It is really fun to travel, especially if you’re going to visit a place you’ve never been to before. It’s exciting so you surely put a lot of effort to prepare for it. You prepare clothes, food, gadgets, accessories and so much more. You must pack all important stuff that you’ll be needing as you travel abroad, and never lose sight of the most essential thing that you must prepare for: YOUR BUDGET.
Budgeting is not easy because prices of goods are getting higher and because unforeseen expenses arise. It’s hard to stick onto one mindset that you’ll only buy this and will resist to buy that and so on. Especially, when you travel abroad, there will surely be many things that you’d want to take home with you, but you always have to watch out for your budget.
It has always been a hard part to decide on when you travel abroad, so here are 8 travel tips to maximize your budget when you go abroad:
#1: CHECK CONVERSATION RATES
Do this before you plan traveling to a certain country. Research the monetary conversion present in that place. It’s for you to get yourself and your wallet ready. You don’t like getting surprised with expensive bills and high dues, so make sure you check the rates yourself. Doing so, you can have an idea of the budget you will be needing. In that way, you don’t only get to set aside extra money but you also save yourself from regretful impulsive purchases.
#2: DOUBLE-CHECK CREDIT CARD
If you are used to utilizing your credit card when making purchases anywhere or for anything, double-check when you are planning to use it as you travel abroad. Do your research or ask authorized institutions or personnel regarding the credit card policies of the country you are about to visit. There are European banks which are no longer accepting the magnetic-strip cards. Do not be too confident about it because you might get embarrassed if it can’t be used there.
#3: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DISCOUNTS
Who knows there could be freebies in a certain spot in that country you’ll be visiting? Free hygienic stuff, free food, free stationeries, free scents and many others could be present! Don’t be shy to take those stuff given out for free. You are a tourist, a foreigner to that country, so it does not seem embarrassing. Look out for discounts given specially for tourists. Since you’re not a local, you might get some special treats and treatments, so don’t be shy, but be alert for deceivers. Some might take advantage of your unfamiliarity with the place and the regulations, so be careful.
#4: ACQUIRE LOCAL CASH
If credit cards are accepted, keep in mind that you cannot use yours for everything you’re going to do and buy. You need to have the country’s local cash. Especially for small goods, personal services and street purchases, you do need local cash to pay. That thing where you swipe the card isn’t everywhere available, so bring cash.
#5: SET ASIDE LUXURIOUS PLANE FOOD
Take the menu to see the food the plane offers. They are sort of expensive, so if you want to save money for more food in the destination, you do not have to buy in the plane. If you have some snacks, you can eat them instead. This actually depends on the degree of your hunger. If you have no choice and if you’re surely hungry, you should buy then. If you are not, however, and if the travel time isn’t that long, you might want to wait for your arrival at the country. It all depends on you, but this might really help.
#6: PLAN MEALS VERY WELL
Usually, travelers have the struggle to budget when it comes to eating because they are not familiar with the restaurants and other food stations in that foreign country. To get yourself prepared and to lessen the stress, plan ahead of time. Look up nearby restaurants and malls where you can have your meals if you don’t want to eat hotel food. Research about famous food alleys and local favorites. Pay attention to special food offers, and check out discounts available online.
It’s hard to choose where to eat, and it gets even harder when you are not familiar with the options. If you’re already full, don’t squeeze in all the food inside. Buy them some other day instead. In that way, you will avoid overeating and an aching stomach. You will also enjoy your meals if you’re really in the right condition to eat. If not, that’s like wasting money.
#7: SKIP THE FAMILIAR STUFF
You travel abroad for new things, new faces, new food and new places, so avoid buying the things which you can easily buy from your own country, unless they are necessary. For clothes, souvenirs and food, explore because there are many options. Also, it’d be great to bring home good remembrances of your trip.
#8: DON’T BUY EVERYTHING
One of the biggest mistakes travelers to an unfamiliar country do is to buy everything that seems “new” and interesting. Well, that is not very practical at all if you are concerned with maximizing your budget. Only choose the best and the rare picks. There is no need to collect everything for nothing. If you’ve bought two shirts in Sydney, you’re good to leave that store already; there’s no need for you to buy every single shirt with a different design.
There are many things which you can do and not do so that you’ll be able to maximize your budget. Remember that you must be mindful about your money because it’s really hard and stressful to travel abroad with a tight budget. If you have a budget that breathes well, make sure you don’t impulsively use it. There are many ways you can do to spend wisely as you travel abroad; some are written above. Be reminded of them for you to have a better and less nerve-racking travel abroad.
Nicole Ann Pore is a daytime writer for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel, a five-star hotel in Parramatta, New South Wales offering a worthwhile stay and a close experience of the historical richness of Australia. Nicole writes about travel, accommodation and everything else related to it. For her, the beauty of this world is astounding and worth-sharing, and traveling is one of the best ways to appreciate it. | Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.