Deciding where to go on a vacation is the fun and easy part of  trip planning.  Paying for your elaborate dreams and wishes is where the work comes in.  So Thursday’s are going to be budget day.  (Figuring it out 1 day before payday, keeps payday spending in line.)

So where do we start.  First think of things you need for your trip like transportation, lodging,  food, entertainment and misc/emergency stuff.

Transportation – Get Prices or estimate what the cost will be based on your research.  And hope prices go down when you actually buy your ticket.  Doing this far enough in advance gives you an idea of what you need to save.

Estimating vs. Actual –  Early on, estimating based on experience, guessing, hearsay, can give you so soft numbers.  But  this method almost always leads to under estimating real prices and doing this for too long will lead to short comings on your vacation.

Lodging – Unless you’re staying with a friend of relative – Hotel cost are going to be the most expensive part of your trip.

Food – Here’s a cost you can control.  But it’s up to you.  For me experiencing the cuisines of my destination is part of the reason for going,  but you can control it.

Entertainment/Shopping – For some shopping is entertainment.  Bringing home an exotic item that no one else has is worth it for me.

Tours – Often can give you a nice overview of the destination.  It’s an organized way to hit the highlights of a destination, though it can be fairly commercial, usually more expensive than doing it yourself, but it is safe.

Souvenirs – mementos of your trip and gifts for those left behind

Well here is my first stab at the budget.  My numbers are based on a combination of  estimating, researching and guessing.  For this early stage, I am basing this on the shortest possible trip 7 – 10 days.  So here goes.

TRANSPORTATION

Airfare          $1,000                    (based on Tuesday airfare prices)

Train              $  531                       Eurorail pass

Hotel              $ 400                       Based on 3 nights in a moderate hotel

Food              $ 400                         Based on $60 a day estimates

Ent/shop     $ 500                         Based on $100 a day for 5 days/sites

Souvenirs    $ 150

Misc               $319                          Extras that I missed, and emergencies

Total            $3,300

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