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Traveling is one of the most exciting and fulfilling things you can do. It is the best way to meet new people, see new things and gain new experiences. The only problem is that while you are traveling, you will still have to find ways to finance your trip. Whether you plan to earn your money before you go or you decide to work as you travel, managing your money and budget is crucial to make the most of your trip. This means planning is essential but it also means that you need to think carefully about what you want to spend on and where you want to save.
Here are a few tips you might like to consider.
Using Credit Cards
Credit cards are often vilified as they tend to be used badly. However, this shouldn’t put you off using a credit card for your travels as long as you are sensible. Some of the best credit cards will offer you some great rewards when you use them to make large purchases such as flights or other large bookings.
When you are choosing a credit card, it is absolutely vital that you do the math before you make any agreement. This means working out what the minimum payment would be each month and then making sure that you can afford this amount. The failsafe method here is to already have the amount you are essentially borrowing in savings or to ensure that you will get the payments you need in time.
Another reason to use credit cards for your travel is that they often come with more protection than your regular bank cards. This is ideal if you are concerned about losing your cards while you are away. Even better, you won’t need to worry about converting your currency though you should keep track of your spending to avoid any surprises on your bill when you return!
Saving Up for Travel
When you’ve got hot feet for travel, being patient enough to save is a real test of your willpower. While jumping straight in, putting it all on a credit card and dealing with the consequences later might seem appealing right now, be assured that you will enjoy your travels much more if you save up first.
Saving is a very simple formula. To work out how much you need to save each month, you should work out the overall cost of your trip including flights, accommodation, activities, food and visas. Then all you need to do is divide this number by the number of months you are willing to wait. This will give you your savings goal.
Automating the transfer of money into your savings each month is a sensible way to start. This way you can pay yourself before you are tempted to spend on anything else. If you get a regular paycheck, putting a percentage into your savings each month is a sensible way to build your savings steadily without having to focus too hard.
Budgeting is another way to grow your savings faster. Reducing your spending might sound difficult to start with but when you focus on reducing every outgoing by just a small amount, you will be surprised how quickly you save. For example, if you regularly buy coffee you could save a surprising amount by investing in a thermos flask!
Of course, part of saving up is knowing how much you need and the more you bring the overall cost down, the easier it will be. For example, finding first class flights for cheap is a good way to reduce your spending but may also be a fun way to explore more of the world on your way. Taking a few small hops instead of a long haul can bring the price down a surprising amount!
Work As You Go
If you are willing to work as you travel, you will significantly stretch your time abroad. However, it is worth thinking carefully before you do this. Though you may get more time abroad, working may compromise your enjoyment of your trip and could impact the activities you are able to do. It may be better to work and travel alternately.
But if you are determined to work and travel, there are all kinds of things you can do. From teaching English to working remotely for a company at home, if you are willing to spend a few hours working each day, there are a lot of options open to you.
If you are looking for more long term work, you might like to consider crewing a yacht, working on a farm or becoming a SCUBA diving instructor. These activities may require a lot more of your time but they are great for making new friends and earning substantially more while you travel. Naturally, you will need to explore the working visa rules of any country you plan to work in while you travel as many have different restrictions that will apply.
While working as you go is a good way to boost your funds, you must be prepared to prove that you are already able to fund your full trip before the visa is granted. For this reason, you shouldn’t rely on working as you go but should treat it as an opportunity to top up the savings you already have.
The financial strain of traveling is enough to put a lot of people off but if you are brave and you plan your trip well, there is no need to worry. Don’t forget that you should always have an emergency budget in place just in case. This might cover a flight home, for example, and should only be used if you are desperate!
If you are prepared to travel on the cheap, you will get much further but there is a lot to be said for blowing your funds on the trip of a lifetime. It’s really your choice but hopefully, this blog will help you to get your finances in order, no matter what you want to do with them.