When Sean and I first started planning and figuring out budgets there were just a few things that we forget to budget for. Which starts to add up after awhile. So if you are planning on hitting the road for awhile, here are 6 things to make sure to add to your budget!
If you are like me, you take water for granted but for many parts of the world bottled water is still very much a thing. Luckily, most parts of the world don’t overcharge water like some places (looking at you America). But, still, a dollar here and there adds up after awhile!
TIP: Invest in your own water bottle to travel with. Not only is it better for the environment but saves you some money. How might you ask? Cause you can buy those massive 5 Litres and keep it in your room! #YouAreWelcome
If you aren’t staying in an Airbnb that has its own washer than this is another thing you’ll need to budget for. Sean and I find ourselves being able to go Max 10 days without a wash. I prefer doing one more often. Especially when we are in hot weather places. The sweating really hinders the ability to wear something multiple times. Depending on how many clothes you are bringing when traveling, the number of times you’ll have to do laundry will differ.
There are kits you can buy to do your own in the sink but, I’m not really about that life. After our first month of not having a washer in our space, we now budget $2 a kilo. A little on the expensive side but we’ve tried super cheap places and it’s worth the extra dollar for nicer detergent.
Gifts for Family
I’m not talking about the gifts that you bring home after you are done traveling or when you see them next. I’m talking about the Birthday cards, the Happy Graduation Cards, Anniversary, Congrats on the baby and all that sort of cards. I know it sounds strange, but I’ve found myself sending these type of cards way more since traveling.
I think it’s a way to let your loved ones know that you are thinking of them. That you are confirming just because you are off traveling that they aren’t on your mind. The thing is though, they add up. So add it into your budget so you don’t find yourself eating instant ramen, cursing your loved one slightly cause they unknowingly took some away from your food budget.
Re-Stocking Up On Toiletries
So here is the thing, often times toiletries that you like will always be the most expensive one overseas. It’s sod’s law. You will, of course, try the budget ones, but your skin, hair, and teeth will not thank you. So then you buy the actual brands you want and trust me, it’s easier to just originally budget for it. It’s the little things that make a big difference when you are on the road. So go on, get your Listerine mouthwash and Revlon conditioner.
When you go on a tour, housekeeping, front desk, tuk tuk drivers etc you should leave a little tip. My rule of thumb for hotel stays if we stay more than a week, we tip. Not everywhere will be a tipping industry when you go out to eat but you should leave something for a guide or a driver who takes you around all day. It doesn’t need to be a lot but it does add up!!!
The Price You’ll Pay For A Taste Of Home
You will reach a point after traveling that you will crave something from home. It might be a certain food. Maybe a store or even just a Boots/CVS-esque store. When you hit that moment you will be willing to spend whatever on it no matter the quality. (Yes, I am speaking from experience. I once spent $15 bucks on a burger that was not a burger. I was so sad.)
So, plan for a “treat your self” moment when that happens. It’s okay to want to satisfy that craving whether it’s the outrageously expensive Pepperidge Cookies that are 5x the normal price or maybe even just a decent haircut.
How We Keep Track of Our Budget
Up until recently, we kept everything and we mean everything on an excel spreadsheet.
We made sure to keep track every little expense because if we went over, we could pinpoint why. The thing about long-term travel is yes, you can overspend here and there but the more “there” means less to spend on travel. Add in the fact that Sean and I freelance there are some months we are flush with cash and other’s we are counting pennies until the invoices are paid.
Our spreadsheet got so big that it kept crashing so recently we moved to using Toshl and yes you have to pay a small fee each month for it but it’s worth it. It means, we both can update in real life and it is much easier to track. Highly recommend it!
Anything you would add to the list? Share with me below!