For many people, nothing makes or breaks a trip like money. It’s the thing that prevents many from ever taking the leap and deciding to travel. Some wait years before embarking on a dream journey because they believe they should be saving and not winging it and making things work along the way.
This is a prudent way of thinking, but there is a way to have it all. Unless you’re on the verge of a breakdown and you absolutely need to get out this second, it’s a good idea to make some decisions about your trip well in advance. You can begin creating a travel budget, and setting aside money each month that is specifically for that fund. This takes some discipline, so it might be a good idea to establish a separate bank account solely for your travels. Out of sight, out of mind are words to live by while trying to save.
You can save a lump sum and choose a starting point and then just go as the wind blows from there, or you can map out a specific route and set a budget for each place. This gives you some control over how long you’re traveling and is especially useful if you have a set time for traveling and a list of places you want to make it to. This helps keep you on track and seeing everything you want to.
However, it’s also a good idea to pad that budget a bit. Emergencies do arise and even if you just have a cut or stomach bug, you’re going to want to have some cash to get whatever you need to heal up as quickly as possible.
No matter how much research you do, once you arrive at your destination, you are bound to find that there are numerous other attractions and things to do that you’ll want to take advantage of. And many people end up getting a taste of travel and deciding they aren’t ready to head home as soon as they thought, and the extra money helps in getting established once you find a place you want to hang out in for awhile.
It helps to apply for credit cards ahead of leaving as well. Even if you reserve them for emergencies only, it’s reassuring to have some back-up when you’re overseas.
The amount of money you’ll need also depends on the part of the world in which you are traveling. Money can go much farther in Asia or South America than in Australia or Europe, and even then, prices can vary dramatically depending on which part of the region you’re in. You’ll want to check out the currency exchange rate and look into the costs of accommodations, food and transportation. All costs add up when traveling and finding yourself short on cash on the other side of the world is a stressful and unnecessary experience.
So start your planning early and you’ll find that you can have a most enjoyable – and affordable – trip.