I saw this image posted on Reddit and laughed so hard!
Years ago, that was me. I wanted to travel but had no realistic idea of costs. I assumed that the cost of "a real vacation" was out of reach for a young family, so all of our vacation time consisted of visiting out of state family members. Honestly? I was kind of mad about it, too.
I never even asked a travel agent, because I felt 1) broke, 2) ignorant, and 3) embarrassed about 1 and 2, and 4) thought travel agents only worked for people who were well-off!
Twenty years later, I know that travel agents get this question all day, every day. And we normally respond that it's simply too general to give any kind of intelligent answer, and we ask for your budget.
But what if you are like I was? What if that answer tells you nothing? What if you have no idea what a realistic budget is? Let's take a look.
My rule of thumb is to start with $1,000 per person for a full week. This amount can get you to a LOT of places, especially if you are cruising.
That's basically 20 bucks per person, per week, for one year. Try setting aside this amount for two months. If you find it is manageable, it's time for us to start planning your trip!
Many people also don't know that you can make interest-free payments on many kinds of trips. If you're meeting with an agent, you won't typically be asked to hand over a crazy lump sum. Cruises in particular usually have a deposit, monthly payments, and a final payment. The amounts and dates vary by the, cruise line but you can expect your final payment to be due up to 90 days before your sailing date.
No matter your budget to start, I find that most new travelers adjust it downward as we go through the planning process. The dishwasher or the car breaks, the holidays sneak up...Yet we are usually able to still get you where you want to go. If your budget shrinks, don't stop talking to your agent! We are used to adjusting as we go.
If you're ready to start budgeting and planning for your first real vacation, give me a call! 1-800-990-3614 or firstname.lastname@example.org!