Tips for Managing Your Finances While Traveling
If you are a seasoned traveler, you’re probably aware that managing your money on the road can be tricky. This is extremely true for long-term backpackers who are trying to make their money last as long as possible just for a few more months abroad. Even if you are just planning a two week holiday, spending more money than you intended is inevitable.
Costs add up, late-night trips to the bar happen, and authentic local souvenirs are too pretty to pass up. Luckily for you, there are plenty of methods for avoiding this. If managing your finances while travelling has never been your strong suit, check out these tips for saving money on the road.
Set a budget beforehand and try to stick to it. This may be the most difficult challenge when travelling, but nevertheless it is possible. Do some research on the country beforehand to learn about typical travel costs and set a budget for things like food, accommodation, and leisure activities. If you decide to splurge on a few nice meals, try to balance it out by booking a night in budget-friendly accommodations. Unforseen costs are bound to happen, but you have control over the majority of your finances.
Shop for flight deals and follow these tricks. The majority of travel costs are associated with transportation. International flights – and even domestic ones for that matter – don’t come cheap. If you are flexible with where you want to go, consider using the Skyscanner app and choosing the “Explore” setting. This will give you access to the cheapest flights around the world at any time of year.
Try to be flexible with the dates you’re flying; prices later in the month might be significantly cheaper. Another helpful hint – when you are checking out flights, set your computer to a private browsing mode. If you don’t airlines can see your previous browsing history and sometimes raise the price of a flight you’re interested in, just to trick you into buying it before the price gets any higher.
If you can, do your best to bargain. Bargaining and haggling is culturally normal in many countries overseas, especially in Asia. If you are comfortable, try to bargain down the price of anything you are about to buy. Street vendors and local markets are the perfect setting for testing out your haggling skills. Restaurants, bars, and nice boutiques typically have a set price, but you’ll know when bargaining is appropriate. It is by far the best way to avoid overspending when travelling.
Pay with cash to avoid international transaction fees overseas or use prepaid cards. Most banks and credit card companies charge a small fee for each international transaction you make. Most stores and restaurants also charge a fee for using your card, and these small amounts can quickly add up. Avoid this my taking cash out in your home country and converting it at a local currency exchange once you arrive to your destination. You can even invest in a prepaid card before you travel.