To travel is to live’, it is said. While travelling requires money, it’s also important to be able to make your money last longer while globetrotting. We have some smart tips to help you do just that.
Quite often, we come across people filled with wanderlust but unable to fulfil their desires. On the other hand, there are others who are living the dream of travelling the globe. So, what is it that these globetrotters know that the others don’t?
The secret is clever money-management – the ability to get maximum bang for your buck.
Additional Reading: 12 Clever Ways Indians Save on Travel
- Chalk out a plan
This includes drawing up a simple budget based on your likes, dislikes, comforts, etc. While some travellers like to splurge on accommodation, quite a few prefer to stay in simple hostels and, instead, like to spend on the local cuisine. If you aren’t too fussy about where you stay and have no issues adjusting a little, you can check out hostels in and around the place you are visiting. You can find dormitories on a four-sharing or six-sharing basis. If you’re travelling off-season, most of the beds won’t be taken, so you may not really have to jostle for space or share a bathroom.
If you are willing to experience a place the way the locals do, you can opt to couchsurf. What you ought to understand is that couchsurfing isn’t merely free accommodation. It offers you a platform to learn about a new culture and talk about yours. So, go for it only if you are sure about it. We must tell you that you will be surprised by the kindness of your hosts!
Now that your accommodation seems sorted, what about food and drinks? Well, if you are a foodie, it’s going to be difficult to trim your expenses on this front. So, ensure that your food budget is realistic.
The best way to save money on food is by cooking your own meals at your hostel/accommodation. Of course, not daily! You MUST try food in a new place, but you can save a few bucks if you don’t have all your meals in a restaurant.
Well, so be it accommodation, or food, or travelling, you have to draw up a budget that will be close to reality.
- Research and research some more
Until about a decade ago, travellers used to stick to guidebooks to find everything they wanted to know about the place they were headed to. However, times have changed. The internet is your new best friend. All the information you want is only a click away. Research extensively before boarding that plane, train, ship, or bike.
Find restaurants around the hostel that you are planning to crash at. Check the average cost of a meal and then use it to set your budget. Create a sheet wherein you enter your estimated daily expenses based on your research. If you plan to indulge in some adventure activities on the third day of your trip, find out its cost and then enter it in your budget sheet. It’s that simple. Quite often travellers tend to overlook these little things which result in huge unexpected costs, thus, ruining their budget.
If you want your money to last longer, you HAVE to write down everything. Be it shopping, adventure sports, club-hopping, biking, glamping, or whatever you are interested in doing on your trip, don’t miss writing it down.
Once you know exactly how much you are going to spend on a day-to-day basis on your trip, there’s no way that you will run out of money.
- Set a realistic budget
Well, now that you have written down everything you plan to spend on, go through it again. This will help you realise if everything on the list is actually doable or not. There are some things that you may have to strike off the list and you may also need to add a few that you might have missed out earlier. Ideally, this will be the final draft of your expenses for your trip. Or almost?
Additional Reading: 10 nifty ways to save for your holidays!
- Reality check, please
While the above point focuses on setting a realistic budget, this one will help you get a reality check. What do we mean, you ask? You might have included the sky-diving activity which is way out of your budget. Or that helicopter ride, which is certainly unnecessary.
It’s time you took into account your financial reality. If your estimated budget is up to Rs. 1,00,000 and your actual savings are only Rs. 70,000, you certainly need to cut down on a lot of things. Knowing your financial reality and finally customising your budget based on it will be the most important part of your trip planning. Wondering why? Well, it’s a crucial step if you want your money to last through the trip.
If there’s still time for your trip, you can safely invest your money in schemes with good returns. Or simply put them in a Savings Account with a high rate of interest.
- Maintain a record of all your expenses
Well, you seem all set to take that dream vacation! Now that your realistic budget, which blends with your economic reality, is in place, you need to make sure that you track all your expenses once you hit the road. Else all the efforts you put into research will go down the drain. If you purchased an extra mineral water bottle, note it down. If that snack wasn’t a part of your estimated budget, make sure you add it to your expenses. This will help you stay in touch with your budget and just in case you are overspending, you will consciously cut down on your expenses. It’s pretty simple, really!
If you had set a budget only for the heck of it, your money certainly won’t last till the end of your trip. However, if you set a budget which you actually planned to follow religiously, there’s no denying that you will have enough money to last you through the trip! In fact, you may end up saving some money too! Smart money management is the key to being a successful budget-conscious traveller.
Bonus Read: 10 Things To Do Before Claiming Travel Insurance
Now that we’ve covered all the basics and have your travel budget chalked out, don’t forget about Travel Insurance. A Travel Insurance policy will be your saviour in case of emergencies during your trip. Happy holidays!