When you go on a vacation it’s very easy to go way over budget and spend a lot more money than you ever thought possible. Often when you actually break all your extra over budget spending down it’s the little things that really do add up.
Keep Your Budget
This article originally appeared on LearnVest.com.
Whether you’re planning a vacation in Paris or a skydive in the States this summer, we don’t want you counting pennies while you stroll along the Seine or thinking about your savings account as you plummet toward Earth.
Vacations are well-deserved treats and money shouldn’t be a cloud over these precious times away. On the other hand, the “anything goes” spirit that is so intoxicating during a trip can turn a little…toxic afterward, when you’re home facing staggering credit card bills.
Follow our tips for staying within your budget on vacation so money concerns don’t interfere with your good times.
Start Planning Early—With a Budget in Mind
The key to optimal vacation spending is—you guessed it—planning and budgeting. About 8 percent of your total yearly budget can go toward “fun” spending like travel. If you love to travel, you can increase this portion of your budget by cutting other areas. When trip planning, balance your total costs based on 1) where you’re going; 2) how you plan to get there; and 3) what you’ll do once there. For example, while a small island in the Pacific might have really great rates on hotels or restaurants, it might cost a small fortune to fly there—but you’ll save on low-cost beach activities. If you’re on a budget, plan a trip that doesn’t gouge you in all three areas.