Travel Tip: Maintaining a Daily Travel Budget

I recently was asked how much money do I usually take on vacation with me; so in this post I will be sharing my personal preferences to give you, my fellow travelers, an idea of how to come up with your own way of managing your money while traveling.

One thing I typically do to detemine how much money I take with me is that I set a certain dollar amount to spend per day for the duration of my trip.  For example, if I am taking a 7 day trip and don’t want to spend no more than $100/day, I’ll take $700 as my spending money (to be converted into the currency of the country I’m visiting).  That’s not say I plan to max out every day, but it gives me a good idea on how to budget my money on a daily basis and helps me to not go absolutely insane with spending.  Having a set daily budget allows me to monitor my spending on food, shopping, tours and any other activities I may want to do that were not included in the original costs of booking your vacation.  Hopefully this gives you an idea on where to start when planning your next adventure.

I would also recommend that you bring a few extra hundred dollars and/or a credit card for emergency purposes.  It’s something a lot of people don’t think about, but can be a life saver if something were to happen.  Be sure to alert your credit card company of your upcoming travel to a foreign country and also inquire about their foreign transaction fees, if any, that way, if you do end up using your card, your card will actually work and won’t be flagged and blocked as a potential fraud attempt by your bank.  You don’t want that headache.

Here are some additional tips on maintaining your budget and how to make your travel dollars stretch a little further while on vacation:

  1. Convert your currency BEFORE you leave.  Doing so will help you to avoid horrible exchange rates and fees to convert your money.
  2. Do your research on activities.  You’ll be surprised at the amount of free events and activities you’ll find just by doing a little research.  Check out the websites and social media pages for any tour or excursion companies you find online.  More often than not you’ll find a nice deal going directly through them.
  3. Be meal savvy.  I’m a huge foodie and like to venture out and experience the restaurants and shops as the locals do, but that can get quite expensive if you don’t budget properly.  All-inclusive hotels and resorts have fees built in to their pricing to cover the costs of unlimited meals and drinks, so this may be the way to go if you’re one to stay put on your resort.  If you want to venture out, ask the friendly hotel staff about their favorite local spots; I’ve always found that the staff is happy to tell you about what’s around and give you the scoop on how to get there, who to ask for, and so on.
  4. Review the local magazine.  You may find these magazines at the airport, your hotel’s lobby, or you might even have them in your hotel room.  Taking the time to sift through these magazines will give you an idea of what restaurants are popular, feature fun excursions, and may include discount offers and coupons.  You never know what’s hiding in those magazines, so grab one and read all about it!

For tips on currency conversion, visit my post entitled, “Travel Tip: Currency Conversion“.

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