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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Ormesher

How to Budget for your Dream Vacation

Ah, the thrill of envisioning your upcoming adventure! Have you ever noticed that sometimes the only thing separating you from your dream vacation is a well-crafted budget? Fear not, fellow traveler, for I'm here to shower you with wisdom on how to plan your journey without breaking the bank. Let's embark on this budgeting voyage together, shall we?

A couple snuggles together beneath a yellow blanket while on a yacht.

Picture this: You've already chosen your dream destination. Now, let's turn that dream into a reality, all while keeping your wallet happy. You see, it's no secret that many wanderlust-struck souls tend to overlook the budgeting phase in their vacation planning. After all, the word budget can feel daunting. But why settle for being a statistic when you can join the ranks of savvy explorers who know how to make every penny count?


As your trusty travel advisor, my aim is to see you cruise through your vacation with ease and delight. Let's dive into the art of vacation budgeting.


First things first, let's nail down your budget foundation, regardless of where you're venturing. A golden rule of thumb? Dedicate around 10% of your annual income to fuel your travel escapades. The number usually swings between 5% and 15% for most Americans. Whether it's a bonus bonanza or putting away a little from each paycheck, this step ensures your budget is grounded. For those globetrotters who journey more than once annually, just split that magic budget pie accordingly.


Now, let's turn our attention to the heart of your expedition: your chosen paradise. It's time to dive into the nitty-gritty of your destination. Research is key—get cozy with the ins and outs of your chosen haven. And if you're a rookie to this locale, don't worry! Your trusty travel advisor (yours truly!) can guide you to crafting a realistic budget tailored to your destination and your desires.


With destination and budget in hand, let's start allocating those precious funds like a pro. We'll play with the “50/30/20” budgeting rule, customized for the wanderlust enthusiast that you are. And here's a secret: feel free to err on the side of generosity while estimating your expenses. This practice can be your secret weapon against any pesky surprises later on.

Families are taking their pictures in front of the  Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in Paris, France

Drumroll, please! Let's break down the magic recipe for a balanced budget:


💰 50%: Transportation and Accommodations Half your budget falls into this category—think airfare, cozy resorts or hotels, car rentals, that trusty gas for your rental, and parking. A wise starting point, and trust me, in today's air travel landscape, a little extra budget padding can be a blessing!


💰 30%: Food and Activities Let's feast on this allocation! Here, we're talking meals, whether they're whipped up in your vacation home's kitchen or savored at charming local eateries. And let's not forget the adventures—excursions, tickets, and all the exciting activities that turn a vacation into a memory. Bear in mind that not all destinations are equal in culinary prices, so a bit of research will serve you well.


💰 20%: Incidentals The sneaky budget-eaters. Tipping, resort fees, baggage snafus, and spontaneous splurges fall under this umbrella. This is where being prepared for the unexpected truly shines. By slipping some extra cash into this category, you'll be ready to tackle any curveballs that come your way.


💰 10%: Emergency Fund If you've been doing the math, and you should, you know we've gone above 100%. However, this is your guardian angel fund. Life's unexpected moments won't faze you when you're armed with this financial cushion. Always remember, having travel insurance is a smart move that's already baked into your budget. So, whether it's a small mishap or an unforeseen hiccup, you're covered. Plus, if your budgeting prowess exceeds expectations, this might just be the seedling for your next adventure!



A couple relaxes and smiles while sitting on pool loungers.

Imagine your vacation budget as a puzzle—each piece fitting snugly into place, painting a vivid picture of your dream getaway. As we weave these elements together, a budget emerges, perfectly tailored to your vacation dreams. Still a bit unsure about budgeting? Fret not, because your journey to financial vacation success is our utmost priority.



I'm here to answer your questions and guide you through your vacation budget. Our vacation consultation is a prime opportunity to dive into this topic, ensuring you're poised to embark on your next expedition with budgeting finesse. Let's partner up and transform your vacation dreams into a triumphant reality, all while keeping your bank account in a happy place.


Your journey towards a vacation starts right here, right now!

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