Both backpackers and luxury travelers have a designated budget for their next trip. We evaluate how much we will spend on flights, accommodation, activities, food and drinks, so we know how much a trip will cost. Everyone does this, but most people forget about the small payments we do on the go, which tend to add up during the trip. These are the main budget busters and I am going to talk about each of them, so you can stay within the budget for your next travel adventure.
Visiting a new place makes you thirsty, so you just buy a water bottle. One, two and before you know, you’ve spent way too much on those drinks. Then, there are the lattes and the alcoholic beverages, which also cost you a lot.
To avoid spending too much on drinks, just pay attention to your habits. For example, drink a beer at the hotel, before you go out for the night, because drinks are pricier at pubs. Then, pick local drinks, which come cheaper and offer you the opportunity to get to know the locals better. You can ask the hotel receptionist where locals hang out, because these are the best places and usually have affordable prices for drinks.
The same goes for coffee, which is a luxury in many countries. Avoid Starbucks and other international coffee shops and pick local baristas. Ordering simple coffee will save you a lot of money and you will still be able to function properly for the day.
Phone charges are among the most expensive things we pay for abroad. Mobile data is another one and it can quickly gets very expensive. Every time you can connect to a WiFi and make sure your smartphone is configured properly. Turn off the mobile data, to be safe. A great tool you can use is the Skyroam WiFi hotspot, which allows you to connect to the local network automatically, for free.
We love to shop and we often buy on impulse, which makes us lose some money. Gifts are a great way to remember a trip and offer your loved ones something from the places you’ve visited. Shopping at the local market is an experience you will cherish forever, as you get to know the locals and interact with them. But make sure you only buy what you really need to buy. Resist the impulse to buy everything you see and plan to buy a limited number of items, each one for someone back home. Also, think of the available space you have in your luggage.
Exchange rates and credit card fees
Exchange rates and credit card fees can easily bust your travel budget. Before you leave call your bank and inform them about your trip, to avoid having your cards blocked. Ask them about the ATM fees and exchange rates, so you know what to expect and when to use an ATM abroad.
When you travel you might fall ill or have another medical emergency – without a travel insurance, these are expensive. Get an insurance which covers your emergencies and your nonrefundable expenses, both before and during your trip. This way, you will be covered if you break a leg before leaving or during the trip. If you carry expensive gear with you – if you are a photographer you are carrying expensive gear – make sure to buy an insurance that covers the equipment as well.