How To Budget For Your Dream Holiday + FREE SPREADSHEET

How To Budget For Your Dream Holiday + FREE SPREADSHEET

With our Japan trip nearly upon us, I thought I would take the opportunity to share with you guys how we budget and plan for our holidays!

I know travel was a big goal for a lot of people on the 10 days savings challenge so I thought I’d create an easy to use spreadsheet and share my top tips so you get closer to that goal – quicker!

Work Out An Itinerary

By creating a rough guide to where you will be and what you will be doing each day means that you can better work out your budget per day.

If you are visiting theme parks or going on any tours, then try to pre-book tickets and passes and have these accounted for in your budget.

Create A Holiday Budget

Every holiday we go on, I work out what is likely to be our overall cost – and work out how much time I really need to save that and look at where I can make savings where possible.

I use a spreadsheet, which I have made public for you guys to download and use.

Those who have used my spreadsheets before will know exactly how to download these! But if you are new or unsure then scroll down for instructions on how to use it, or download as an Excel sheet.

Search For Deals & Discounts

Once you have a good idea of where you are going and what you plan to do each day, then you can search around for the best deals.

Check with travel agencies for package deals for accommodation and park passes. Use discount and deal sites like Groupon or whatever might be the ‘thing’ in that country.

I often put price alerts on with multiple airlines and wait for sales to come up to the places I want to go.

By creating a budget and saving for your holiday, you should then be in a much better place to snap up good deals when they come around – without going into debt!

Pay Upfront

Once I have worked out my budget for things, I try and pay for things upfront as I can afford them!

It also gives me time to wait for sales and offers. For example, we had planned to go to the USA for a few months. I began to save and then flights came on sale for a great price with Qantas. I was able to book them debt-free!

Same goes for accommodation and any tickets and passes you might need. Often you can also get great cashback on accommodation via ShopBack through booking.com and many others.

Use Reward Programs

Better than paying upfront, is not paying at all! At least not in cash 😉 I am a huge advocate for reward programs that help you subsidise flight and travel costs, like Qantas Frequent Flyer.

We have been several holidays and upgrades via Classic Rewards. You can read more about it here.

Do Your Research

A big sting on holidays is often eating out and food costs. Whenever we go on holidays, I always do my research on cafes, restaurant and even supermarkets around.

That way I can get a general feel for food options, and when and where is best to not eat out and maybe plan for meals at our accommodation.


Now you have all my top tips for planning and budgeting for your dream holiday, let’s get it happening…

Here is a quick guide on how to use the spreadsheet. I’ve created it in Google Sheets as I know not everyone has Excel but you can convert it to an Excel Spreadsheet if you would like.

  1. Once you’ve opened the file, you need to go to “File” and “Make A Copy”. From there you can rename the file, I suggest noting the month and keeping it monthly. If your super savvy then create new tabs on the same sheet each month and duplicate it to a new tab each month.
  2. If you want it as an Excel document, you can choose to “Download As” and select “Excel Document” (outlined below). The formulas will still work but you may lose some formatting.
  3. Enter in your incomes first and get your income total. If one of these is blank, you still need to enter $0 for the formulas to work.
  4. Every field needs to have a dollar value, even if it’s $0, to work. If you’re getting an error, check the rows and columns all have this input.
  5. Once you have filled out all the relevant fields, go back at the end of the month and fill in your actual costs. This will give you exactly what you should have spent/saved and also works as a template for the following month to amend any incorrect costs.
Make sure you create a copy and save it to your own computer before using the spreadsheet.
Rename to have the month and save somewhere you can find it!
If you want to save the document as an Excel Spreadsheet, you can “Download As” and use the same way.

Example Disneyland Budget

For everyone asking about the costs to go to Disneyland, I have created a document outlining most of our major costs.

Just to clarify, this is based on 2 x adults and 2 x children. This also includes accommodation we chose to stay in, which is not the cheapest by far. It is just what we budgeted for as it’s what we wanted.

We stayed in two x Airbnbs on our trip outside of Disneyland because we wanted the space to cook our own food.

We also chose an Airbnb in Palm Springs with a pool and nice aesthetic to get that Plam Springs vibe. It was NOT the cheapest option.

We stayed at a Disneyland resort, but there are many hotels around that are far cheaper. We just factored in park passes and magic hour and found this worked best for us.

Below is a spreadsheet I have added rough data to as a template, feel free to work off this! Use it as a guide. Find yourself better options, or know that perhaps you can find better deals.

Go to a travel agent and compare to your own research!

Please note: This is a guide only and due to poor exchange rates it does make Disneyland USA more expensive. All costs are converted to AUD, so not to confuse anyone.

When looking at accommodation and park costs you will need to convert USD to AUD and it can suck!!

This was the holiday we chose to have and budgeted A LONG TIME for and I do believe you can do it on a tighter budget once you start looking around at other options.

Click the link below to access the spreadsheet and start planning your Disney holiday 😉 Hope it helps!!


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