How to Calculate Cost of Travel

Any time you plan a trip, it is helpful to know how much it will cost to travel to and from your destination. Several factors must be taken into consideration in order to get an accurate figure for the amount of money a trip will cost... 

How to Calculate Cost of Travel
Follow 3 steps to calculate cost of travel.

1. Calculate the cost of transportation.
Transportation is likely to be 1 of the biggest travel costs you will incur. If you are taking a plane, train or bus, then your transportation cost equates to the price of your ticket. If you are driving, you will need to calculate the cost of the rental vehicle, if applicable, and the amount of gas your trip will require. This is mostly aimed at cost per US or CAN Dollar, for UK Pound / Euro Dollar you may have to adjust manually.
  • Start with the distance you will be driving, in miles or kilometers.
  • Divide the distance by your car's fuel economy (miles per gallon or kilometers per liter). The resulting amount is the number of gallons or liters it will take you to complete your trip.
  • Multiply the number of gallons or liters by the average cost of fuel.
  • Note: If you drive a rental vehicle, the rental company will charge you a fixed amount per mile and, additionally, a fixed amount for car insurance. Be sure to factor these amounts into your travel costs.
2. Include all costs that are incurred while traveling.
  • Food and drink - If you travel for an extended period of time, you will need to stop for food and drink, or you may opt to pack food and drink. Either way, you must include this expense in your cost of travel calculation.
  • Lodging - For trips that require driving for more than 1 day, you will need to stop over somewhere to get some sleep. Unless you opt to pull to the side of the road and sleep in your vehicle, you will need to add the cost of lodging to your overall travel costs.
  • Tolls - Many road routes have a series of toll booths that you must stop at as you travel. The cost of tolls can add up, especially if you are on a long road trip.
  • Parking - If you opt to take a plane, train or bus, then you may need to add the cost of storing your automobile in a parking lot or garage to your travel costs.
  • Depreciation - Any time you drive your vehicle, the value of your vehicle depreciates, and that figure must be added to your cost of travel calculation. Depreciation can be figured by multiplying the average cost of depreciation, 27 cents per 1 mile (5 cents per 1.6 km), by the distance you will be traveling.
  • Indirect costs - Indirect travel costs should be considered if you are driving, and include things like road maintenance, pollution, government taxes, accidents and land use. To calculate indirect costs, multiply .05 cents by the number of miles or .01 cents by the number of kilometers you will be driving.
  • Time to travel - Also consider your time on the road vs. destination if you're going on vacation; to calculate this take the hours it will take to travel to your destination, add each stop point time (food, restroom, refuel) per 15min increments, and you will have a total time to get to your destination. If you want to figure out how much 'money' you have lost in your delays (an average time vs. pay for your job if you're traveling for such a reason) take the amount you're getting paid total to arrive on time and subtract 10 cents for every 5 min you are not traveling, this will give you an average cost of what you will lose or gain for being on time.
3. If you have to, consider time taken off work. 
When figuring the cost to travel, the time you miss from work must be added to the equation. Take the number of hours you will be missing and multiply that by the amount of money you make per hour.