Travelling alone or going for a long vacation with your loved ones, planning a trip abroad can be exhausting. Zeroing down on a destination is not just it. You need to plan out your resources, make lists, create an itinerary etc. It is more than essential to organize your money by dividing them into different aspects of travelling such as transport, food, home stay/hotel etc. This division will vary from person to person. Some people spend a lot, while some believe in spending wisely. You may fall in either of those categories, but what remains common is – Planning! It doesn’t matter Whether you are a solo traveller, travelling in a group or living a life as a digital nomad, managing all expenses while travelling such as receipts, bills, Tickets expenditure can be soul-destroying and can lead to unsatisfactory travel experience.
Travellers really need budget management mobile apps while travelling to keep an eye on their expenses or to split bills.
Fortunately, there are multiple apps available on different mobile platforms to help remove your stress of planning your trip.
- Generate a travel budget
As the sub-heading suggests, create a list of the foreseen expenses beforehand such as stay, travel and food. Do not forget to include other recreational expenses, which you can jot down based on a rough idea. One must keep a track of their money specially in a foreign country. After generating a travel budget, the next most important step which goes without saying is – stick to it!
Really, what is the point of creating this budget if your expenses are nowhere close to the budget? Keep the maximum limit you’ll spend in mind while creating this budget.
- Exchange the local currency before flying
Prior to flying to a different country, exchange your local currency with some foreign cash so that it is easier for you to function in a completely new place. Although remember to only convert the amount you need for initial transactions and other purchases – maybe for the first 24 hours. You might need this cash to pay for the cab, or some snacks you buy. It isn’t feasible to look for an ATM all around in a new country. What if you don’t find one at the time when you need it? It’s always better to keep some cash handy. But remember, store the money in a safe place!
- Schedule automatic payments
Take full advantage of this world of digitalization and keep it simple by scheduling your payments while you’re miles apart from your home. Avoid the hassle of making payments on-the-go while you are enjoying your vacation, and set-up automatic payments instead. From utility bills to other payments, schedule it automatically to the date you are supposed to make the payment. The advantage of this is that you will make your payments on time and be tension free while travelling.
- Pick your air fare smartly
Instead of finalizing the first two-three options that you get on a particular website, research other websites too. Compare their air fare, explore all the options and then decide which one suits your needs. Sometimes the air fare is low but there is extra cost to carry luggage, and sometimes the air fare is high but luggage cost is comparatively low. So you need to see which one suits your agenda and move forward accordingly.
- Keep a minimal wallet
Carrying a smart wallet is absolutely necessary. Stacking your wallet with all your cash and cards in an unknown nation is a big no! You may think you’ll have an advantage by carrying extra cash as you can spend it whenever needed, but if you think it the other way, you’ll be dealing with many disadvantages. What if someone pickpockets? You’ll lose all your money, cards and important documents. The best way to go about this is to keep adequate amount of cash and one card with you at all times. Keep the other cards in your hotel room to avoid misplacement. Travel smartly!
- Choose the cheapest way to commute at the destination
Yes, riding in a cab is very convenient, just a few clicks and a taxi is available. No matter how easy it is, it does blow up a lot of your money. So why not travel as the locals do and hop on a bus or metro? Not only will this move save you a lot of money, but it will also help you interact with people and figure out things on your own. It will allow you to know of new places to visit, the local culture and come across new people.
- Inform the credit card company about your travelling plans
Do not forget to inform your credit card companies of your travel plans so that if they detect any activity which they find suspicious, they don’t block your card. Getting your card blocked while travelling is uncalled for as in an unknown nation, you’re dependent on your credit and debit cards. Hence it advisable to inform them about the dates of travel and place prior to your trip.
- Take a Travel Insurance
It goes without saying that one must take a travel insurance before travelling internationally. If you cannot afford an insurance, then you certainly can’t afford to go on an international trip. It is not necessary that everything goes your way while travelling abroad. Someone may fall sick or there may be a mishap to an extent that you may have to cut your trip short. Things are not as simple abroad as they are back in your home country. So what do you do in such circumstances? Your travel insurance will keep you covered in such difficult times.
- Jot down important numbers
Write down numbers of people you’re on the trip with, the customer service numbers of your credit card companies and other important numbers. This list will come in handy if you lose your wallet, forget your phone somewhere or have your belongings stolen.
- Online Safety
During your time abroad, you may want to check your bank statement online or login to your social media accounts. Refrain yourself from logging in from a public device such as the hotel computer or a cyber cafe in such a case. Hackers are quite active and they will look for opportunities to hack into accounts. Why not connect your mobile phone with your personal accounts? It is a safer option. But if you really have to, then take safety measures by signing out from every site and closing every site. Also, do not forget to clear the browsing history!
- Carry debit and credit cards
In case your card gets stolen or stuck at the ATM, do not worry, you will be sure to have an alternative. Even though the international fee for a transaction is high, it’s okay because you would be using this card in an emergency. But again, you must not make the mistake of keeping all the cards at one place!
- Be aware of the exchange rate
Before going to any money lender to exchange money or going to an ATM to withdraw money within the limit of your bank, be aware of the exchange rate so that you know how much to withdraw and also to make sure not to be tricked by the money lender. As it is advisable to exchange some money before travelling internationally, you must be aware of the exchange rate of that country. Also, avoid exchanging money at the airport exchange booths or even international railway stations for that matter. They will try and convince you to exchange money from them by saying that they don’t charge any extra commission. Try not to let them rip you off.
- Keep the receipts
You may or may not keep the receipt while in your home country, but you must remember to collect each and every receipt for all major transactions you make. If you want, you may also keep the receipt for every small transaction. This will help you to keep a track of how much money you have spent and calculate how much money is still left from your overseas trip budget.
- Discover the cook in you
If you are going for a long vacation and are not going to stay at a hotel and prefer an apartment for your stay, then you can consider cooking for yourself. Buy the ingredients and raw vegetables, explore the supermarkets. Not only are they cheap and save you a lot of money, but you will also get a chance to discover your cooking skills!
- Keep your money safe
Divide your money – keep some in your wallet, some hidden under your clothes, some at the hotel room safely locked with immovable furniture. Think of innovative places where you can hide your money, but don’t forget where you have kept it hidden!
- Exhaust all the money before you leave the country
There is no point of storing international currency in your pockets after you have left the country. If you still have a lot of it left and are unable to spend all the money, then try exchanging money only if you are getting the same exchange rate or lower. You may keep a coin or note to add to your collection, but do spend all the money withdrawn before landing to your own country.
Now that you are aware of what to do and what not to, hope you have a great trip!
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About the Author
Abhyank Srinet holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe . His interest in the digital Landscape motivated him to create an online start up for Masters in Management application consulting (MiM-Essay.com), focused on spreading quality information about the MiM degree & performing application consulting services for clients. He is extremely passionate about writing and marketing.
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