Read here how to set a Budget for Summer Vacation with Friends
- JWB Post
- May 16, 2015
For the budget-conscious, traveling with friends can be a stressful prospect. Managing your money is hard enough when you’re by yourself; it becomes even more difficult if the people you travel with have a more disposable income or more expensive taste.
Luckily it’s not impossible to stick to a budget and have a good time. So go ahead and book that group trip — just remember to follow these six tips when you do.
Talk Budget as Soon as You Start Planning
As soon as you begin planning, let your friends know what your budget is for travel and lodging. Odds are, you’re not the only one with a spending limit, so everyone will be happy if you break the ice and bring up money. If you establish the idea of traveling within a budget early on, it will be much easier to bring it up later if you don’t feel like you can afford a specific day trip or restaurant.
Be Willing To Do Things Separately
Just because you’re traveling together doesn’t mean you have to spend literally every minute in each other’s company. If some of your friends want to plan an activity that you can’t afford, its okay to opt out and tell them you’ll meet back up for dinner afterwards.
Remember, the goal isn’t to make your friends feel bad for what they want to do, so if you do make plans on your own, do it cheerfully. Embrace the chance to have a little solo time — it will probably be a refreshing break from having constant company on the rest of the trip!
Set Aside “Splurge” Money
That said, you don’t want to feel like you’re constantly depriving yourself of fun activities that everyone else can afford to do. That’s a sure recipe for bitterness and hurt feelings. A good way to avoid this is to budget a little extra money into your travel costs. Is everyone else going out for drinks or buying theatre tickets? Dip into your cushion and join them — treating yourself once or twice will make it easier to stick to a budget the rest of the time.
Don’t Keep Track of Every Penny
At some point in your travels, you will probably spot a friend a few bucks or pull out your credit card to save the hassle of splitting a check. For big expenses, it’s absolutely okay to make sure you get paid back. No one wants to get stuck with paying for all three nights at the hotel, after all.
But when it comes to smaller expenses — buying snacks, for example, or covering the cost of a taxi — don’t keep track of every penny one of you owes the other. No one likes to feel nickel-and-dimed, especially not by a friend, and fighting over a few bucks is a sure way to ruin a vacation.
If you’re the only one being generous, of course, you should point that out. But as long as both of you are willing to treat the other occasionally, things will come out even in the long run.
Take The Initiative To Keep Costs Low
The best way to stick to your budget is to be proactive. Don’t wait for others to suggest outings, or hotels and restaurants that are out of your price range. Take the initiative to find low-cost options. Look for fun, free activities that everyone will enjoy. Offer to book the hotels or research public transportation. Ask locals to recommend a place to eat before someone suggests a five-star restaurant.
Not only will you save money and impress your friends with your planning skills, you’ll probably have a more genuine, less touristy experience.
Be Honest, Not Embarrassed
Money is a difficult subject to bring up, no matter whether you’re discussing a budget you need to stick to or a payment someone owes you. But it will be a lot easier to bring up if you address the issue honestly, rather than dancing around it.
Remember, there’s no reason to be embarrassed by limiting your spending or asking for what you’re owed. Being open, cheerful, and matter-of-fact will keep your friendships intact and save you a lot of unnecessary stress.
Have you ever traveled with friends? How did you stick to a budget and avoid arguing over money?
The article originally appeared here