Budgeting is all about getting the most out of your trip. Putting in this effort before you leave to help reach savings goals, pick good bank accounts and ensure your travels will be as successful, stress free and long as possible. Maintaining and sticking to your budget on the road will help you make better decisions with the least amount of worry. Trust us, it’s not much fun, but financially planning for your trip will always be worth it in the end.
Financial planning is one of the least glamorous aspects of being a world traveler. The good news is that maintaining a budget gets easier as you go along. Given time and effort it becomes an indispensable tool rather than a mindless chore.
A budget is your safety net against the financial risks of traveling. It helps to you validate your plans before you leave. On the road it keeps you aware of your financial situation. It is also a guide for making daily decisions and for planning the next leg of your trip.
Being cheap is a state of mind. If travel is important to you and you aren’t independently wealthy, you have to find a balance between saving and spending. Usually one that involves a lot more saving and a lot less spending. When you’ve exhausted your options for earning more money, it’s time to look at how you can spend less.
There are hundreds of ways to spend less money. The problem is that everything and everyone is against you. This (American) society is driven by spending. It is encouraged relentlessly, subliminally, and excessively, in everything you do. You have to mentally put travel first. Every time you open your wallet to buy that ten dollar sandwich, there should be a voice in your head saying, “that’s another day I can’t afford to be in [insert place of choice].”
Financial literacy isn’t about knowing everything. It’s about knowing what will protect your money. I know, “the bank protects my money”. But it doesn’t. The bank takes your money, pays you lousy interest, and then lends your money to other people and charges them outrageous interest.
Being financially literate is more important than having a budget. It’s more important than living cheap, than having a savings plan.
Saving money sucks. But there is a way to sock away some cash without selling your kidneys. Before you have a therapy inducing flash back of your parents trying to instill archaic financial management into you at age 12 (ok, maybe that was just my family) stop for a moment and figure out what you are saving for. Saving for savings sake doesn’t work.
The point of all the planning and budgeting is to make life on the road easier, safer and less stressful. This article covers how you should maintain your budget on the road and stay informed about your financial situation.
You have a lot of options when deciding how to manage your finances while traveling. Given time and experience, you'll figure out what works for you. We’ve refined our processes a few times over the years to emphasize simplicity and convenience. The best plan is the one that you can stick to.
You’ve done the destination research, crunched the numbers and pinched the pennies. You have a plan that works and fits your style. You shouldn’t let that hard work go to waste by giving your money back to the bank.
Bank fees can be high for international travelers. Odds are your domestic checking account is not a wise choice to take on the road. Unless you want to lose 3% of your money every time you use your card and $5 every time you withdraw money from an ATM.
Travel isn’t all white sandy beaches and cocktails. That’s vacationing. That’s not what we do here. Any experienced traveler will tell you that plenty will go wrong. It’s unavoidable. Dealing with emergencies makes us better people. It’s a big part of the reason the habitual traveler keeps heading out for more. The risk of the unknown is what makes it an adventure.
This article discusses how to financially plan for problems you encounter on the road. And how to keep your money under control when the situation isn’t. Confidence in your financial situation helps you to think and act intelligently during stressful times.
Download the sample budget here. This article explains how to use this sample travel budget. The article Creating a Travel Budget will help you to better understand what each category means and give a bit more explanation about the way you should use the budget.
The budget is divided into five categories: income, start up costs, reoccurring costs, one-time travel expenses and daily expenses. Breaking down expenses into these categories is necessary to keep yourself organized. It also lets you see where your money is going, giving you flexibility when things don’t go as planned. Knowing where costs can be reduced lets you absorb unknown expenses with minimal stress.
Travel budgeting is fun, right? Unless you actually enjoy sifting through receipts, or researching the per diem costs of a third world country you’ve never been to, you’re probably not looking forward to any of this. We’re not going to lie, it is very tedious work, and it’s rarely something we’d consider fun -- but it is absolutely worth it. And who knows, maybe in some perverse way you’ll start to enjoy it, or at least get more excited about your upcoming adventure in the process.
Creating a travel budget before your trip starts is all about getting the most out of your travels while you’re on the road. We put in a lot of effort before we leave in order to avoid hassles while traveling and keep our peace of mind.
Choosing the tools and processes you will use to create and maintain your financial plan is the first step towards budgeting for your travels. To help get started, ask yourself the following questions: