When it comes to a holiday, most people want to either scrimp and save or have a complete blowout. No matter where you choose to go, you will need to have a way to track your spending when you are away. The frugal will want to make sure they are not going over budget while those who are spending big will no doubt want to make sure they are not blowing through their money too quickly. Here are some of the things you need to do to ensure that you are always in the best position to track your spending.
Set a Budget Before You Start to Save
No matter how high or tight it is going to be, you need a budget for your trip. Think about how much you want to spend and where you would like to go. Are there certain things you are willing to sacrifice if it means you can spend a little more money elsewhere? For example, some people are happy to spend more for a decent hotel if it means they are eating from supermarkets and budget restaurants as much as possible. On the flipside, you might have a foodie who is willing to sleep in a hostel dorm if it means he can eat at some of the best and most exclusive restaurants the city has to offer.
Setting ratios like this and saving money where you can is important, especially if you are trying to stick to some sort of budget. Make a list of everything you need and then add it all up to find out what your minimum budget should be.
You can sign up for free use our easy travel budget planner. Then you can plan out your entire trip in detail to figure out how much money you will need. Once on your trip, track your spending to see if you’re still on budget.
Find a Credit Card Which Works for You
You may already have a credit card but it might not be the best option to take abroad. There are many extra fees which some credit card companies choose to add to their cards if you use them abroad. To avoid these extra fees eating away at the travel budget you could be using to make memories, you should look for a card with low or no international charges. Check out this list here of the best cards with no foreign transaction fees to help you curb your spending while you are away.
Having a card with no foreign transaction fee means that you know exactly how much money you are spending every single time you use the card. This way, you won’t end up with a nasty shock when you check your bank balance and discover that you have spent far more than you meant to. Look for cards with travel rewards and other perks to help you out while you adventure. Debit cards can also be a great option. Here’s a list of the best and worst debit cards for travel. Some cards charge very high rates for international travelers, so be careful!
Download a Spending App
If you struggle to keep on budget, downloading a spending app to track how much you spend day-to-day might be the reminder you need. All you do is input everything you spend your money on into this app and it will give you a breakdown of where you can save money.
The best expense trackers apps will be intuitive and easy for you to use. You need one that will work with you as you are then going to be more likely to use it. You don’t need to stick to it religiously but you might notice leaps and bounds in your ability to budget if you choose to use one.
Receive Your Money in Instalments
One of the best things you can do for yourself if you are going to be travelling for a long time is to have your money sent to you in installments. Give most of your money to a trusted family member or friend before you leave to travel and come up with a regular timetable they will use to send the money out to you.
This is incredibly useful as it allows you to relax and enjoy yourself whilst knowing that more money is going to be on its way eventually. You also won’t be able to run the risk of blowing all of your money in one go but you can still have enough for some treats here and there along the way. It is one of the most sensible options you can pick if you think you cannot trust yourself to not spend all of your money in one go, while still allowing you to maintain some independence if you are abroad for the first time on your own.
When it comes to budgeting for your trip, the most important thing to do is be sensible. If you know that you have to be able to support yourself for a month or more away from home, blowing three days’ worth of food money on a night out with the people in your hostel is not going to be a great option. Make a budget plan that you know you will be able to stick to and the rest should fall into place.
Use some of the tips above to help you find a spending plan which is right for you. Before you know it, you will have all the money you need for your trip and your plans can be put in motion.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.