Budgeting for your travel experience, whether you’re on an extended holiday or planning to travel the world for months, is very doable. All you need is a bit of planning and a few tips to help you save a ton of money.
Before you even get on that plane, make sure you’ve done your research. Pre-planning where to stay every night may sound like it will take the edge off your adventure, but actually it could save you a lot of time, stress and cash.
Thoroughly researching every destination you’re planning to stop off at should give you a good idea of the best hostels and hotels to stay at, depending on your budget. Don’t forget to check peer reviews on sites like tripadvisor and thorntree – these will give you the real story behind your intended destination. It’s perfectly possible to find good, safe and cheap accommodation pretty much wherever you’re heading, so book in before you leave.
Make sure you pack light and sort out communications before you leave as well. A sure fire way to rack up unwanted bills is to not consider your phone plan before you leave. Watch your data usage and shop around to get the best possible deal – remember that it may well not be with your normal provider. It can work out much cheaper to buy a local SIM card in your destination country, or even before you leave, that gives local rates for data usage. If you’re crossing a lot of borders make sure you have a worldwide SIM, otherwise again, you could pile up charges that you won’t be aware of until you’re hit with the bill.
The other area to really plan ahead with is the actual traveling. Flights, trains, boats and taxis can take a lot of your money, so it’s best to spend time researching in plenty of time. For example, if you’re off to somewhere like the Czech Republic, then very reasonably priced and cheap flights to Prague can be found online, with a bit of searching.
Pre-booking train travel, particularly if you are planning to travel around Europe extensively, is also a good way to make sure you’re not wasting your precious budget.
Don’t go overboard buying ‘necessities’ before you leave – remember that wherever you are you’ll be able to find what you need in an emergency. Pack light and don’t incur any charges when flying – it’s also a good tip to make sure you don’t buy too many souvenirs while away. Not only is it annoying when you have to lug them around but you may end up with an add on charge at the airport coming home.
When you’ve reached your destination, try walking everywhere while getting your bearings. It can be tempting to jump in a cab if you don’t know the area, but you could be missing out on local sites and experiences, as well as wasting cash.
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It’s also a good idea to keep a record of your spending every day – it’s a visual reminder in black and white of the money you have left and can go a long way to curbing impulse purchases or wasting cash on big nights out when all you’ll get for your trouble is a bad hangover!