How do you budget for your trip?

Summer travel requires careful financial planning, say experts

RIYADH — The spending budget is one of the most important elements in planning a vacation abroad because it allows travelers to deal with unexpected situations where a substantial amount of money is needed.

Preparing a travel budget depends on a number of factors such as the destination, the number of travelers and the time spent abroad, Al-Riyadh daily reported.

A recent study on travel for 2013 pointed to a 5 percent increase in travel budgets, while some were also prepared to spend double the amount they actually spent.

The study showed that tourists from the Middle East and Africa spend around $218 a day, on average, slightly below the international average of $239.

The study further noted that 79 percent of travelers have traveled once or twice a year over the past two years and that 80 percent of them plan for their trips at least 10 weeks ahead.

Around 38 percent of travelers said that they travel to spend quality time with their families and 42 percent said that they spend at least 10 days abroad.

Salwa Hashem, a university student, said there is no particular budget for her and her family during the summer vacation.

She noted that two years ago they traveled to Turkey on a budget of SR55,000, in addition to SR25,000 for the tickets.

Last year, she added, they spent some time in Dubai and Abha and her father had budgeted SR35,000 for that trip, while this year they plan to visit the US, for which SR80,000 has been allocated.

Um Fahad Al-Bassam said budgeting for a trip is a difficult task because children usually surprise their parents by buying things that were not accounted for.

She noted that she and her family visited London three years ago and had budgeted SR60,000 for the trip, but ended up spending around SR120,000.

This year they plan to visit Germany and her husband had budgeted SR100,000 for that trip, but she said he is not very concerned about the money because he only seeks to spend quality time with his family.

Manal Al-Khaldi said she spent her honeymoon in Malaysia and Indonesia and spent SR30,000 during that trip, while this year she and her husband plan to visit the US with a budget of SR40,000, but she has a feeling that the trip will cost much more than that.

Mariam Al-Awadh said traveling has many advantages and she is not too concerned about budgeting for her vacations.

She believes that it is more important that families spend and enjoy quality time during their travels.




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