Guest writer: Maricor Bunal
Are you looking to plan an overseas vacation that doesn’t break the bank? Well, just because you’re sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have the fun, exciting and memorable adventure you deserve. Aside from using the right financial tools, you can take the following steps to make the most of your spending power and keep money woes at bay.
#1 Set a daily budget
This first tip is actually the simplest and most important. After working out a budget based on where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what you’ll be doing once you’re there – you need to create a daily cash allowance. Aside from the accommodations and transportation, set a daily budget for food, drink, shopping and other activities. Give it some wiggle room so you’ll have a cushion for emergencies or surprise expenses.
#2 Keep track of your spending
You can use your phone as a travel journal to keep track of all your daily spending. Seeing how your expenses add up at the end of the day will make you more aware of your spending habits and help identify areas for improvement. This will help you stick to your budget much more effectively throughout your adventure.
#3 Don’t rush
Travelling isn’t fun if you’re always in a hurry. Travel slowly and stay in one place for a longer period of time to get the most out of your adventure. This will also give you more time to figure out the most affordable destinations for eating, drinking, sight-seeing, cultural immersion, etc. Relax and take in all the places you visit. If you have some downtime, spend it on free activities you can’t do anywhere else.
#4 Say yes to public transportation
A lot of first-time travelers are too hesitant to use the local buses and trains. This is especially true for those who travel to developing countries. But in most cases, public transportation is not only cheap, but also entertaining and educational. Sharing a seat with the locals can open up your eyes to a different way of life. It might not be as comfortable as tourist vehicles, but it will help keep your expenses to a minimum and make your experience all the more memorable.
#5 Don’t spend a fortune on accommodations
Accommodations are almost always the most costly travel expense. So instead of going to a fancy hotel the moment you arrive, keep an eye out for guesthouses or homestays run by locals. You might also find the cheapest hotels in areas that aren’t near popular tourist destinations. In most countries, inexpensive accommodations are often clean, comfortable, and offer the basic necessities.
#6 Eat with the locals
If you want to know where the best-tasting, cheapest food is, just ask the locals or be on the lookout for places with a lot of customers. Don’t be too quick to say no to local food just because you think it might make you sick. If the locals love to eat there, it’s probably not a health hazard. Just don’t gorge on all the local dishes, or you’ll most likely end up burning a hole in your wallet.
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#7 Go to the markets
The local markets offer just about anything you can find in top department stores. Whether you’re looking to buy fruit, clothes or souvenirs, you’ll find them in local markets at more affordable prices because of lower overheads. And if you have a knack for haggling, you might just be able to get the lowest price possible.
Sticking to a budget when you’re in a foreign country can be a real challenge, but it’s far from impossible. Every time you feel tempted to splurge on five-star hotel room, a meal at a Michelin Star-rated restaurant, or a bunch of pricey souvenirs – just think about all the other ways you can make the most of your adventure if you stretch your budget.
About the author: Mari writes for Loansolutions to help educate people in making informed-decisions on taking out loans and becoming responsible borrowers. Being the COO, she feels it is her social responsibility to do so. Learn more from her as she shares tips, advises and stories on finance. Also, she’s fond of 9GAG, so you might read some random stuff over here