The first step to anyone enjoying a budget holiday is by setting yourself a limit on how much you want to spend on the holiday and how much money you want to splash whilst in the destination. So you’ve started by booking your flights, next thing is to actually get out there and start enjoying your holiday but this is where it becomes incredibly difficult to stick your budget. TravelUp have provided our top holiday budgeting tips to ensure you don’t come back feeling guilty of splashing more cash than planned.

Take your list of holiday expenses

With 50% of tourists overspending and breaking their budget, the first most important step is to make a list of all the holiday expenses. This includes food, activities, drinks, theme parks, souvenirs, and supermarket shopping if you’re staying in a self-catering property. It is also worth noting that you make a list of all the gifts you need to buy for friends and family so you can begin to see realistically what you will buying. Take this list with you with the amount of money you are hoping to spend and as a subtle reminder that you are on a budget.


The cheapest way to get around? Walking. In places like New York, walking is pretty much going to be your best bet when it comes to getting around so we recommend packing comfy shoes. If you have blistered and sore feet, you will definitely want to hop in those famous yellow taxi’s more and each short journey can quickly add up to a lot of money over your holiday budget.

lunch on a budget

Sit-down lunch

Many people will opt for having a sit down meal in the evening and enjoying down-time however you will be surprised about how much money you can save by swapping this around and having a sit-down meal at lunch. Many restaurants have a cheaper lunch menu, and then for dinner you can enjoy local street food or even pop to the supermarket to cook dinner. Of course you don’t have to do this every day, but it’s a great alternative to help keep food costs down.

Forget about souvenirs

Magnets, stick of rock… these are just a few souvenirs that you might bring back for your family that will probably end up in the bin years down the line. Unless someone has specifically asked for a local thing that you know they will use, don’t bother! No-one will be angry at you for coming back empty handed so it’s best to just leave it for now and stop spending money on unnecessary souvenirs when that money could be spent on something more valuable.

Service Charge

Particularly in Europe, a lot of restaurants already include a service charge so the need to tip isn’t really there. If you are feeling generous then put a few coins down for the waiter/waitress but don’t feel the need to. Just remember to check the small print on the receipt given before paying for your meal and if you’re confused as to what it means, just ask!

Regularly check your balance

It is really important that you regularly check how much money you have spent so far and how much money you have left. You do not want to go mad with spending and then realise that you have 3 days before you leave and you only have $50 left to last your trip. Because you are aware of how much you are spending all the time, you will also begin to think smartly about purchase decisions and considering “do I really need this or am I just going to throw it away or lose it?”

There are so many more holiday budgeting tips, but these are just a few tried and tested ones that always help us keep to our budget when our next adventure. Whether you’re on a business trip, family holiday or travelling the world, these travel tips will all come in handy whilst exploring somewhere new.