In last week’s newsletter, we covered how to narrow down the list of places you are thinking about going this year based on the amount of time you have to travel, the timing you can take the trip, and the interests of the people you are traveling with.

Chances are that your list is still longer than the amount of trips you can take in one year. Another angle to help you further refine your list is to look at how much it costs to travel to your top picks.

I always tell my clients that to get the most VALUE out of the money you spend on a trip, you have to prioritize what is most important to you for that specific trip. Is the most important thing an experience or adventure that you’ve been dreaming about for years? Or is it feeling like a VIP in the top luxury hotel? Or is it dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant?

Once your spending priorities are defined, then the rest of the costs can fill in the gaps of your budget. The trick is that most people don’t even know where to begin with figuring out how much to realistically budget for a trip.

Here are some tips and tools that you can use to figure out high-level costs for a destination in less than 5 minutes by using just two websites

Step 1: Flight Costs

Flights are the necessary evil to travel long distances. There are finite options and not much flexibility in pricing. Finding flight deals will be a topic for a future newsletter, but at this stage just do a quick search to get a feel for the range of prices to your desired destination when you are thinking of going.

Where to look for costs:  My favorite site to do an initial flight price search is Google Flights. It shows a nice price calendar so you can see month by month how flight prices change.

Caveat: Not all airlines, like Southwest, are included on Google Flights.

Step 2: Costs in the Destination

Don’t rule out a destination because it’s expensive to get there. Places like Southeast Asia are so inexpensive once you get there that it more than balances out the flight price.

Where to look for costs: Budget Your Trip is an amazing website where you can enter a destination and your travel style (Budget, Mid-Range, or Luxury) and it spits out estimates for accommodations, food, transportation, activities, tips, etc.

Caveat: It doesn’t take WHEN you are going into account. As I explained in last week’s newsletter going during high tourist season could drive up these costs, so if that’s the case, then be sure to budget more than what is estimated here because this is just showing you average costs.

I hope this hack helped you finalize where you plan to travel to this year.

Where are you going? Let me know in the comments below! 

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