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Grow your money

August 24, 2018

How to budget for your family travels

Budgeting for our travels was a lot easier when it was only me and my husband, but now that our kids are grown, budgeting has become more challenging.

I was fortunate enough to travel with my husband to some countries when I was younger and each place always made us excited, curious, and happy. On each trip we took together as a couple, I learned many things about him, about myself, and about how we were similar in our budgeting skills.

While he was officially at work during some of our trips, I would go out on my own to grab a quick bite of the country’s local delicacies and also to check out the stores. I would use this time to check the prices of leather goods, sports shoes, and even miniature items to complete my collection at home.

These mall visits and price checks taught me to identify what I really need and what I just want to splurge on.

Traveling for four

Budgeting for our travels was a lot easier when it was only me and my husband, but now that our kids are grown, budgeting has become more challenging. Now, the equation goes: Travel Expenses x 4 adults.

If we want to have a worry free travel with the kids, then it is important to iron things out way before our intended vacation date. We may travel for different reasons but the questions we need to answer are constant for everyone.

  1. How much will the trip cost including food, accommodation, and “pasalubongs”?
  2. Are we staying with relatives during our trip or do we stay at a hotel?
  3. How many are going to travel?
  4. How long will the trip be?
  5. Will we be joining a tour or go around on our own?
  6. Have visas, passport, and airport tax fees been included?

Answering these is very important because the expenses will be in foreign currency, and if not planned well, it can turn out to be stressful and heavy on the budget, and the mind. These should be the least of our worries when we are in a foreign land.

A smooth and worry-free travel is possible if saving is started early. If the expenses are too much for the pocket, then maybe, the budget needs to be reconsidered and travel plans can be deferred.

Empowering kids

Traveling is a great way for kids to learn about new cultures and to experience new things, but apart from these, we also turn to traveling as a way to teach our children how to be mindful of their budget.

It’s important to trust kids with money even if they’re still young. My cousin, who’s a child psychologist, once advised me to give them daily school allowances as it would make them appreciate the value of money and the discipline needed in spending it accordingly. Similarly, when we travel here or abroad, we give them their own pocket money. The night before the trip, we give each of them their cash allowances and once we reach our destination, we immediately have them observe how money exchange works and let them do the math.

We always look forward to our travels, but now that we have kids, we want to spend it with them while we still can. We know that after a few more years, they will already have their own plans and we know that they would have mastered the skill of traveling on a budget. As parents, the support we will give them for travel advice will still be 101%, if they seek it. In the process, we might learn a thing or two from them as well.

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