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Taking time off work to go on vacation should be a pleasurable experience, but it can leave you with guilt and anxiety if you end up going over budget. Planning ahead is the best way to prevent this from happening, so you can leave your vacation feeling relaxed and refreshed, rather than worrying about the credit card charges you racked up while you were away.
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I spoke with financial professionals and other money experts to get their tips on budgeting for a vacation — without the guilt of overspending.
How To Create a Vacation Budget
When it comes to creating a vacation budget, “the more detailed, the better,” said Rachel Cruze, author, financial expert and host of “The Rachel Cruze Show.” “How much will you spend on travel and accommodations? What about meals and souvenirs?”
In addition to flights, hotels, food and gifts, your budget should account for transportation while you are there and anything you will need to buy for your trip.
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“Your budget should include the cost of renting a car once you get there and the gas that goes into that car, as well as insurance if you have to pay for that,” said Bobbi Rebell, personal finance expert at Tally and author of “Launching Financial Grownups.” “It also might be clothing you may need to buy specifically for the trip. An example might be if you are going hiking, you might need special equipment.”
Figure out which attractions are must-sees, and which are just extras.
“Decide on your big spends in advance,” said Lacey Cobb, CFA, CFP, director of advice solutions at Personal Capital. “By prioritizing your purchases before arrival, it will be easier to pare down the list of sights you may want to see.”
You also need to account for additional expenses that may come along with your being gone.
“Don’t forget about costs associated with being away from home, such as pet care,” said Lindsey Bell, chief markets and money strategist at Ally.
In addition, you should also account for any missed income.
“While it is not directly something you pay for, you should also factor in that if you have a business or a job that does not pay you when …….