I have to pause for a second when a friend gets all giddy and says to me “I got this awesome travel deal for $1,000 for everything!” While that is a great deal, is $1,000 the total cost of travel for that individual?
Obviously everyone has different expenses when it comes to travel. While a person might say they got an excellent deal on a particular trip, what they are most likely referring to is the total before-hand expense of a trip. More specifically meaning the accommodations, and the transportation is already covered.
But for many people, the $1,000 is only the start of the expense….What do I mean?
Paid Vacation Time
Do you have a job that allows you to get paid vacation time each year?
If yes, then great! You vacation will have little to no effect on the amount of money you make. I just hope you get all the weeks you need to travel 🙂
If no, or if you get only a few paid weeks a year, then your cost of travel can be significantly more. For example, my wife and I are self-employed. So not only do we have the out of cost expenses for our trip, but we also have the effect of losing out on income. It is a two-edged sword, and basically doubles the cost of our trip.
Our bills and our expenses continue to come in, and are actually multiplied. Because we have our regular at home expenses, and then we are also spending money on our trip as well. So our true cost of travel is quite a bit more. And don’t forget we aren’t making any money on vacation either.
So this requires additional money, additional planning, and additional budgeting.
Since my wife and I generally get awesome deals on our travel, our biggest expense isn’t the travel part. It is the effect of the missed income while on vacation. That is what hurts more then anything. Keep these things in mind if your in this situation like myself.
So the true cost of travel would be = Out of pocket expenses before, during and after trip + Missed income not working
Cost of Food and Drinks
Unless your staying at an all-inclusive resort your food expense can be significant. In a lot of cases, it can cost more then your accommodations or your airfare.
A lot of people completely neglect this expense, myself included at times, and justify to yourself that food is a necessary expenses whether or not your on vacation. And while that is true, anytime your eating out for every meal, food can be really really expensive. Add drinks and alcohol to that, and the cost can be significant. If you like that kinda thing 🙂
I suggest you take a look at this article I wrote on how you can minimize your food expenses when traveling.
Other Miscellaneous Expenses
What about the rides to and from the airport? Or the cost of transportation within the city your visiting? Or the cost of the rental car? Or the shopping you plan on doing once your at the place your going to?
What I am saying is there a lot of other unplanned expenses that you, or your family will be making as well. So the example of a trip costing $1,000 can be more like $2,000 or even $3,000 once you add in all these other factors. These things need to be considered especially for someone who wants to travel frequently, and someone who wants to be financially savvy.
Ask yourself, with these things in mind “Is this amazing trip still affordable?” and “Is it still as good a deal as I expected?” If your answers are yes, then have an awesome time! If you are hesitant, and aren’t sure if it makes sense then seriously weigh out your finances and do what is best for you and your family.
The true cost of travel is a smack in the face to some people, and to others it is obvious. How do you feel? Post your thoughts in the comments section below!