Manage Your Money While Traveling

Budgeting a key part of travel, but your usual budgeting tricks lose their potency when you leave home. Get Rich Slowly compiled a handy list of budgeting tips to keep you from overspending on your next vacation.

Before You Leave

  • Set Goals: Set a daily budget to restrict extraneous spending. Account for food, hotels, transportation, entertainment, and a little extra for those adorable tchotchkes.
  • Know How To Exchange Money: Know exactly where you can exchange currency, how much it will cost, and if your credit card is planning to slap you with foreign transaction fees.

While Away

  • Track Your Expenses: Either keep all your receipts, or write down your expenses in a notebook. At the end of the day, see where you can cut expenses the next day.
  • Separate Your Cash: If you change currency in bulk, separate out the mass of cash into chunks that match your daily budget. Wallets brimming with cash scream “Spend Me!”
  • Understand The Conversion Rates: “You’ll do a better job of reining in your purchases if you know how much you are spending. Your rule-of-thumb doesn’t need to be exact. For example, at today’s rate of 1.57 US Dollars to the Euro, I would multiply any price I saw by two and then subtract 20%. (Meaning a 30 euro item is approximately $60-$12=$48.) This accounts for any transaction fees, and slightly overestimates the cost of each item so that there aren’t any nasty surprises when I return home.”

Tracking expenses may seem like a fast way to sour a relaxing getaway, but it’s better than returning home to an eye-popping hole in your bank account. How do you contain costs while you travel? Share your tips in the comments.

How to Track Travel Expenses and Stick to a Vacation Budget [Get Rich Slowly]
(Photo: Rory Finneren)