Financial concerns always plays a stress role on everyone including the travelers. So, to ease the money tension, I came up with some friendly financial advice to keep you and your wallet in check!
I like to stay organized. That is why it should come as no surprise that I love to formulate itineraries. Obsessive over details? Perhaps. But, I can say that taking the time to do it has allow me to fall back on expenses I normally would have indulge in like unnecessary spa treatment add-ons.
I set budgets on all my trips and I am pretty reasonable to delineate on things I would like to do versus things that are indulgent. I recommend setting up a realistic budget on all your trips. This means doing the breakdown on all your possible activities like the breakfast at a restaurant and an impromptu shopping adventure. This way, you can set aside what I call “baby accounts”.
Baby account is concept where you divide your travel fund into smaller portions and designate them for that specific expense. This can include: dining, shopping, unplanned activities, transportation, etc. Suppose you don’t know what much you will spend, well let’s look at an example shall we?
Example: I normally spend $1.89 for a medium-sized coffee at a local coffee shop and I need a cup everyday to start my morning. I will be on my trip for a week. That is approximately $13.23 without taxes. Knowing this information, I will set aside about $20 to cover my expense. A bit extra just in case one cup doesn’t do it for me.
In this example, I understand my coffee habit exists and it comes with a price tag. Next, I hypothetically can say that a cup a joe could cost be anywhere between USD $1 to $3 and I calculated that against the duration of my trip.
Now, there are instances where a latte could cost me extra but I’m a simple woman and I don’t need the extra fanciness. In fact, light cream will do just fine.
The key point is to first be aware of your spending habits pre-vacation mode and budget accordingly.
Check Your Finances
I like agenda planners with the big calendar spaces in them so I can jot down due dates. Before you look at me weird, I am going to give the best financial advice that goes out the door a lot of times: sign up for auto-pay.
Now, how can this apply to the average traveler? After you budget all the possible expenses from your trip, you will need to ensure that your day-to-day bills are covered before your departure. This includes like your usual credit card bill payments, utilities bill, rent or mortgage, etc.
With the auto-pay feature, you won’t have to worry about having to access the internet on vacation to make a payment. So cover your bases and if you choose not to sign up for auto pay, pay your bills well in advance and more specifically on the days where you’ll be away. This is where that agenda planner will come in handy.
It is so easy to get caught up on travel add-ons like that champagne and sunset experience on the London Eye. So before you get romanticize by the mere sounds of champagne fizzes and the sweet colors of the sunset, be realistic and highly selective about how you fund your travel experiences.
This is why I prefer to plan my excursions well in advance and research whether or not if it is cheaper to buy online versus in the flesh. The same applies for a day at the spa- if a massage is what I planned for, that is what I am leaving with and not a full-body sugary scrub treatment add-on. I’m sweet enough, thank you.
I Swipe Not
Try to avoid a credit card on vacation, if you have to. I recommend just taking one or two without the intention of using it and declare them only for emergencies. I cannot stress this enough. Mostly due to the fact that making a transaction comes with a pricey international fee in addition to your purchase.
This also goes back to previous recommendation about baby accounts. Set aside cash for those moments where you spot a souvenir you must have because it will remind you about how you had to brave the snow through that near-death mountain hiking excursion. You’ll remember me and the baby.
It’s Not That Serious
Through all that planning, double checking, and budgeting- give yourself real credit and enjoy your vacation away from the daily chaos. Commit to planning ahead so you come out winning!
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