Travelling the world comes at a cost. The process and costs associated with applying for visas and booking tickets and stay may dampen some of the fun. However, a little financial planning will certainly go a long, long way. So, whether you want to ring in the new year in the sand dunes in Dubai or spend the first week of 2019 lazing by azure blue waters in Maldives, with these tips you can stick to your budget without compromising on the fun.
Start With A Detailed Budget
While it’s great to be able to point to a destination on a map, pack your bags and hop on to the next flight, it’s not always feasible to do so, especially if you’re planning to take multiple trips through the year. So your best bet is to plan as much in advance as you can. This will give you an idea of how much visas, tickets, hotels and transport will cost you. Accordingly you can earmark funds and get the process going. If it doesn’t seem feasible, you have ample time to look into travel credit cards as well as low-interest personal loans with a line of credit facility. By not considering the costs that you will incur, you will not know whether your estimate of how much the trip is going to cost you and the actual cost of the trip align.
Distinguish Between The Must-Dos, Can-Dos, And Can-Skip Events
If you want to travel on a budget, you have to be smart about how you do so. This is made easy when you plan exactly what activities and overheads you want to spend on, the ones that would be a nice addition to your itinerary and those that you can skip. For instance, if you’re visiting Paris, going to the Louvre may not be of interest to you, but dining at the best bistros and cafes may. So, see the places and indulge in activities that you’re most interested in by dividing your budget as per your priorities. This will ensure that you are spending what you have in the best way possible.
Buy A Credit Card With Travel Benefits
You won’t be able to visit every destination in the world in one go, and so, it is a good idea to invest in a credit card that offers excellent travel benefits. This will help you ease the financial costs that you have to bear when you make travelling the world a lifestyle choice. Accelerated rewards, air miles and a moderate annual charge are the factors you should look into when picking a card.
Cut Out The Excesses
If you’re not just on a budget, but a shoe-string budget, here’s another smart thing to do to save a few pennies. Instead of dropping destinations from your holiday plan or heavily editing your itinerary, you can cut overhead costs. For instance, if you’re interested in historical attractions you can look into buying a pass that covers entry to the destination’s most popular spots. Also, research which is the best day of the week to visit an attraction. For example, on the first Sunday of every month entry to the Colosseum in Rome is free. If you can make use of this as it’s an easy way to save over €10! On the whole, this will help you save a significant amount.
Travel Like Locals
Similarly, check if you really need an international mobile plan or if you can make do with free Wi-Fi available at hotels, restaurants, cafes and trains. Moreover, don’t shy away from travelling like the locals whether it’s a tuk tuk in Bangkok or the MRT in Singapore. This will be cheaper and will certainly make for a more memorable experience. By cutting back on such costs not only will you have a better time, but you’ll also save a huge sum when you add it all up.
Travel During The Off-Season
If possible, travel to destinations just before the season starts or just after peak season has ended. This will automatically make the big costs such as hotels and airfare much more affordable. For instance, it’s best not to travel to Singapore when the Grand Prix is taking place, as the per night fare in hotels can be almost three times the usual amount. That said, if you’re going to Amsterdam, ensure that you go when the tulips are in bloom. Unless you anticipate being able to visit Amsterdam again, it’ll be a waste to go all the way and not witness this spectacle. So the key is to have a balanced approach. Being flexible about when you plan your holiday will serve you well.
Apart from these tips you can consider couch-surfing, staying at home stays, eating like the locals do and using budgeting apps. The latter will give you insights on your expenditure patterns, allowing you to approach your finances in a more focused way when you plan your next trip. With these tips tucked away in your mind, travelling the world on a budget is no longer daunting. With a little planning you’ll be able to check destinations off your list faster than you’d imagine.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.
BankBazaar.com is a leading online marketplace in India that helps consumers compare and apply for credit card, personal loan, home loan, car loan, and insurance.