In our post setting travel and financial goals we introduced Budget Your Trip as an easy way to project your travel budget and expenses for when you get on the road. We invited the creators of Budget Your Trip, Bryan and Laurie Tighe, to explain exactly what Budget Your Trip is and how it can benefit you as a frugal traveler.
One of the first questions that comes to mind when planning a trip is “how much will it cost?” Before and during our year-long world trip in 2009, we pondered our travel costs a great deal. How much will hotels and hostels cost? What are the best deals for transportation? Finding answers to these questions can be both tedious and inaccurate. From the most common destinations like Paris and San Francisco to the most exotic locales in Tibet or Africa, travel costs can be hard to estimate. During our trip, we kept a meticulous budget. But we would have benefited even more from seeing other traveler’s budgets. This is ultimately what spawned the basic idea of Budget Your Trip. We wanted to take some of the mystery out of travel budgets. The website has become a grassroots effort to create a comprehensive resource for real world and real-time travel budgets for every country in the world.
The fundamental concept of Budget Your Trip revolves around generating daily average travel costs for cities around the world. These daily averages come from the budgets of travelers who use the site to track their expenses. So, a traveler might input their expenses for lunch in Berlin as part their trip budget, and in turn that expense would become part of the average daily food costs for Berlin and also Germany. Finding these travel costs is easy and free, simply search for the desired country or city on the Estimate Costs page. Each city and country page has tabs across to the top for various information including the daily average costs, maps, local hotels and events, and more.
Keeping track of your own travel budget is also easy and free. By submitting travel expenses, members are not only contributing to the averages, but they can also view comprehensive reports, charts, graphs, and a map of their trip. Starting a trip budget is simply a matter of signing up on the site with an email and password, creating a new trip, and entering expenses into the form.
For future trips still in the research stage, travelers can enter a planned budget. Then, once the trip begins, those planned costs can be converted into actual expenses. Or, new expenses can be entered directly for unexpected costs or for those that have already started traveling. Every expense is tracked by date, category, and location. We’ve also made sure that travelers can enter their expenses in their own currency or in the currency of the country they are visiting. Currency conversions are done instantly and the costs are saved in both currencies. This way a trip can span multiple countries while allowing members to view their budget in their own currency, which makes more sense to them.
Our goal is to give travelers more information about their budget than they would see by tracking their expenses themselves. Budget Your Trip not only generates graphs and charts of daily, weekly, and monthly spending patterns, but also breaks down budgets by categories and locations. This way, you don’t need to be a spreadsheet wizard to understand your spending habits. You can always export your entire budget (or part of it) as a CSV file if needed.
Budget Your Trip currently has travel budget data on nearly 1,100 cities in over 115 countries. We’re always adding new features and ideas to the site, and we’re open to suggestions from the community, too. If there’s something you want to see, let us know.
Have you used Budget Your Trip before? Did you find it useful?