Regardless of if you’re sticking to a tight and strict traveling budget or not, there’s no need to carelessly waste money on travel budget breakers that you can avoid with a few simple steps. When you’re traveling around the world, it’s easy to get caught up in a lot of tourist traps. The traps get designed to make money, just because most people assume that those who are vacationing can spend frivolously. You can also get caught in your own vacation-mode mindset, and that’s a bigger trap than any other.
You could be catching a redeye flight, waiting for your connection, hopping on a train, or exploring a new city and find yourself thirsty. What you won’t realize until you get home is the amount of money you’ve spent on drinks. It’s okay to have a drink here and there, but there’s no need to go overboard with overpriced wines and lattes. Try enjoying a few drinks at your hostel or hotel with your friends before you go out, and when you reach the bar or restaurant, choose local beer instead of import.
Souvenirs have incredibly high markups, so avoid purchasing them at the airport. It’s only reasonable that you want a tangible memory from your trip to bring back home, so if a photograph doesn’t cut it; try visiting the local marketplace. However, keep in mind that impulse shopping could cause you to spend extra. Consider only bringing a certain amount of cash and having an idea of what you want.
Smartphone and Data Charges
Your cell phone bill can skyrocket when you use it internationally, especially if you don’t have an international package set up. You can use anyone’s Wi-Fi, but mobile data is costly. Touch base with your carrier to find out what your roaming packages and international options are, and always use Wi-Fi when it’s available.
Currency, Credit and Debit Card Fees
Many banks charge a certain percentage for every international transaction that gets made, and some might not allow you to use your card at all. Consult with your bank to find out what the charges are going to be for ATM withdrawals and if you can use your credit and debit card. It’s also smart to alert them of where you’re traveling, so your institution doesn’t block your card.
Airline Add-Ons and Extras
Typically, airlines charge by the item that you’re purchasing. You should consider buying your food, additional baggage, seat selection and any upgrades that you’d like before your trip. That takes the hassle out of having to recalculate how much money you have left for spending.
It’s effortless to get caught up with spending money carelessly while on vacation, but when you’re budgeting, you’re being smart with your money and leaving extra in case of emergencies. Money shouldn’t be the sole focus of your travel, and you shouldn’t let the stress of overspending or saving keep you from having a good time, either. Be smart with your decisions, keep track of what you spend, and enjoy yourself; you’re on vacation.
What travel budget tips and tricks would you recommend?