Whether you pack a huge suitcase, or you take a small carry-on bag and be ruthless with your travel items, one thing you have to take regardless of your luggage status, is money.
Now, managing your money during your travels can be split into two categories – firstly, how to keep it safe, and secondly, how to actually make it last for the duration of your travels.
Saving up before you go is always the best bet for making your money stretch, but if you can work on the go too, that’s always to be recommended. You can do this through a variety of different ways, be it working freelance over the internet, being a digital nomad as it were, or picking up bar or waiting-on work in whatever destination you’re in. Of course, when you choose to work in a foreign country, you should always do a little research into employment laws, i.e. whether you’re legally able to actually work there, but that is all down to the destination you’re heading to.
Keeping your cash safe
Many people swear by money belts, but they are a little old news these days, and it’s never advisable to carry all your worldly cash on you at any one time. Instead, you need to look at other ways to keep your cash around you, but safe.
Speak to your bank about the cost of taking money out of ATM machines overseas and see if the cost isn’t too high; if not, using your debit card is a good way to keep your cash safe. Alternatively, you can buy pre-paid top up currency cards at most travel agents on the high street these days, which has basically taken over the mantle from the travellers cheques of old.
Now, making your money last for the duration of your travels is perhaps the hardest thing, but there are a few ways you can do that. Firstly, if you are working on the go, give yourself a wage on one particular day of the week or month, and make sure you make that last you until you pay yourself again.
If you’re not working, look at how much cash you have and split it between the weeks or months you’re away. Some people swear by the envelope trick – that is splitting your cash between envelopes for each day and not going over what is in that envelope; if you have anything left at the end of the day, it rolls over for the next day. Easy!
Do some research before you go into the cost of eating and drinking out in the destination you’re heading to, so you’re not in for any nasty surprises, and try and eat away from the tourist streets if you can, as you will always find costs lower if you go where the locals go, not to mention a more authentic experience. On top of this, if you’re staying in an apartment or somewhere with cooking facilities, eat in a few nights, to cut costs as much as possible, and take a water bottle out with you during the day and keep topping it up at water points, if there are any available.
Budgeting your money for your travels is about being savvy and careful. Split your cash into pots, i.e. going out money, eating money, special event money, travel cost money, and don’t dib into the pots for other things. If you can successfully budget and manage your travel cash, you will stay away for longer, and experience more as a result.
Photo Credit: Pictures of Money