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Managing a religious travel group: Balancing your budget is key

To keep your faith-based travel group running, the bottom line has to come out ahead or it is hard for the group to continue. Balancing the budget may not be the most exciting part of your travel group, but it is still important.


Dream the reachable dream

Budget management is just as vital to the travel group’s survival as throwing parties and giving seminars about upcoming trips. Religious travel planners must always be looking to cut unnecessary costs where they can.


Mailed promotional materials come with printing and shipping costs, which can be eliminated by switching to only emailed promotional materials. Seminars about upcoming trips also incur costs from refreshments, decorations or any materials used. A travel planner can add two or three dollars onto the price of a trip to cover some of these overhead expenses.


For some faith-based travel groups, their clubs are given annual budgets by churches or other organizations. The travel planners must make sure to spend this budget wisely and foster a positive relationship with the church or organization. Keeping written accounts of every penny spent for the group is vital for a trusting relationship. It is also advisable to meet with senior members of the church to explore the direction the faith-based travel program is heading, so that everyone stays on the same page.


The budget rules

Since travel costs fluctuate due to rising and falling prices of gas prices and other factors, knowing the exact price for upcoming trips is essential. When preparing to price an upcoming trip, always research, double-check prices from vendors and obtain at least three quotes from reliable sources for every trip. Continue to monitor the travel costs, since they could change as the departure date nears.


Before the motorcoach pulls out of the parking lot, you should have a handle on all the costs involved, including the trip’s pre- and post-party expenses. Many larger travel groups have many informal parties and social events that can add on costs that need to be watched.


Keep an eye on travel costs and the number of participants on a monthly basis, so any problems that come up with the budget can be fixed as time goes by and not at the very last minute. That way, you won’t assume the budget is taking care of itself, only to be surprised when you try to balance the budget after a trip.