Keeping track of your spending on the road
Nothing strikes horror into the heart like running out of cash before a trip’s planned termination date; a situation that can spell doom for even the most seasoned traveler.
Running out of money in the middle of a trip can be challenging and stressful. It can leave individuals scrambling to find any work they can, wherever in the world they may be and some may resort to desperate measures. Others may be fortunate enough to have friends or relatives back home who can transfer emergency funds through secure international money transfer firms such as Trans-fast.
While there are ways in which stranded tourists can earn enough money to return home, it is far better to avoid running out of cash in the first place. Anyone planning to travel abroad needs to be aware of some of the most common reasons for travelers overspending on a trip; they include:
- Higher than expected food and drink prices
- Travel and accommodation expenses
- Unforeseen ATM and credit card fees
- Underestimating currency exchange rates
- Over tipping in restaurants or hotels
- Purchasing expensive gifts and excessive shopping
The simplest way to avoid falling into this dangerous trap is to create a practical travel budget and stick to it.
Drafting a travel budget
People travel differently so the amount of money an individual needs for a trip depends on his or her personal preferences. Those who are preparing to visit foreign countries need to take several things into consideration, including the duration of their trip, the stops they intend to make and the standard of accommodation they expect. They should also make allowances and adjustments to cater for local currency exchange rates and any emergencies.
Keeping track of travel expenses
While setting up a budget can be time consuming, adhering to one during a trip can be even more challenging. The following tips may come in handy:
- Planning an itinerary – making plans for a trip ahead of time helps avoid major hurdles down the road. The itinerary should be planned with a maximum overall budget in mind to avoid overspending. Nevertheless, both the itinerary and budget should remain flexible enough to allow for last-minute opportunities to be enjoyed.
- Curtailing unnecessary expenses – care should be taken to eliminate any needless expenditure during the trip. For instance, individuals can save a ton of cash by selecting cheaper accommodation options such as hostels instead of hotels. They can also save money by eating in instead of dining out every day.
- Tracking all expenditure – another important point when traveling involves tracking all expenses. This gives a clear picture of what cash has been spent on and helps estimate how much is left. There are a variety of ways available for this including writing down all expenses, using spreadsheets, smartphone apps or good old pencil and paper.
- Having a backup plan – while this may not necessarily assist a person to stick to their budget, it is still an important part of traveling. It is advisable to have spare credit or debit cards, along with contingency cash stashed somewhere for use in an emergency.