What to do…

I’ll be the first to admit: a lot of times when traveling, more money is spent than originally planned. When you get to your destination, opportunities come up that you hadn’t thought would arise, and you get caught up in the moment. But it’s important to stay mindful of your bank account.

Stick to your budget (Submitted by Aditi)

Budgeting is an important part of traveling. Knowing what you have and don’t have to spend will save you from headaches down the road. As Aditi said when she wrote in, “[Stick to your budget] even when the exchange rate seems too good to be true— you don’t want to be stranded [in another country] or too broke to efficiently function when you get home.”

There are a couple good ways to stick to your budget when the unexpected arises: 

  • Compromise - If you want to buy this unique artifact or piece of jewelry, but you hadn’t budgeted for it, perhaps cut costs on what you eat the next day. Rather than going out for a fancy meal, find a grocery store or local market and prepare your own food. Or instead of taking that taxi, utilize public transportation, rent a bike or walk; it will save you a bundle.
  • Backup funds - It’s always good to sit on a cushion, if you will. Having that rainy day fund available can come in handy, especially in the case of emergency.
  • Smart currency exchanges - Don’t exchange your money at the first place you see; be smart about it. Find an exchange place with little or no fees. This will give you a little more wiggle room. 
  • Coins - A lot of foreign countries have tons of coins in their currency. Don’t discard them— use or save them for the right moment. Coins can add up quickly! 

Be smart when traveling. If you do have a need to blow your budget, be certain you have the funds to do so, as well as to sustain you upon your arrival home. - VJ