If you normally wake up on a random day and just decide to go for a road trip without any actual budget, even if almost everything is being catered for, then you should be alarmed. Really alarmed.
It’s far too easy to overspend on a vacation.
Road trip costs can easily get out of hand, there are so many things to consider! Creating a road trip budget will ensure you only spend what you must whilst enjoying an amazing adventure.
It’s not an unusual sight to see Kenyans totally broke after an exciting road trip with friends or family. This means they didn’t budget for the trip hence their woes.
Marketcap has come up with 9 ways Kenyans can better plan for such fun trips and avoid wasting money on things they end up regretting.
1. Cook Your Own Food
Dining out costs money. A lot of money. But you don’t have to eat out every meal when you’re on the road. Depending on how long your trip is, try and carry as much food as possible.
Another simple way you can reduce costs is by focusing on cooking rather than eating out. Get a house where you can cook for yourself instead of sleeping in a hotel.
Non-perishable snacks are also good to have on hand.
2. Go against the current
This might not be probably as fun as you want but going against the vacation calendar can save you a ton of money. If you choose to travel at the height of the season, expect to pay a premium.
If everyone is flocking to the coast, for example, go to Naivasha and when it’s January and everyone is leaving the coast, head there and get amazing deals on hotels and other services.
Going against the grain is good especially if you have a list of places you want to visit. Go when it’s empty rather than packed.
3. Go with a budget
Make a budget that will cover every expense and how much you estimate you’ll. Budgeting for a road trip begins with outlining a list of common areas of expenditure. By working through this list hopefully, you will have accounted for everything!
Carry the budget with you, maybe on your phone, to govern you.
4. Carry Cash
Mobile money, credit cards and other forms of payment are good, but cash can help you save by eliminating those transaction fees.
Transaction fees are normally ignored but can nimble into your budget to a shocking extent.
5. Plan ahead
Planning in advance gives you the time to hunt out great deals on accommodation, flights, transport or events. This doesn’t always serve you well. You can often find better deals at the last minute but by planning ahead, at least you have the option.
6. Cover yourself
Instead of just putting some money aside for emergencies, we’d suggest you get a small cover that will cover you well enough for your trip.
Yes, there’s a cost to this one but bear with me. Imagine you have a medical emergency. Without a good travel insurance policy, you will pay for any treatment from your own personal finances.
Medical fees add up fast and it’s not unknown for people to have to sell their homes to pay their bills. Sometimes you have to spend to save.
7. Figure Out What’s Important for You
All have various demands to travel comfortably and happily. For instance, you could like to stay in lavish hotels and be less concerned about what you dine, whereas someone else could want to eat luxury accommodation more often. Decide what is crucial to you and give your top vital stuff more funds.
You can sleep in a dingy place but enjoy the best and most expensive clubs and activities in the area. But if your budget is tight, then it can’t be both.
8. Hope for the best, be ready for the unexpected
This is where your emergency fund should come into play especially if you are using a car.
Your road trip itinerary likely doesn’t include “flat tire at 10:00 a.m.,” but unexpected costs on a road trip shouldn’t surprise you—or your wallet. You should include a small emergency fund in your travel budget so that you don’t end up with unexpected debt or the inability to pay for something essential.
9. Bring Friends
The easiest way to keep a road trip cost low is to have more people with whom you can split costs. A passenger reduces the cost of fuel by almost half, lodging by half and food by a notable amount.
A second passenger cuts costs even more. Plus, having people join you adds a social element to the road trip that can make things even more enjoyable.