20% of consumers seek the help of an experienced travel agent or consultant. Besides aggravation and costly travel mistakes, studies show an experienced travel agent can save consumers an average of more than $400 per trip. Travel consultants are now more valuable than ever since they tend to have the knowledge and first-hand experiences. It is also important to take into consideration the unexpected snafus such as flight delays, running late to catch a flight, passport and visa issues especially for foreign travels and the list goes on and on. Some travelers even wished they get more support upon their arrival to their chosen destination. See how this is a huge part of Trailblazer Travelz commitment.

2. Ask or find out about free activities ahead of time. Then, identify which activities you must participate and the cost involved.

3. Identify the top three places you would like to go or would like to write off from your bucket list. Base on your budget, season, length of time, look out for deals and promotions within those three categories and select the one that is cost effective and within your budget.

4. Continue to enquire about any special offers and promotions (Ask and it shall be given), you will never know unless you ask.

5.Understand currency exchange in your chosen destination. Go where the dollar is strong and exchange rates are great. This will also allow you to realistically set daily spending limits. Whether it is, meals, entrance tickets to a historical site, transportation etc. Currency+ Lite is a very good app to use and it is free.

6. Pack a durable water bottle for your bag and fill it up once you go through security. The Que collapsible water bottle is great since it saves room while empty.

7. Allow and help kids pack their favorite gadgets to avoid having to spend simply because you forgot to pack it. The nomatic backpack from Nomatic allows you to pack electronics easily and are TSA approved and also comes with great features.

8. Make a check-list of items that are TSA approved. Such as your favorite snacks. TSA rules and restrictions are extremely rigid so take note. Read more here.

9. Take into consideration how much you would like to spend on souvenirs and make a list of items. We may not know all the items however, you should always take that it into consideration in your travel budget. Who doesn’t like to bring a piece of something from a new country?

10. Compare between renting an Airbnb vs. booking a hotel or a vacation rental. Vacation rentals are an economical, practical option for families and large groups who would otherwise have to pay for more than one hotel room. More space, more privacy and more money in your pocket when. Although, sharing a house lets you strike a compromise between togetherness and privacy. Also, you will most likely have access to a kitchen and washer/dryer. If your property is part of a larger resort or condo complex, you might also enjoy privileges like golf, tennis and concierge service. You can enjoy family meals together in a communal kitchen.

11. Pack lightly. The cost of checking in more than one baggage can really be expensive especially for international travelers. If done right it can be a huge money saver. How many times have we packed things that we never end up using and besides if you have never used it before or worn it most likely you won’t be needing it. It is also important to note that some airlines actually encourage you to check your baggage on their app at a discount which is a huge money saver. In addition, traveling with less baggage makes it effortlessly easy to navigate through the airport and this becomes even more pressing when you are running a little behind schedule. Although, traveling as a family and especially with young children can be difficult to travel light, however, if planned ahead of time, you will do just fine. I personally only travel with a carry-on and a handback even for a month stay. More than a month of course will require a bigger luggage. Invest in a good carry-on and avoid paying extra in fees. The Away Travel carry-on is by far one of the best and is cost effective. Or the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage – 20-Inch, Orange is also great and the price is pretty reasonable. Also, never pack something you have never worn before or tried on. Try on your new things first before packing them.

12. Give your budget a little room and flexibility to splurge. Whether it is a spa treatment or treating yourself to an exquisite dinner, sometimes we simply cannot deny ourselves from those experiences.

13. Check with your favorite credit card company to see if they have a good travel reward card, especially foreign travel reward cards.

14. Join frequent flier mileage reward program with your favorite airlines. Miles are awarded based upon ticket price and class, rather than travel distance.

Trailblazer Travelz Vacation Budget Planner


Here’s how to stay on Budget:

Based on a 2015 survey by Experian, 68% of travelers said they spend more money than expected while on the road and 49% said they accumulated more debt on their credit card. This is why it is also important to have a little flexibility when planning your travel budget and take into consideration the unexpected splurging. With that added to your budget, you can stay on budget without pilling on additional credit card debt.

1. Act like a local. Shop at local tourist markets instead of hotel gift shops.

2. Take advantage of complimentary breakfast, if the hotel that you are staying in offers one, even if you have to wake up an hour or two early. You can always catch up with your sleep. Find this out as soon as you arrive at your hotel or check the hotel website prior to boarding or while planning. You are not begging you are simply asking questions any experienced traveler would do. Be friendly and have a little chit-chat while you are being checked in. Most likely the customer service at the front desk would be happy that you are having a friendly a conversation – kindness goes a long way.

3. Managing your money while on vacation is easy with the right software and a plan. We have created the travel expense calculator for just that.

4. Save with a great, free software, such as, that can take the headache out of vacation spending and let you just enjoy your vacation without having to manage a budget. By linking one – or two or three or 10 – credit or debit cards to Mint, using only those cards for all your purchases and categorizing them specifically in the time frame of your vacation, Mint will keep track of all expenditures on a weekly, daily or hourly basis. Keep your ATM receipts and your all set. Mint’s mobile app goes wherever your smartphone goes, and it’s vacation budgeting tool has been lauded by reputable travel publications.

5. Avoid the scam that is the hotel mini-bar! It’s late. You’d love a nightcap, but in order to go to the hotel bar, you’d have to get dressed, comb your hair and go downstairs. Why do that when there’s a ton of booze right there? Every mini-bar in every hotel is there for one purpose — to jack up your bill. You might think, “Why not? I’m on vacation and anyway, it’s just one drink.” No, it’s not. It never is. Vacation is supposed to be fun. The constant stress of having to manage a budget defeats the entire purpose of getting away from it all. The right software – combined with some common-sense choices – can make your vacation the beautiful exile it was supposed to be and not just another week of crunching dollars and cents. Based on a 2015 survey by Experian, 68% of travelers said they spend more money than expected while on the road and 49% said they accumulated more debt on their credit card. This is why it is also important to have a little flexibility when planning your travel budget and take into consideration the unexpected splurging. With that added to your budget, you can stay on budget without pilling on additional credit card debt.



The overall purpose of a budget is to clearly establish a plan so that performance in relation to a goal can be carefully monitored. Thus, budgeting has a two-fold purpose. The first purpose is to allow individuals or companies to develop a plan to meet a specified goal. The second purpose is to allow ongoing comparisons between actual results and the plan in order to better control operations or activities. Nevertheless, always add a little room for the unexpected splurges, Which is why we encourage our community to leave a little room for flexibility as opposed to rigidity. Not leaving room for flexibility is one of the reasons why people don’t like to budget. Life is filled with uncertainties, a very good reason why too much rigidity doesn’t work for budgeting. Warning, do not confuse rigidity with impulse spending {Ephasis Added}.

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