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Budgeting a Vacation the Easy Way

Sep 16, 2008
The next time you get ready to leave for your road trip, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to budget because believe it or not, there are a lot of things that people tend to forget when they pack their bags and hit the airport or the roads. In order to maintain a great budget, use the checklist below to see if you've included all of these categories in your planning.

Gasoline - This is an obvious one but a lot of people forget about this one. In order to get a great estimate of how much gas you're going to use, there's a simple formula you can use. If you know exactly where you're going, hop on something like Google maps and pop in your destination. When you do this, it will show you how many miles this is going to take. Since you're probably coming back, you'll want to multiply this by two. Now, the next thing you'll want to do is take how much miles per gallon your car gets. Let's look at this example.

Let's say your car gets 30 miles per gallon and your round trip is going to take you 1,000 miles. You'll want to get a gas price average. Let's say gas is $3.75. If your car holds 13 gallons, it's going to get 390 miles per tank. Let's take the total miles of 1,000 and divide it by 390. You're going to get 2.5. This is how many times you're going to have to fill up your tank. Let's take the two fillips and multiply 13 by 2, which are 26 and we will take this 26 and multiply it by the gas price at 3.75. You're estimated bill on gas would be $97.50.

Food - If you're going on a road, you're going to need to factor in at least three meals a day. Depending on where you want to eat, this is what your budget is going to be. If you're going to eat at McDonalds, you probably can stretch it to about $5 per person. If you want to eat a more expensive restaurant, you may want to stretch it to $10-15; this is all up to you. You can also be creative and just pack lunches and dinners to save on money; it's all up to you.

Hotels - When travelling on the roads for more than 12-14 hours, you're probably going to need to stop at a hotel. While I recommend you book ahead of time so that you can save money, sometimes you don't know how far you're going to get. Instead, make sure that you factor in hotel stays or if you're camping, which is a lot cheaper, make sure that you factor this into your budget depending on where you want to stay. Keep in mind that some areas are cheaper than others depending on where you are.

These are a few things that a lot of people overlook. Some of you will glance at this and think, why do people forget these common things? Well, it happens and if you want a nice organized budget, make sure you think of everything that you spend money on.
About the Author
Find airline miles credit cards and more of Tom's work at FINDairlinecards.
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