We’ve all heard the basic budgeting tips for travelling. In fact, the first piece of advice that you’ll typically hear when travelling is to “draw up a budget” or to “make a savings plan”. But realistically, while these are great tips, they’re probably not the kind of insider knowledge that you’re hoping for when reading an article like this. So here are some of the lesser-known ways to budget for, and on, your trip overseas.
Cut back on your pre-trip expenses
Often we focus on budgeting while on our trip but not beforehand. So although you may have a daily spend limit that you want to stick to while travelling, you might still find yourself splurging on brunch and accessories for your trip the week before you leave. Realistically, your money-consciousness should start long before you depart. From the second you start booking your holiday you should really try to cut costs where possible. Not only does this just make sense, but it should allow you a bit of extra spending money for your travels, which is ultimately what you want. Make use of comparison websites when booking your accommodation, flights and travel insurance, and look for the lowest prices and best value from the outset.
Set a cash goal
Having a number in mind for how much you want to have set aside for your trip can help you save before you go. You could either contribute a regular amount to an account that you can’t access or touch, or you could just add small amounts here and there. Everything adds up, but having that figure in mind will really help motivate you to save.
Set a limit for everything
Some people like to focus on a general daily limit or allowance, which can work wonders. But for other people, it might be easier to set an expense limit for certain categories. This means setting aside a certain amount of money for accommodation, for food, for passports/visas, for airfares, for transport and for entertainment, tours and activities. That way you know exactly how much you’re spending in which areas. It also means that if your accommodation or something else is suddenly cancelled, you’ll have some money set aside as a safety net while you wait for your travel insurance claim to go through.
Limit your nights out
Going out can be very expensive, especially in places like Europe. So if you’re in the mood for a drink, why not consider some alternative options? Going to the local pub for a few beers or even just taking some drinks to the park while the sun sets is a really nice ways to experience the city you’re in without having to massively fork out. If you’re desperate to go clubbing, try researching the places you want to go to before you head out instead of playing it by ear.
Think about tipping
This is a commonly forgotten expense for Australians heading to places like the US. Remember to factor tipping into your travel budget when you’re planning your trip. In some places you’ll be expected to tip up to 20%, so it’s important to be prepared. Withdraw some cash so you’ll have it on hand if need be.
Look for favourable exchange rates
It’s a well-known fact that exchanging money at the airport can be expensive and can see you waving goodbye to your cash in fees and unfavourable rates. Consider heading to a foreign exchange away from major touristy areas so that you can get a more favourable rate. You might also want to try a casino, which often have better rates since they expect you to spend the money in there.
These are just some of the ways that you can make budgeting for your trip a little easier. Good luck and enjoy your trip.