7 Tips To Manage Your Vacation Budget
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Published by TOP4 Team
Travel has become easier, more convenient and cheaper over the years. Thanks to new technologies, more options for transportation and accommodation and the high competition in the tourism sector, there are now various vacation opportunities for holidaymakers of different interests, preferences and wallets.
A vacation should be fun, and the secret to ensure that it is so is to work hard in advance to make sure things will be efficient and smooth sailing during the trip. And that includes, most importantly, the topic of money. Whether you’re splurging on the holiday of a lifetime or looking forward to a budget staycation, it’s wise to invest in proper financial planning so you can make the most of your well-deserved time out.
Follow these simple steps that will help you stick to your budget while still being able to make the most of the experience:
1. Be a planner. Be clear about how much money you’ll be allocating for the vacation. Then, work backwards to see how you can divide the amount to cover all your needs (and wants) during the trip. Write down how much you can spend for each component, from food to accommodation to transportation and extras. Commit to a daily allowance because it will make it easier to keep track of expenses in real time.
Invest in some serious sleuthing. You’ll most likely be doing research while creating the budget. Ask for recommendations from people who have already been to your destination. Visit reputable travel sites and tourism websites to see if there are deals and promotions that you can join. List down the most interesting attractions and activities you would like to experience and based on the information you have collected, draft a realistic schedule that will allow you to tick off the items on your wish list.
2. Prepare for emergency situations. Getting sick or figuring in an accident or any other unfortunate incident may be the last thing on your mind as you look forward to your holiday, but it’s always best to be prepared for the unexpected. Talk to your insurance provider or learn about one-time travel policies before your trip. If you’re going to a far-flung area, ask your doctor about shots and supplements you can use to avoid getting sick.
3. Know your deals. Read the fine print; a lot of travellers go over the budget due to fees that they didn’t know applied to the products, services or packages they selected. Your credit card, ATM or bank may charge a different transaction fee and other charges on other locations, so take time to give your bank a call to inform them that you’ll travelling overseas or another state at least a week before you go. If you are indeed going to another country, familiarise yourself with the applicable exchange rates and other specific information about money matters.
4. Skip the souvenirs. Unless they’re a serious collector or have some special interest, your family friend and relatives won’t anymore expect to be gifted with the obligatory shirt, ref magnet or box of airport chocolates from your trip. You may get one keepsake if you want some kind of memento or get a special something for your mom or best friend, but there’s no more need to blow your budget and go over your baggage limits due to unnecessary items.
5. Budget your time as well. Proper time management can save you from unnecessary expenses and allow you to make the trip more worthwhile, more fun and more meaningful. If you’re in a foreign country, take note of the time conversion. Late fees, last minute cancellations and missed deadline can make travel costly, so make sure everything is laid out clearly in your calendar, with reminder alarms, if possible.
6. Keep track of expenses diligently. When you’re on a vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is money. But diligently monitoring your spending and keeping tab of your budget is absolutely necessary if you don’t want to be calling people from home, requesting them to wire you some cash. Fortunately, there are now tools and smartphone apps that make expense tracking easy, if not automated and almost hands-free.