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Planning your next adventure is exciting, whether it’s a long weekend a few hours from home or a two-week expedition halfway around the world. And depending on where you decide to go, those two very different trips could cost around the same amount of money. So with map in hand, should you budget your trip around your destination or select a destination based on your budget?

We all have a list of places that we would love to visit one day. Some of these destinations will be more realistic than others, but that’s not to say that your dream of traveling across Europe should take a backseat to something on this side of the Atlantic. Experiential travel and other types of unique trips regularly top bucket lists for everyone from millennials to retirees. If you have your heart set on a non-traditional vacation or a trip with a higher price tag, you’ll need to carefully budget your trip to get there.

One of the best ways to make your dream destination more affordable is by visiting in the shoulder and off-seasons to avoid peak tourism costs, not to mention crowds. You will also want to set an overall vacation budget along with daily budgets to keep your spending in check. Keeping your schedule flexible as you book your transportation can help you find great deals, and you may even find that the attractions you want to visit offer discounts or free access during certain days of the month. As you plan your trip, try using a savings calculator to keep track of how much you need to save to take your vacation. These tips can help you build a budget that makes your dream destination possible.

If you are simply looking to get away or have a long list of possible places to visit, you may want to consider more affordable vacation spots based on what you’re comfortable spending. Using a monthly spending calculator can help you budget your trip alongside your other expenses. Traveling during the off-season can still be a smart way to save, but if you select one of the more popular and affordable vacation spots with competitive travel options, you will likely be able to shop around for the best deals. Choosing a less remote location will also help your budget go further since you will be able to browse multiple dining, accommodation and shopping options.

Getting the most out of your next vacation doesn’t have to mean spending outside of your budget. Flexibility and patience can help you reach the destination of your dreams while careful budgeting can turn your trip into a dream vacation. Before you book your next adventure, start a savings plan that will help you cross even more milestones off your bucket list, then visit the FutureTrack Blog for more savings and budgeting tips.

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