No matter what your reason for travelling abroad is, personal finance is a common concern for all — budgeting is no doubt essential to get the most from your trip. Jet-setting around the world is one of the easiest ways to burn through all your hard-earned savings and then some. Some tactful pre-planning will ensure you don’t spend more than intended on your next adventure.
Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when saving money to travel the world:
Be Flexible with Timing and Dates
Often, your travels are designed around a particular date, leaving little room to move. But most international travel will give you at least some wiggle room in your itinerary. And this wiggle room is an easy way to save big.
There are times of the year when travel to particular destinations is most popular, and this is also when it’s the most expensive. So travelling during off-peak periods – otherwise known as ‘shoulder season‘ – can mean huge discounts on flights and accommodation.
Are you selecting the least expensive travel dates?
Scope Out Worthwhile Credit Card Offers
Many travelers find travelling with international credit cards an easy way to pay as they hop across continents.
But did you know that some companies offer special incentives for international travelers, such as free travel insurance? If you planned to buy insurance separately, it’s a great idea to do your credit card shopping smartly.
Have you done your research to obtain the best travel money deal?
Get the Best Exchange Rates
And if you’re exchanging money, it’s also important to recognize that – just like those credit cards – not all exchange rates are created equal.
Too many travelers think the first or most popular currency exchange rates or options they come across will suffice. For those planning a visit to Australia for example, consider and compare CBA exchange rates to other outlets — are they the best option for your foreign exchange? While convenient, major banks are often not the cheapest option when it comes to buying foreign currency.
Are you utilizing the most competitive currency exchange rates?
Check Your Checked Baggage
Just about everyone has been caught doing the wrong thing at least once when they go to check luggage in at the airport.
Even if you think you know what weight and size you are allowed for your bags, these allowances differ from airline to airline and is constantly subject to change.
Have you done your homework to avoid checked bag fees?
Get to Know Your Destination
Too many travelers get very excited about their destination without knowing much about their destination.
But simply by doing some online reading – for example at travel websites, blogs and forums – will open up several savings avenues you hadn’t previously considered. These savings will include cheap things to do, budget places to stay and eat, and local money-saving customs like bargaining in shops or at markets.
Have you done adequate background research?
Notice the Finer Details
While saving $500 on a flight or $50 a night on accommodation if possible are obvious, don’t forget all the little details as well.
Why’s that? Because lots of little savings add up to big savings, as plenty of seasoned travelers will tell you.
Take one example: eating. Savvy travelers will adjust their eating habits to save money while traveling, for instance by always staying at places that bundle meals with the room.
Are you taking advantage of package deals and saving wherever you can?
Take Advantage of Freebies
As suggested above, if you can make do with freebies, that leaves precious pennies in the bank.
In our digital age, free WiFi is all over the place in many countries, so why not consider waiting until you get to a Cafe to check your emails rather than chewing up a few more Megabytes in paid data? And if you have a spare day in your itinerary, consider doing something for free like hiking, city sightseeing, window shopping or beach dozing.
Are you making a point to limit your data usage?
Generate Income While You’re Away
It’s one thing to find good deals and freebies during your travels, but what about ways to actually generate some cash?
Just about all of us leave a house or flat behind when we go away to travel, so instead of leaving it idle, consider putting in short-term tenants by using online services like Airbnb or Stayz. If you’re planning an extended trip, consider spending an hour a two in the evening before you retire doing some freelance writing, or otherwise take advantage of the gig economy.
Are you doing everything you can to generate funds while traveling?
Saving Money to Travel the World Can be Simple
If you’re serious about saving money to travel the world, or while you’re travelling, it isn’t as hard as you think. Be smart, make a budget, and stick to it and you’ll have the funds for the international getaway you’ve always dreamed of.