Traveling is one of the best ways to improve yourself because it makes you step out of your comfort zone and experience different elements in life. This couldn’t be truer if the traveller goes on long-term travel. Therefore, here are the tips on how tomanage your money in long-term travel. Save your money and not your enjoyment.
However, traveling long-term is a big decision to make because it means either taking a break from our jobs or quitting it altogether, not seeing family and friends, missing out on important events, and spending a large amount of money.
Traveling, on the whole, requires a good amount of money, but more so when traveling that lasts for months or even years. When traveling long-term, people need to prepare the finances for it, as there could be many unexpected turns that could shorten the trip.
Aside from money, there are important things to think about when traveling long-term such as safety, security, logistics, and health.
Here are some things to consider when thinking about traveling long-term.
Manage Your Money in Long-Term Travel
So, here are the tips on how to manage your money in long-term travel. These tips will surely make your vacation costless and great!
1. Research and make a plan.
When traveling, always research your destination. Doing your research before your actual travel can give you a better understanding of the area and allow you to manage your expectations.
Another benefit of research is it gives you an idea of the prices in that country and how much budget you will need. This also allows you not to get blindsided by unexpected costs.
Many countries in Asia, such as Thailand and Cambodia, are some of the favorite destinations of most travelers because of how cheap a lot of things are in these countries, including accommodation.
2. Know what to spend money on
When traveling, it is important to know what to spend money on. For accommodations, you need to determine where you will live during your trip –a posh hotel, a budget-friendly hostel, Airbnb, or homestay.
You should also determine the transportation you will use while staying in your chosen destination. Will you be hiring a car service, rent a vehicle, use public transport, hitchhike, or walk for the majority of the trip?
Many travel experts recommend spending the most on food and drinks, as these are part of the culture the country or city has to offer. Entertainment and activities should also be considered when traveling. Always take these into account and ask yourself: “What do I want to do while visiting this place?”
Some activities may include touring a particular tourist destination. Although there are tour companies that will offer guided tours, they will most likely come with a hefty price tag. Consider the alternatives. For example, you could create your own tour by researching certain attractions or nearby points of interest and mapping out their locations.
3. Create a budget.
After researching, create a budget of how much you think travel will cost. Write down all the things you will spend on, activities you want to do, and how much each will cost. Account for the food, insurance, transportation, accommodation, flights, activities, and other expenditures that will likely occur on this trip. Include in your budget an emergency fund.
Consider how long you’ll be away and how much you’ll spend each day. Bear in mind to make your budget flexible and adjustable and allow yourself to have occasional splurges so that you can maximize your travel as much as possible. Such splurges can be in the form of eating in restaurants or buying unique souvenirs to take home after the trip.
Another way of creating a budget is to open a new account that’s solely for traveling. Make it a habit to put aside money every week or every month before your travel dates. You should also set a specific amount, so you will know the things you need to do to save up for this amount.
4. Know the exchange rate.
When traveling to a new country, know the exchange rate so you know how much cash you will need to prepare and save for, withdraw, or exchange from money changers to avoid being duped. In some countries, a dollar can go a long way while in others it doesn’t. Knowing the exchange rate will help you determine how far your money will go.
5. Inform your bank about your travel plans.
Before your travel date, inform your bank of your plans. If you are going to travel long-term and will use your credit cards to pay for big items, your bank needs to be sure that no one else is using your account illegally.
Check your bank’s fees for withdrawals and other bank transactions made abroad. Sometimes the fees for these can be better spent on something else.
If the fees are too high, consider opening a bank account that can be accessed worldwide or an e-wallet or mobile wallet apps. An e-wallet or mobile wallet stores credit and debit card information for contactless payments. Scan the QR code on counters and transfer your payments.
Letting your bank know about your travel plans can also free you up from financial woes, especially if your trip coincides with the tax filing season. Your bank might be able to give you special instructions about tax filing and recommend a certified tax preparer.
6. Bring local cash or withdraw money as soon as possible.
When traveling, bring local denominations of the country you are visiting, so that you can spend this for transportation going to the hotel or for when you need to pay certain fees. Alternatively, you could look for an ATM as soon as you land or enter the airport of your destination.
There are usually ATMs at airports but if there aren’t any, go to a money exchange counter.
However, ATMs offer better exchange rates compared to money changers. Plus, they are easier to find than money exchange counters, making them more convenient. Plus, withdrawing from an ATM offers a layer of protection if you do not like carrying large sums of cash with you.
7. Keep track of expenses.
Keep track of all of your expenses on public transportation, food, accommodation, and shopping. This lets you see if you are staying within your budget or are overspending. There are also numerous apps available to help you monitor your spending and budget, allowing you to stretch your money.
If you don’t want to waste valuable memory space on your phone, track down your expenses using a good old fashion notebook. Or use your laptop. But if your laptop is not working as well as you would like it to be, maybe it’s time to upgrade your laptop before leaving.
8. Spend the local currency before returning home.
Before you leave for home, make sure to spend your remaining local currency. Some currencies do not fare well outside of their country of origin. You might find their value is too low when exchanged for your country’s currency. So, it doesn’t make sense to bring the current currency you are holding to your home country. To manage very well your money in long-term travel, no need to exchange your whole bank balance. Budget and carry the money you really need and exchange them. On your last day of traveling, make sure to avoid exchanging big amount. So that, there will be no need to bring the dollars in Italy, for an example.
Traveling long-term doesn’t need to burn a hole in your pocket, especially if you spend wisely. If you plan to travel long-term, seriously consider your spending habits to save money successfully. Your strategy might entail changing your lifestyle and mindset. How well you use or view money may just let you travel long-term as much as you would like.
Travel the fun!
Randal is a marketing and professional writer. He has been contributing to the internet world for a while now.