From hotel bookings and applying for a visa to buying flight tickets and Travel Insurance, a foreign trip takes planning—and a lot of money. Before you leave home, you must have adequate funding. The last thing you want to do is get in a financial mess in an alien land.
Here are some ways to raise fund for a foreign trip.
Start Saving Early
You must start setting aside money for your trip at least a year in advance, ideally. Assess all overheads and split your fund requirement into 12 parts, and start saving every month towards your fund needs. You must also account for currency fluctuation while calculating your fund needs. Early planning could also help you avail discount offers on hotel and ticket bookings. However, try and avoid hotels that ask for advance payment on booking. In order to accumulate your travel fund, you can invest in a monthly recurring deposit, Fixed Deposits, and debt or liquid Mutual Funds in a disciplined manner.
Use An International Credit Card
In case of fund insufficiency while on your trip, you can use an international Credit Card to carry out necessary transactions. However, you must take cognisance of the various charges. The usage of a credit card abroad is subject to charges on markup, cash withdrawal, currency exchange, and POS swiping. You must also find out if your card is acceptable in the country you are visiting. Before you set off on your trip, your Credit Card company needs to be informed about the probable use of the card in the near future to ensure your card stays activated. Lastly, you must have a repayment plan for the Credit Card once your trip ends.
Take A Personal Loan
If you like going on spontaneous trips, don’t enjoy the planning process, and do not have a Credit Card you could use on your travel, a Personal Loan could be your best friend. However, remember that Personal Loans come with a relatively high rate of interest that ranges from around 11% to 20% per annum. You can convert the cash into a prepaid card, Debit Card, traveller’s cheque, or foreign currency. The charges of carrying money in these forms would cost less than those of a Credit Card. In order to get a quick Personal Loan, you need to have a good CIBIL score.
Take A Holiday Loan
Some banks and financial institutions offer travel loans – essentially, variants of personal loans – which are designed specifically for overseas trips. The interest rate on such loans may vary from bank to bank and it could range from 10% to 18% per annum.
Financing Through A Travel Operator
Many international travel operators offer the option of payment to be made once you are back from the trip. All bookings can be made using the travel operator’s financing scheme. These travel companies have tie-ups with NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Company) and FIs (Financial Institution) to support such financing. The schemes cover travel ticket, food, sightseeing, accommodation, service charges, processing fees, etc., financing up to Rs 5 lakhs. The repayment period could be around one to five years. The interest rate is similar to that of a Personal Loan rate.
Bottomline: being able to travel is a privilege, therefore make sure you’ve earned this privilege after careful financial planning and allocation towards your other financial needs such as insurance and investments.