This is the question I get asked most often when I talk or write about traveling. Of course, the answer depends on a lot of variables — how many cities you plan to visit, what sort of hotels you prefer, whether you are able to get plane tickets on sale, and so on — but even a ballpark figure would be extremely helpful if you’re planning your own trip.
My usual answer is this: PHP 10,000 per person per day.
Again, this is just an estimate — something to help you put together a budget plan for your trip — and it’s a fairly generous estimate.
(If I had to describe my travel style, I’d say it’s frugal but comfortable. There are travelers who like to compare trip costs — the cheaper, the better — but I don’t. My personal goal is not to have the cheapest vacation, but to have the best vacation within a reasonable budget, and I tend to be willing to pay a bit more for something if it means I would be happier during my trip.)
Also — in addition to itinerary quirks and personal preferences, your daily budget would also vary with how long your entire trip will be: a longer trip would mean a smaller per-day average but a bigger total budget, and vice versa.
Those disclaimers said…PHP 10,000/day should already include:
- Airfare. This is if (a big if) you are able to get those tickets on sale.
- Accommodations. You can get low- to mid-range hotels on this budget. Staying in hostels would bring the cost down.
- Food. One good meal per day, with (hopefully) a free breakfast at the hotel, and a simple sandwich or food from a grocery for the other meal.
- Transport. Plan on high-speed trains or sleepers between cities and a lot of walking within.
- Souvenirs. Nothing fancy, just the usual fridge magnets and key chains, but at least.
- Tickets. Places of interest, museums — just the main tourist spots, really, and angle for free entrances whenever possible. (Click here to get a quick look at the entrance fees to the most popular spots in Paris.)
Obviously, a European vacation isn’t exactly something you can do on loose change, but with a lot of planning and DIY-ing, you can put together a much more cost-efficient and personally meaningful travel experience than when you get one of those one-size-fits-all tour packages from travel agents. Create a travel fund now, so you have cash on hand when a travel opportunity strikes. And start planning your dream itinerary. Luck favors the prepared!
How to afford your dream vacation
- Create a travel fund — start now!
- Make it grow — take a look at your current expenses and see where you can save.
- Force yourself to save by following the golden rule: INCOME minus SAVINGS minus TRAVEL FUND equals EXPENSES.
If you’re the type of traveler who doesn’t mind pinching pennies and putting in the time and energy to scout for good deals on airfare, accommodations, etc., this budget might work better for you: