One great secret to having a great vacation is knowing how NOT to blow your money abroad. Because if you do, you may likely end up with a huge debt. And all the good memories of that vacation will be buried deep in bills and demand notices you do not know how to pay back. Here we talk about how you can plan your travel budget and avoid spending frivolously while gallivanting abroad.
First, know and finalize how much money you need for your trip. List the absolute necessities and real costs that are needed to make this trip happen. That would be your plane tickets, local accommodation, food budget, transportation allowance, and documentary expenses when necessary. Those come first. You absolutely must save money to spend on these true costs.
In budgeting for your flight booking, the price depends on two main things. And the destination is one of them. If you are on a strict budget, then choose destinations that are not expensive to travel to. This may mean saying no to Paris or some country where plane tickets normally run high. Find out how to find cheap plane tickets here.
Time of Year
The second thing that influences your flight costs is the time of year. If you want to stay within budget, choose to travel abroad during the off-season or low-peak seasons. Plane tickets are generally cheaper around that time. This may mean staying home for Christmas or summer and scheduling your trip on ordinary days. Look on the bright side. The money you save from airfare can help you stay longer abroad.
So you got your destination and date settled. The next budgetary consideration would be the cost of accommodation. Hotels are generally more expensive to stay at. But off-peak bookings may entitle you to good discounts, perks, and freebies. But do not just stop with hotel searches. Check for alternative lodging you can get at cheaper rates. Browse sites for private stays on AirBnB, hostels, inns, and other bed and breakfast rentals. Ask if they give discounts for longer stays and if that is cost-effective, then stay for five days instead of two or three.
Documentation and Medication
Know the required documentation for the country you wish to visit. Some will not need a visa, while others require one. Get vaccinations and medication when necessary. There are travel clinics that can streamline this process for you. Consider travel insurance when there is a risk for cancellation, baggage loss, or medical emergencies. Once you get the basics covered, then you can decide how to allot the remaining balance around food, transportation, and other expenses.
Food expenses are highly flexible. Often, you can decide on a set amount. The problem usually lies with follow-through. It can be tempting to just go around and explore local cuisine. But, that is certainly costly. You cannot eat like that for every meal. The rest of the time, prepare your meals at home. Bring snacks and protein bars when you are out so you do not have to buy takeout from fast food shops. You may also sample street food and food truck products – these are generally cheaper.
You can also cut down on transportation costs by taking the bus or train instead of taxis. Also try putting your leg muscles to good work by walking to sites instead of using public transportation. Another good idea is to compare how cost-effective it may be to rent a car. Now a days, renting a bicycle is another great option for getting around during your stay. Or, you can even buy a used one from an online Marketplace – like eBay, Craigslist, and other used or second hand sites of the like. That is still cheaper compared with taking an Uber or taxi each time you go out to explore the sights.
One must have at least one souvenir from the trip. But resist the urge to keep swiping your credit card each time you see an attractive buy.
If you follow theses tips, you do not have to blow your money abroad while away on vacation. Planning costs beforehand will give you peace of mind and maximum enjoyment when you travel. It also helps you set the right amount you need to save before you take the trip. And you are wiser for saving money before you travel rather than saving money to repay credit card balances after the trip. So follow these tips and stay on a budget the next time you travel.
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.