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Road Trip Planner Template [Excel Downloads]



We recently went on a road trip around parts of New Zealand’s north island. We have been to Taupo, Rotorua, East Cape and Napier. It took us 2 weeks, we drove more than 2,000 km and spent almost NZ $3,000 on the trip. Of course, being a data nerd, I made a plan of the trip in Excel and that helped us budget for this.


After getting back to home, I thought it would be fun to polish the planner workbook and share it with you all so you too can plan a fabulous road trip. So here we go.

Road trip budget & planner template

Click here to download the template.


How is it setup?

Simple. Any road trip style holiday has 4 main categories of expenses – Accommodation, Driving, Activities and Food. You can add one more category called “Other” to set budget for any miscellaneous expenses.

The template starts with budget for each of these 5 categories. Just specify the budget for each (except for food, which you can type in per day budget in the settings area.

Once you have the budgets in, also specify settings for calculating fuel expenses. Specify the MPG (or KMPL) and gas cost per gallon (or liter) and the template will calculate driving costs based on the number of miles (or KM) you plan to drive each day.

The last step is to enter daily details. For each day of your trip enter below details in the trip table:

  • Date
  • Where you plan to stay and how much it costs
  • How much you plan to drive
  • What activities you plan to take up and how much they cost
  • Your actual food expenses (ie groceries, eating out, take away etc.)
  • Any other expenses as you incur

The summary area shows how much of your budget is used up and a cute little thermometer chart for each category.

That is all. Enjoy your road trip.

Bonus: a simple way to extend the template

If you spend all the money on one credit (or debit) card, you can import the statement in to a new tab, categorize the expenses along the lines of Stay, Drive, Activities, Food or Other and then use SUMIFS to calculate actual values.

Hui’s Excel Hack

My apologies to Chandoo, but I have hacked his post

I have been using Excel 2016 and Office 365 for a while and as a Mining Engineer love to pay with Location data

I Rearranged Chandoo’s data and added a Single Activity Field instead of having multiple activity fields

I dragged the whole new table into Power Map and Voila


You can see how simple this is looking at the modified file here Dowload Modified File

Exporting the animation is a feature of Power Map, Yes I should have zoomed in on the heat map further

I hope Chandoo doesn’t remove my keys…


Like tracking things? Check out these templates

If you enjoy tracking and planning, check out these awesome templates too.

How do you plan / track holidays?

For smaller / weekend getways, we don’t plan. We just get out and enjoy. But if we are going on a holiday / trip for more than a week, I like to plan things.

What about you? Do you plan / track your holidays? How do you do this? Please share your tips in the comments section.


Share this tip with your colleagues

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5 Responses to “Road Trip Planner Template [Excel Downloads]”

  1. SeanHod says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    I like to use the REPT function for the bar chart in cells E4:E9. It is a bit cleaner than the chart. Insert the following formula in cell E4 and drag it down to E9: "=REPT("|",(D4/C4)*30)"

    Change the font of the cells to Haettenschweiler and the font colour to blue.

    Voila, you have a dynamic bar chart.

  2. Jeff Weir says:

    Partly those high petrol costs are explained by the age of the vehicle stock in New Zealand.
    Chandoo's new car

  3. John says:

    Is there a mistake on the modified/hacked sheet? C7 for the trip food budget has a very large value ($2660) because of the formula:


    This is the daily budget multiplied all the occurences of a date in that range: There are 95 in total. You can get a sensible value changing this to:


    This gives the overall budget a value of $532.

  4. Govindan Rajan Ariyan says:

    Dear Mr. Chandoo,

    Its really awesome to hear you having a lovely time with your family in New Zealand. Thank you for the mails you sent me.
    I am poor starter in Excel and still learning the basics.
    I will improve myself from day by day.
    God bless you and family always.


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