When traveling, it seems like unexpected and rather unnecessary costs and expenses will always come up. This can leave your wallet rather empty and add stress to your vacation. Whether you are on a family vacation, business retreat, or even a romantic getaway, money is one of the most important factors to properly manage while traveling. With careful consideration, proper decision making, and optimal management of your money, you can easily avoid any surprise expenses to make your trip much more enjoyable. Take into consideration the following ways to manage your money while traveling which will make this vacation the best experience possible.
When choosing your destination or dates, flexibility is a vital aspect when it comes to managing your money while traveling. For example, you may have had your heart set on a Hawaiian vacation but there happens to be a once in a lifetime deal on a tropical trip to Mexico. You should take advantage of the best deal possible to save yourself a pretty penny. You would still be able to enjoy an exotic beach vacation but you are going to save a significant amount of money in the long run. Also, later dates may come at a lower cost so you should ask yourself if you can put off your travels to a later date to enjoy this great savings.
Stock Up On Groceries
No matter where you are traveling to, one of the biggest expenses is going to be food costs. An average vacation can cost anyone an extravagant amount by dining out each meal during their vacation. Even when opting to eat at a cheap fast food restaurant, the cost will still add up quickly to an extremely unnecessary expense. Do yourself a solid favor by stocking up on an array of groceries before your vacation to avoid spending ten dollars for sodium-filled French fries. You will still be able to enjoy cuisine from the area by purchasing items at the market. The high cost of festivals and theme park foods can also cost quite a bit of money as their fares are usually marked up quite a bit.
You should purchase snacks, easy breakfast options, and drinks that are easily accessible at any time of day. If your hotel room offers a microwave, invest in some microwave meals and canned foods so you don’t have to frequent the local dinner for a warm meal. With food and snacks on hand, you are going to save some serious cash which will give you more money to spend on special activities or save toward your next adventure.
Pick and Choose When Packing
If you are flying to your destination, beware of the items that you are bringing along with you. Airlines add many fees to almost everything these days and are much sterner when it comes to cargo weight limits. As you are packing, ask yourself if you really need those particular items. Hotels provide a large number of items such as hair dryers, razors, pillows, and other miscellaneous items so you won’t have to pack these items yourself. If you do not want a nasty and expensive surprise at the airport, pack light and avoid any oversized baggage fees.
Buy Package Deals
When you book your hotel packaged with your airfare and maybe even your rental car, you’re gaining access to deals that aren’t necessarily available to other travellers. Those are three crucial aspects of travel that you are going to have to spend money on whether you like it or not. Therefore, finding a packaged deal is a great way to get everything you need and score a great savings as well. Look for all-inclusive packages which also offer food and other amenities to save even more money on your vacation.
Keep Records of Your Purchases
Tracking how much you are spending when planning your vacation and while on the adventure itself does the equivalent that counting calories does for people on a diet. When you see how much you are spending on that gourmet coffee outside of your hotel room every morning, you will be rather shocked at the hole it is actually burning in your pocket. Carry around a compact journal or a simple piece of paper to record your purchases and look back at it at the end of the day to see where unnecessary costs are coming from and nip them before they become an issue.
Beware of Credit/Debit Card Charges
Before leaving on your travels, check with your bank to find out how much they charge when using their card in a foreign area. Many banks even charge every time your withdraw money from your checking account. These extra fees can quickly add up and if you are not careful, any amount of money that you have saved on your flight will quickly go towards funding these unnecessary expenses. Withdraw money before leaving to avoid this extra expense.
As you are booking your hotel and flight, arranging your meals and activities, and preparing for your travels in general, take into consideration these tips to manage your money. You don’t want to look at your bank account with utter disappointment when you should be taking this time to relax and have fun on your long-awaited and much deserved adventure.