It’s easy to blow a lot of money when you’re traveling, but you’ll find that it’s just as easy to stay on your budget. With just a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to have fun on your vacation as well as save money.
First off, it’s important to plan ahead before you even leave for your trip. Just like you make checklists for every other portion of your vacation, it’s crucial that you create a detailed budget to keep with you when you’re traveling. Having a step by step budget with you when you’re on your vacation will not only help keep you organized, but it will help you keep yourself out of the red before you start to blow your finances before you get home.
Some places will ultimately cost more than others depending on the country or destination you’re choosing. Traveling internationally will probably be more expensive than if you were to travel domestically and if you do plan to travel abroad, you’ll want to make sure that you take into account the currency exchange.
International travelers will also want to make sure they know what kind of credit card they’re using (if they choose to use one). Although it wouldn’t make much of a difference in your home country, a lot of credit cards charge an international fee for purchases made in other countries and if you aren’t careful, these fees can add up to quite a few hundred dollars. Rather than using a credit card that has international fees, try sticking with only your debit card. Even better - try just sticking with cash.
Even if you’re traveling domestically - even if you’re only traveling just one state over - it’s a good idea to stick with only using cash for the duration of your trip. By only using cash while you’re out traveling, you’ll have a much better view of the money you have versus the money you’re spending because you actually have something in your hands rather than relying on an electronic bank account linked to a piece of plastic. This is a trick that many people use when they’re going out for the weekend and it will ultimately work quite well while you’re traveling as well. Bring only cash with you when you’re going out to eat or shopping and you’ll be surprised at how much money you save.
It’s natural to want to try out all the restaurants, diners, and various eateries that are available to you when you’re traveling, especially when you’re visiting abroad. Eating out too often however can ultimately break your budget and you’ll find that you spend a lot more eating in restaurants or diners than you actually think you do. Try eating in your hotel for one meal a day.
Doing a little bit of research before you go on your trip will enable you to find quite a few supermarkets and drugstores in the immediate area surrounding your hotel and when you come armed with this information, you’ll be better apt to save a lot of money. Bring a cooler with you (if your hotel doesn’t have small fridges installed) and keep fruit, lean meats, and bottled water in there for when you get home in the evening. Rather than dropping a ton of money at a restaurants for that meal, you can use what you have available to you and make a home cooked meal that will be a lot cheaper.
When you’re traveling, especially if you’re visiting in a well-known touristy area, you’re going to see that there are taxi companies pretty much everywhere. Although taxies are rather convenient, they’re unfortunately quite expensive, especially when you rely on them to get everywhere while you’re traveling. Instead, you can try finding the public transportation like the bus routes or railways. Nine times out of ten, these options are much cheaper than taxies.
Beware of the tourist attractions. It’s true that touristy areas are popular for their own respective reasons - they’re usually beautiful, unique, fun, family friendly, or all of the above. But these areas know that they attract people and as such, they’ll jack up their prices and get people for a lot more than they should be. While it’s not a bad thing to go to some touristy areas where you’re visiting, try to branch out. Simply by walking a few blocks outside the main part of the city, you’ll be able to find local diners and shops that aren’t on the normal tourist’s radar. Not only will these places generally be much cheaper, but they’ll usually be a lot less crowded.
Speak with the locals in the area as they will be a wealth of information and more often than not, they’ll be more than happy to help you out. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction and give you information regarding the cheapest diners, the quickest routes through the city, and the best place to buy your groceries. Just by asking a few questions to those who live in the area, you’ll be able to stay on your budget.
Although there are a lot of ways to blow your budget while you’re out traveling, you’ll find that there are just as many ways to keep your finances in line while you’re visiting a new area. It doesn’t take a lot of tweaking to your itinerary to make sure that you aren’t spending more money than you originally intended and when it’s all said and done, you’ll be happy that you spent the little extra time keeping up with your budget. You might even have some extra money for an impromptu trip later in the year