Staying on Budget While Travelling

Managing your spending is vital for any budget conscious traveller. If you’ve gone to the effort to save for a trip, find cheap flights and secure reasonably priced accommodation, it would be a shame to ruin all that hard work by overspending once you arrive. To help you stay on budget, follow the tips below.


Your destination will ultimately depend on the size of your budget. Travelling through Europe for example, would require a much larger budget than travelling through South East Asia due to the cost of food and accommodation. So choosing an affordable destination to visit is a crucial first step.

Once you’ve chosen where you want to go, you can then start to research what to do once you arrive. A quick internet search will determine whether it’s cheaper to pay for the outings in advance, or wait until you arrive. Either way, you’ll know how much to set aside in the budget.


Set a daily budget

Once you know how much spending money you’ll have, you can then work out how much you can spend per day (allowing some leeway for unforeseen expenses and transport costs). Keeping to a daily budget will ensure you don’t churn through your funds too quickly. If you’re travelling with cash, split the money into individual envelops with the correct daily amount, you can then easily grab an envelop at the start of the day and you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend.

Set the rules

Whether it’s fine wine or a new pair of shoes, we all have our little weaknesses. To ensure you don’t succumb to the pressure and splash out on items you can’t afford, it’s important to set yourself rules before you depart. Following them will ensure you don’t return with a hefty credit card bill and a bunch of new items you’ll probably never use. However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t treat yourself, but if you do, make sure you budget for it in advance. As a sucker for technology, I’ll put aside some extra money before I leave to spend on any new gadget which piques my interest.


Track your expenses

While keeping track of every single transaction can become quite tedious, it’s important to note down all your major purchases to ensure you’re staying on budget. To assist you with this, there are many smartphone applications available such as MoneyBook, or you could simply write them down in a notepad.


Don’t become complacent

In the midst of a carefree holiday, it’s easy to become complacent and ignore your budget. That’s why you should do a quick review every couple of days to ensure you’re remaining on track and not overspending. Doing a final review on your return is a great way to analysis how well you’ve kept on track and it gives you an opportunity to note down any improvements for your next travel budget.

Think ahead

Remember, it’s easy when you’re on holiday to forget about your life back home. On more than one occasion I’ve broken my budget and whipped out the credit card, only to regret it once I returned home. While bringing emergency funds (e.g. a credit card or traveller’s cheques) is important for those unforeseen circumstances, try not to use them unless it’s absolutely required and stick to the budget as much as possible. You’ll thank yourself later.
Submitted on: July 10 2011 Protection Status
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