I know that the last thing you want to be thinking about when you’re away is money. While travel can be expensive, you don’t want that to be at the forefront of your mind when there are more important things to contemplate, such as adventure and sightseeing. Having to return home early because you have run out of cash isn’t something you want to contemplate, so here are some tips to make your money last longer while away.
- Gather your funds
While you may not need to spend a lot of money while you’re away, you still need to get to where you’re going. Therefore, the sooner you start saving, the better. Research your chosen destination, look for the cheapest flight and accommodation possibilities, and start to budget for what you need. For a quick cash injection, you might even consider taking out a loan, but whether you’re using a site such as Bonsai Finance or something offered by your local bank, ensure you aren’t creating more trouble for yourself financially when you return home.
- Create a travel itinerary
Using a travel app (or a piece of paper if you’re going old school), keep a note of everything you want to do while you’re away. Not only will this help you plan each day of your travels, but it will also help you to factor in costs. From eating places to any activities you want to pay for, ensure you take account of every aspect of your trip and budget accordingly. While we don’t want to take away your freedom and sense of adventure – part of travel is spontaneity – you should still have a realistic idea of the costs involved so you don’t get into financial trouble, wherever you are on your journey.
- Don’t forget unexpected travel costs
There are all the expected costs, but remember those hidden charges too. Your bank may charge you for using your card while away. Your phone provider may inflict international charges upon you. And there might be baggage fees at the airport. Check beforehand, and budget accordingly. Remember too, that it’s always useful to have a buffer. So, while you may have budgeted for each aspect of your trip, there may still be unexpected costs that hit you while away. You might be forced into choosing different accommodation, for example, or you may come across a previously unplanned for excursion that you simply have to try. Therefore, gather together more money than you might feasibly need, and you will have that much more to play with should circumstance dictate the need.
- Consider cheaper destinations
As part of your research, don’t opt for a place you can’t reasonably afford. While you may have gathered enough money for flight and accommodation, you may still be hit by the high cost of living should you choose an expensive place to visit. There are loads of fantastic places in the world that won’t cost you the earth, so to make your money last longer, consider this budget-travel guide when choosing where to go. From the mountains of Peru to the majestic greenery of Sri Lanka, you are not spoiled for choice.
- Keep track of your expenses
You need to keep track of all of your expenses when you’re away. If you suddenly find yourself overspending in one area – perhaps you have been tempted by too many foreign delicacies when choosing where to eat – you will know that you have to make up for your spending elsewhere. Having an idea of what you are spending will cause you to stop any bad spending habits you may have fallen into, and give you cause to return to reality and sensible money habits from then on.
- Use travel apps
You will be able to find a travel app for most aspects of your journey, including the planning app we linked you to earlier. There are travel apps for finding the cheapest places to eat and stay; the cheapest flight prices; city transport costs, currency converters, and more. Check out this guide for a range of apps you will find invaluable. Not only are they useful on a general level, giving you the means to have a smoother and easier trip, but they will also help you to budget effectively. So, if you suddenly find yourself running short in your food budget, as an example, you will be able to find a cheaper place to eat that reasonably covers what you can afford.
- Slow down your travels
If you’re going away for an extended period, then you may have several towns and cities on your itinerary to visit. That’s great, provided you can afford the individual travel costs. However, there is sense to the saying ‘stop and smell the roses,’ as you don’t want to leave a place until you have soaked up as much experience as you possibly can. Rather than incurring the expense of bus and train costs, stay longer within each place you visit, as you will save yourself money, and get to make the most of whatever town or city you are traversing.
- Make money while you’re away
No matter how much money you have, you can always add to your finances while you are traveling. While a working holiday may be the last thing on your mind, you may still enjoy the personal rewards as well as the financial ones by committing to a little bit of work while away. You will meet new people, gain new experiences, and learn some useful skills in the process. There are many ways to make money, from fruit picking to travel writing, so check out this website for possible ideas. Not only will you have the means to make extra money should you become broke, but you will also have more money to play with and extend your travels further.
I hope those ideas were useful to you, but let me know if you have any money-saving travel tips of your own. Thanks for reading, and if you are going away soon, don’t forget to send me a postcard.