When you’re planning a trip to international destinations, your flight tickets and hotel bookings will form the largest chunk of your expenses. However, there are other, smaller costs that you may forget to account for, which can throw off your vacation budget and plan completely.
ABROAD TRAVEL PLAN
When you travel abroad, it’s always safest to have access to an extra line of credit for emergencies and unexpected expenses. At the same time, you also need to plan and predict as many of these as possible, to avoid facing trouble while you’re travelling!
TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR FINANCES DURING TRAVEL
- Start Planning As Early As You Can – Everything from accommodation and air travel to vacation packages and sightseeing tours will cost less when you book it early. In addition to making the most of early bird discounts, advance planning also allows you to save more money for your trip, apply for a travel loan if required, and make sure your travel documents are in place.
- Look Up ATM Fees/Transaction Charges – You may have an international debit or credit card that works at ATMs, stores, and restaurants anywhere in the world, but have you considered the cost of using it? ATM withdrawals made outside of your home country will usually incur an additional fee, and you may also incur transaction or conversion charges every time you swipe your card.
- Always Keep Some Cash in Reserve – It’s a good idea to carry extra cash in the local currency for the area where you will be travelling, rather than relying on credit or debit cards for everything. Along with the extra fees for using the latter, you may find that some places do not accept cards at all. Cash is also handier when you’re dealing with smaller expenses or purchases.
- Get a Card with Travel Benefits – These days, most of us rely on our debit or credit cards for practically everything. So when you’re travelling, why not make the most of rewards and savings available through certain cards? Many cards offer cash back or loyalty points on flight, train or hotel bookings, as well as special discounts and deals on travel, dining, and entertainment.
- Make Sure You Stick to a Budget – It can be easy to get carried away while shopping for gifts and souvenirs or exploring local attractions when you’re travelling. To keep from blowing a hole in your pocket, create a budget and stick to it. This is the easiest way to protect your finances, keep track of how much you’re spending on every trip, and plan future travel more effectively.
- Review Your Credit Before and After – To avoid potential misuse, fraudulent transactions, and errors, go over your credit card statement thoroughly before and after you travel. Checking it before your trip allows you to understand how much credit is available for use while travelling, and doing it again after you travel lets you know how much you spent and correct any discrepancies.
- Tell Card Providers Your Travel Plans – Make sure you inform your bank and credit card company that you’re planning to travel abroad, as well as where you’re going, before your trip. This prevents situations where your card or account gets blocked because of ‘irregular’ or out-of-pattern usage, leaving you high and dry with no access to funds in an unfamiliar country!
- Book Travel and Stay Well in Advance – As we pointed out above, flight tickets and accommodation are the highest costs you will deal with while travelling abroad. Make bookings in advance not only for the cost savings but also for a little extra leeway in case of cancellations or changes. Last-minute changes are usually far more troublesome and expensive than those made early.
- Protect Yourself with Travel Insurance – In many countries, it’s compulsory for international travellers to have travel insurance. Even if you’re travelling to a destination where this isn’t a rule, get a travel insurance policy anyway. It can be invaluable for offsetting the cost of medical emergencies while travelling, along with airline cancellations or delays, baggage loss, etc.
- Ensure You Have an Extra Line of Credit – Regardless of whether you have a credit card already or enough cash in the bank for your trip, you should always travel with an additional credit line you can use in a pinch. With a personal line of credit, you are not charged interest until you use it, so this is the perfect financial backup for emergencies and unplanned costs!
Shiv Nanda is a financial analyst who currently lives in Bangalore, India (refusing to acknowledge the name change) and works with MoneyTap, India’s first app-based credit line. He is a true finance geek who enjoys helping people with money management, and his friends love that about him.
They always turn to him for advice on their investment choices, budgeting skills, and personal financial matters. They also seek his approval before applying for a loan, credit card or any other type of credit. Head over to MoneyTap’s blog to check out Shiv’s other articles, or click here to learn more about MoneyTap’s flexible personal loans.