When traveling with family or good friends it can be difficult sharing the expenses fairly without anyone getting hard feelings. So I thought some of you would be interested in this article I found on Wikihow about sharing expenses when traveling.
from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Travel with friends or family can be more fulfilling than solo adventures because you can share your experiences. Meanwhile, sharing a hotel room, rental car or gas bill may allow you to pool money and experience things you may not have had the budget to see on your own. People often go on trips with friends hoping that the expenses will work out for the best. This can lead to disagreements and tension, if someone feels they are paying too much. Plan your expenses and payment methods before you leave for your trip and a shared vacation can be frugal and enjoyable. This article will tell you how to share expenses when traveling.
- Research the area where you are traveling, in order to find out accurate costs. Many travel blogs, websites and books, like Lonely Planet Guides or Bootsnall.com, will tell you what the average cost of food and hotels are. Take into account currency exchange rates.
- Establish what your shared expenses will be. Everyone should be comfortable with the costs that you share. Discuss any concerns you have with sharing expenses at this time.
- Agree to a travel mentality. Decide if you are all committed to traveling frugally or extravagantly. Establish a general cost to aim for breakfast, lunch and dinner, to avoid meal frustrations if someone is ordering more expensive meals.
- Create a budget before you leave on your trip. Include hotels, transportation, food, tips, guided tours, drinks and anything else you are likely to split. Create a table in Excel and round up all expenses slightly to account for unforeseen expenses.
- Pay for large expenses, like plane tickets, separately. Since each person’s financial situation is different, large expenses should be dealt with according to personal budget. Unlike smaller travel expenses, sharing large expenses can provoke stress associated with immediate reimbursement or credit card limits.
- Buy a pre-paid travel card that covers your shared expenses budget. Search online for travel cards from major credit card companies, such as Visa or MasterCard. A pre-paid card can be used to pay for hotel reservations, tickets and food costs and it can be used at an ATM.
- In case of theft, a pre-paid card offers you more protection. Although it would be distressing to lose your shared money, a pre-paid card is not linked to your bank account. The thief will not be able to withdraw more than you planned on spending on the trip or rack up credit card debt.
- Make sure that if you are taking money out of an ATM with a pre-paid credit card, you split the money evenly or you pay for the services all at once.
- Download an expense sharing app, such as Travel Money – Share Expenses, Conmigo or Expensure. If the people who are traveling are using smart phones, then these can act like a sophisticated expense sheet, totaling up costs after each expense.
- Bring a sturdy folder or envelope to include all expense receipts. Place it in a designated area in a piece of luggage or a back pack. Whenever there is a receipt for a shared expense, place it in the envelope.
- Write down the method of payment and the expense on each receipt. For instance, if you just visited a restaurant, you might write “Jamie paid” or “Travel card” and then “Lunch Day 6.” Keep a marker in your envelope and make sure the expense is indicated before the receipt is filed.
- If someone wants to be extravagant at dinner 1 night, they can stick a note in the envelope indicating how much more their meal was than the budgeted cost. Later on, you can include this figure as you settle up the costs.
- Settle up immediately when you get home. Input all of your receipts and notes into your spreadsheet. If there is extra money on a pre-paid card, you can request the balance from the bank or use it to pay off anyone who is owed money.
- Plan picnics in place of restaurant meals. You can pick out food together and then pay for it using your pre-paid account. It can limit any stress involved with inequity of meal costs.
- Stay in hostels. They are already suited to people who are willing to share space and costs. If you are already in a group, you may be able to reserve a room of your own. One or 2 people can share a room with other people for a reduced rate.
- Stay in condos, apartments or cabins. These options can be cheaper than hotels when split amongst a group. They also have more amenities, like kitchens or coffee pots, which can save money on restaurant bills.
- Share expenses for amenities like toothpaste, hairspray, shampoo and conditioner. You will save money, pack lighter and you may end up using the majority of it up by the end of your trip.
- Ask about monthly fees, if you are using a pre-paid travel card. Ask about other fees like re-loading, currency conversion, ATM or first-purchase fees before deciding on a travel card company.
- Go to the airport early in order to get seats together, if you bought your plane tickets separately. Most airlines will be accommodating if they know you are in the same party. If you are not able to get seats together beforehand, ask a person on the airplane if they would swap seats. Make sure to ask them before they get settled, so it is not too much of an imposition.
Things You’ll Need
- Trip budget
- Large envelope
- Pen or marker
- Expense sharing app
- Pre-paid travel card
- Travel guides
Sources and Citations
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Share Expenses when Traveling. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.