Money Matters: How to Manage Your Funds While Traveling
Unforeseen events often come up when we are away from home which means that we should be prepared financially to address them while traveling. A fine-tuned budget allows for the anticipated costs of a trip as well as an emergency fund for things like hospital visits, flat tires, and last minute hotel stays. It serves as a safety net for unsavory situations and can be the difference between life and death in many scenarios.
Every traveler should consider the importance of managing their funds while they are away. Without money, one cannot pay for transportation, lodging or meals. You cannot properly tip individuals nor can you acquire the things that you need like toiletries or medicines. This can make for a very long and uncomfortable trip. By learning the skills needed to properly allocate your funds while traveling, you reduce the risk of overspending or coming into a situation ill-prepared.
Learn How Much Everything Costs
Travel books and websites are designed with you in mind. They serve as valuable resources for individuals by painting a picture of how much things cost, the best bargains available, and what things to expect when your journeys take you far from home. Study these items and get a general idea of what it is like to stay in a hotel, hail a cab, eat in a restaurant, and do some sightseeing.
Draw Up a Budget and Stick To It
After you have done your research, decide what type of budget you can afford. Take into consideration the number of travelers and their basic needs. Allow enough money to cover each person’s expenses as well as keeping a reserve fund in the case that emergencies arise. The last thing that you want to do in a foreign country is run out of funds.
Always Have a Reserve Fund
Whether it is in traveler’s checks or credit cards, it is important to have an open line of money available to cover the unexpected. A sick child or flat tire can really put a dent into your travel budget. In fact, when traveling abroad, it is always best to have access to some quick cash when needed. Whatever you don’t use on this trip, you can save for your next journey.
Ask For a Higher Credit Limit Before You Travel
If you anticipate charging your vacation to your travel card without raising your credit limit, think twice. It is hard to negotiate with your creditors when you away from home. A month or two in advance, contact your credit card companies and explain the situation. Let them know that you plan on using their card exclusively. Then ask them for an increase. Most will be more than happy to honor your request because they know they will be making interest off of your trip. You get the safety of knowing that you have what you need on the road and they get the luxury of making some money off of you.
Write Down Expenditures
Carry a small notebook with you so you can write down expenses. This will help you keep track of how you are spending your money. It will also give you an overview of how much of your actual budget you have left. If at all possible, save your receipts so that you can compare them to your credit card statement once you have arrived home.
A small manila envelope is lightweight and easy to carry in a bag or purse. Simply slip your receipts into it before leaving a shop or restaurant and take solace in knowing that you have everything you need to do some accounting once your trip has ended.
Keep Money in Multiple Locations
Do not keep all of your money in one location. In the chance event that your wallet or purse becomes lost or stolen, you will have enough funds to see you through. If you are using traveler’s checks, remember to keep the receipts in a safe location. This is the only way that you can be reimbursed without having the actual documents on you.
A number of personal safes and travel bags with tamper-proof locks and straps can be purchased and used throughout a trip. These items may seem a little pricey at first glance but they are well worth the money. A simple web search can put you into contact with a number of companies selling money belts and camera bags.
When it comes to managing your money while traveling, you can never be too cautious. It is never good to flash your cash in public places. It is always ideal to carry your credit cards and traveler’s checks in a concealed location. Having a reserve set aside for emergencies can make an uncomfortable situation go much smoother and a larger credit line can assist you with making last minute purchases before heading off to your next destination.