You have saved enough and now you are ready to start that holiday vacation you’ve always dreamt about . The research has been done, flights are booked, and you’re finally living the dream! But the hard part is far from over, Trust me, it is just not that easy. Here are 10 ways to stick to your travel budget which is essential to covering all aspects of your itinerary. Certain parts of the world are famous for being cheap like Latin America, Africa, Caribbean and some parts of Asia, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to spend all your money in only a few days.
Figuring out the best ways to manage a sustainable budget on the road vacation is not an easy task. If one is not careful, he/she will end up incurring huge debts. Most of the debt won’t even come from ticking off bucket-list activities; it will most likely come from being careless with money. To help you avoid making the same mistakes, I have put together this collection of 10 tips for sticking to a travel budget while you are out on the road.
Make daily travel budget
The biggest tip for sticking to your travel budget is to actually have a budget to start with. Work out how long you plan to be away and make a budget to get you through the journey. Then stick to it. Our travel budget in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia where me and hubby are currently residing is $25 a day each. You need to figure out what your travel budget is? Some days will require you to spend over it, but you should always make up for the excess spending by having a few non-activities days to even it out, but if you have more than enough money then you can pack as many activities in your days. If you stop caring, then you may run out of money a lot sooner than you wanted to.
Keep track of every money spent
Write down every single money you spend. At the end of each week, add up how much you have spent and use it to keep track of where your money goes. Doing this helps you stay focused on how much you need to spend and how much is remaining. You will see where you need to improve on ways to stick to your travel budget. Having the numbers in front of you makes it seem real and gives direction in your spending habits.
Plan your itinerary within a close proximity
Choose hotels, attractions and shopping malls that are closer to each other or within a close proximity to each other Staying in one place for an extended period of time allows you to work out where the cheapest places to eat and drink are. Once settled, you will not need to take transportation every other day, which can really cut into your budget. What’s more, you’ll get the chance to take a few hours rest knowing your next itinerary is just a stone throw. This means you can relax by the beach or go for a walk, enjoying the downtime by doing some free activities. You can also check my post on free things to do in all city
Catch public transportation
If the locals do it, why shouldn’t you at least try it? Using public transportation can be one of the biggest fears of first-time travelers to developing countries, but 99 percent of the time the local buses or trains are great and you will have lots of locals who are willing to help you. Not only are they really cheap compared to taxis or tourist buses, but they can be very entertaining and culturally eye-opening. There’s nothing quite like sharing your seat with a local family to get you up close and personal to a different way of life. Sure it might be a bit less comfortable than taking a private car, but it’ll help with your budget—and your experience. Embrace the public transport, or if you are really adventurous, try hiking to some locations that are of course a bit close to you.
Eat where the locals eat
The locals usually know where the best and cheapest food is, whether it is street food, a hole-in-the-wall eatery, or a sit-down restaurant. If a place has a crowd you can almost guarantee it will be good. Western-style meals in third-world countries are usually expensive and very rarely as tasty as what you can get at home. Don’t avoid the local food just because you think you may get sick. Fancy restaurants and street vendors all buy their food from the same markets. So if the locals are eating there, it is probably safe.
Stay in cheap accommodations
Accommodations are usually the biggest day-to-day cost of any traveler’s expenses. In many countries dropping a few hundred dollars a night on a nice hotel room is recommended for safety purposes, but in other countries you can choose small locally run guesthouses, or find cheap hotels on the edge of town. In many countries these inexpensive accommodations are pretty clean and comfortable, and they offer the basic necessities—a bed, running water, Air-Con and reasonable security. Really, what more do you need?
Shop at the markets
If you are looking to buy anything from fresh fruit to souvenirs or new clothes, local markets are the place to go. The stalls usually have far lower overheads than stores do, and as a result their products are cheaper. Although, shopping in malls in some countries can be cheaper or just a little higher than what you get in local market when you compare the price, in such cases, its okay to go for cheaper and quality.
Don’t buy things you don’t need
This should be obvious, but you’ll be surprised how hard it is to not buy that custom-made shoes as you travel along. If you are only on a short holiday, then go for it. But if you are planning on being on a long-term adventure, seriously consider holding off on any impromptu purchases. If it is something you have always wanted, then that is a different story. For souvenirs, you can buy little things that are portable and, won’t break the bank.
Sticking to a travel budget is hard work, but don’t lose sight of your goal. It’s okay to once-in-a-while splurge on a fancy hotel room and a five-course meal. To be honest, sometimes it is just what you need. Just don’t make it a regular occurrence. Travel is hard, and so is sticking to a budget. The rewards however, are always worth it. Check my useful tip on 5 things to consider before travelling.
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