Monday, April 09, 2012

How To Save Money While Travelling

It's guest post time: Come on down Papan Choudhury.

Saving up for your travels is generally a relatively straightforward task. Saving money while you are actually travelling, however, can often be an entirely different matter. There are always unexpected expenses along the way that can severely damage even the best prepared money plan. Nonetheless, there are a few things you can do - whether you are planning singles holidays or a family vacation - that may ensure your budget holds up.

Something that can eat into your travel budget quite significantly is the area of taxes and fees. There are numerous countries that actually levy fees and taxes on tourists. For example, Argentina charges up to £100 for a non-national to enter the country. It may well pay to do some research beforehand to know the precise nature of the extra fees.

The most important point of all is to ensure you are suitably prepared. Carrying out some research on your planned destination in terms of prices could prove a wise strategy. Wherever you plan on going, some things are going to be significantly cheaper here than in your destination country and vice versa. Indeed, it may even pay in the long run to pack just a few items of clothing if clothes are particularly cheap to buy in the country you are visiting.

In addition, unless you plan on going on singles holidays, it is always a good idea to make sure you are travelling with equally cost-minded travel companions. As your friends and family tend to influence your money habits at home, they probably will also do so when you are on vacation. Try to avoid the big spenders if possible. If you can find someone even more frugal than you, then that would be even better because they will undoubtedly keep a check on your spending.

That is not to say you shouldn't keep a watchful eye on your own spending. The important point will be to make sure you are aware of your weaknesses so you can avoid them whenever possible. For example, if you are the type who tends to spend more money when they are stressed, try and avoid situations in which stress may take its toll and you are likely to give in to temptation. Otherwise, you may find you are travelling home with bags full of clothes you will never wear.

Another good strategy is to make the whole business of saving money a bit of fun. You can literally make it into a game. For example, set yourself little tasks such as trying to get through one whole day without parting with a single penny and then give yourself a treat if you manage it. You could also double the fun by setting your travel partner similar tasks and then keeping score to see who wins.

Finally, you could focus on all the things on which you could use any money saved when you return home. In fact, deciding on a special treat for when you get back and concentrating on that will make a surprising difference. Alternatively, you can always promise yourself to pay off some debts with the money saved. Just think of the peace of mind that would bring.

Needless to say, however hard you try and keep your spending to a minimum, the likelihood is that you will end up spending more than you hoped. Therefore, budgeting for at least 20% more than what you think you will need will ensure you have no disasters.

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