Travel Planning: Your Trip Expense Checklist

shutterstock_41025766Last November, we included a post by traveler and travel writer Dalene Ingham-Brown about the the 5 most adventurous things to do in Africa. The post, an account that includes some of Dalene’s personal adventures on that very intriguing continent, was quite well received, and Dalene has graciously agreed to do a follow-up “tips” post that focuses on helping travelers map out their budgets before and during their trips. We hope you enjoy it!

- Dan

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When planning a holiday, it makes it far easier to calculate how much your trip will cost, when you’re working off a convenient checklist of possible holiday expenses. When I went on a safari in Africa, this is the list of expenses I encountered during my trip.


If you’re not arriving in your holiday destination by car, then chances are you’ll be flying to your holiday destination. Depending on your getaway’s destination, your flights may be one on the steepest expenses you’ll encounter on your travels.

Car Hire

If you’re planning on exploring with the freedom you get from having your own set of wheels, then you’re going to need to hire a car… or a scooter, depending on where you’re traveling to. Also, don’t forget to incorporate fuel into your car hire cost.

Shuttle Fees

If you’re not planning on driving from the airport to your hotel, then you may want to consider the cost of shuttle fees to and from your accommodation. Basically, a shuttle service drives you to the place you need to go after landing at the airport.


Whether you stay in a hostel or a hotel, you’re going to need to rest your head somewhere safe after a day of exploring.


If you’re heading out of your own country, you’re going to need a passport and perhaps even a visa, and if you don’t have one already, you’re going to need to include them in your list of expenses.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is essential when traveling. If you could buy peace of mind that both you and your possessions were safe while you traveled… would you? Of course! And that’s exactly what travel insurance gets you.


Food is fuel…mouth-watering fuel. So whether you plan on making eating out and experimenting with cuisine a priority, or simply want to grab a light snack here and there to keep you going, you’re going to need to budget for meals daily.


Going somewhere exotic? You may need vaccinations. Your health is definitely not something you’ll want to neglect. My advice? Get the shots.


When you’re away on holiday there’s only so much lazing about and cocktail-sipping you’re going to want to do. Those entry fees, massages, tours, and water sport activities are something you should plan for in advance so that there aren’t any extra budgetary surprises.


Tipping is one of those things we often forget to include in our holiday budget. Who needs tipping exactly? Well, there’s your hotel concierge, your shuttle driver, your various waitrons, the cocktail barman, tour guides, your masseuse. Almost everyone who has provided you with a service while you’re on your holiday.


You may be planning on doing absolutely zero souvenir shopping, but you may find yourself buying a few things you simply don’t want to go home without. After all, souvenirs hold memories of an adventure.

Travel Equipment

How are your travel bags looking? Need new ones? Planning a trip to Alaska and need thermal gear, or planning a trip to Zanzibar and need a bikini? There are always those pre-travel expenses to think about that should be included in your overall trip budget.

Spending Money

It’s always a good idea to add a bit extra to your budget for spending money that can be used to pay for cocktails by the pool or an unexpected taxi ride.

Hopefully, this checklist will make planning your next holiday a breeze, so that you know exactly what to expect from the budget you’ve allocated for your adventure. Good luck, and don’t forget to take loads of photographs!

  • Rachel

    I honestly thought this post was as boring as my first impression on it.. but when I scan thru, I find it entertaining! the kind of humor that is just right, sarcastic at some point, but I like it. But there’s one thing I don’t usually do when I travel, tipping.. because I don’t have that much money to give, tipping as much as I’d like to for a great service given to me is out of budget, a plentiful of “thank you” is enough I think?