If you’re like me, you love to explore new places. From road trips to plane rides, going somewhere new is exciting and can give you a new life perspective. The hard part — it all comes at a cost! There are a lot of things to consider, and whether you are travelling locally or abroad, here are some budget tips to help keep that travel life going.
Pre-travel advice: planning your trip
Budget for the small things – we often think of the big-ticket items when planning a trip, like airfare, hotel, car rentals, etc. and we can be taken off guard when the final cost of our trip is double what we thought. From the expensive snack at the airport to the taxis to get around where you are visiting, always have some ‘extra expenses’ budgeted for.
Set up a savings account just for travel – if you have the travel bug like I do, you’re planning your next vacation before the last one is over. One of the best ways to save for vacation is setting up an account and putting a little money into it each pay; I recommend an automatic transfer. It takes the pressure off saving fast when exciting opportunities come up to go to new places.
If travelling abroad, let your credit union/bank and credit card company know – this can avoid any freezes on your account from unusual transactions.
Get your foreign currency ahead of time – when you’re travelling aboard, getting cash can come with poor exchange rates, high commission levels and hidden fees. A key to planning an affordable trip is getting your cash ahead of time and budgeting for how much to use each day.
Research your transportation options – there are lots of ways to get around, so make sure you know about public transit options, price compare if you are renting a car, use ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft.
While you’re travelling tips:
Hit up the local grocery store – not every meal needs to be at a restaurant and stocking up on snacks is a great idea whether it’s for back at your accommodations or while travelling around. This can help reduce the costs of eating on the go. If your hotel or rental has a kitchen, cooking a few meals for yourself is a great way to save money on food when travelling.
Bring a reusable water bottle – because let’s be serious, those airport water bottles are expensive. And this will come in handy as you hydrate throughout your trip. If it’s well insulated it will also keep your water cold throughout your travel days. It’s cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Look for free activities or deals online – save on your vacation by checking out community websites, Facebook and Groupon for lower-cost things to do while you travel.
I truly believe travel is so rewarding, it doesn’t have to be on the other side of the world (though I highly recommend Australia adventures). Check out your local attractions – get out and experience something new! You won’t regret it.