How to get the most out of your money when travelling : Pretravel

by - October 27, 2019

Everyone wants to know the best options for having the best trip on a low budget that won't break the bank and although we all have a different idea of how far our budget can stretch and how much money we should be spending, we all know that...
"The rich don't stay rich by spending foolishly".

a passport and camera on the map of the worldTherefore, we must all invest wisely when we take a trip and believe it or not, a lot of thought should go towards thinking of an ideal destination rather than what you will do when you get there. We all want to take photos in front of monuments or stand in awe looking at a beautiful landscape or revel in a different cultural practice or be capture a moment that stands out to you. That is the basis of travelling. Exploration and Discovery! And if you are not prepared to travel it's best that you stay at home.

However, if you plan to travel whether now or later, you may want to start planning a few months to a year in advance. Some of us are spontaneous travellers so we literally always have a bag packed. Yes, I am guilty of that but for the average traveller, you think of a place that you want to visit in advance so planning ahead should also be an important part of the process if you want to get the most out of your money and your stay.

Here are some steps to get you in the right direction even before you arrive at your destination.

Step 1. Decide on a destination.

a zoomed image of a globe showing the world map

This may seem like the easiest part of the trip but in truth, this is actually the most difficult part of the process as there are many factors to be considered when deciding on a travel destination.

You may need to think about:

  • A country/city - why do I want to visit?
  • Activities - what will I do and see there ?
  • Weather - Am I duly prepared for any weather?
  • The time of year - is it the off-season or the in-season?
  • Language - should I learn another language or will English suffice?
  • Accommodation - where will I stay?
  • How to get there - which means of transport do I need to use?
  • How much - what are the costs?
  • Customs - how should I react in any given situation?

Step 2. Know your budget.

A calculator and pen on a piece of paper showing a budget

You must be aware of your budget before you can think about travelling. Although travelling can be costly at times, knowing how much money you can afford for a particular trip is a great way to ensure that you don't expense yourself.

Step 3. Create a budget limit.

A  red stop sign on the side of the road

Over-spending is one of the more difficult parts of your travel adventure and you always see something that you must have. Creating a strict second budget that you must not go over is one way to guarantee a well planned trip.

Step 4. Track your progress.

A graph showing an arrow increasing

More often than not, we lose track of what we are doing and when we are doing it so it becomes increasingly difficult to find your confirmation email or to remember which day you spoke the travel agent. This type of information can be useful for modifications of your information or in the event that complications arise.
Tracking your progress also includes, creating alerts for flights and trains so that you may see the rise and fall in the prices in order to "get a good deal".

Step 5. Prepare for the unknown.

Question mark against black background

True to say that you never know what will happen when you travel, you must make yourself aware and prepared for any unexpected changes or difficulties that may arise including flight delays, lost baggage, incorrect travel information, etc.

Step 6. Verify at least three times.

A yes or no checklist

To avoid complications or incurring additional costs, verify at least three times before travelling that you have provided all correct information. Ensure that you have all required travel documents (even in the case of layovers/stopovers), print or download (where possible) your boarding passes in advance, verify baggage dimensions and make sure that everything is as it should be to avoid paying unnecessary charges.

Follow these simple steps and you are already on your way to saving yourself some money.

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