Are you ready to travel once the virus has been contained and international borders have reopened? Start planning as soon as possible, especially if you want to minimize unforeseen travel costs. Nothing is more inconvenient and distressing than having to cut your vacation short because you went over budget. So, what should you budget for and how can you avoid overspending?
It’s incredibly tempting to book flights on third-party websites for a lower price. However, there is a catch, especially during Corona season: while you may save a little on the ticket price, you may end up paying twice if you need to reschedule, cancel, or add baggage. Buy flights directly from airlines since you’ll be able to negotiate a change, purchase extra baggage without spending a fortune, and request a refund if something goes wrong.
In several European nations, Airbnbs and hotels may levy a “tourist tax,” which is typically not included in the room or apartment price. And most of the time, you won’t know until you get there: I just paid an extra 8 euros per night at an Airbnb in Holland since the tourist tax wasn’t shown on the website. Always double-check before making a reservation!
Another European oddity: some eateries add a gratuity to your bill automatically. While tipping is always appreciated, if you don’t want to overpay, inquire ahead of time and tip on your own terms.
On the one hand, forgetting your phone charger or camera batteries when traveling abroad isn’t a big concern; on the other hand, it might cost you money, so carry your basics. Electronics, for example, are more expensive in South America due to high import duties, so forgetting your tablet and buying one locally will be much more expensive than buying one at home. Cheap chargers are enticing, but they barely last a few days (at this stage in Ecuador, I’m spending a few dollars per week on a new adaptor). Make a packing list and adhere to it; you’ll save money in the long run!
Do this to avoid unexpected expenses. The cost of food is an apparent part of your travel budget. However, one aspect of your budget that you might overlook is dining while traveling to and from your location. These are expenses that pile up quickly, especially if you have to deal with delays or layovers. If you’re a family of four, you’ll find that this isn’t something you can just hope will take care of itself. The cost of food in an airport is exorbitant. To save money, pack food from home to eat when you arrive, then make a quick trip to the grocery store in the city you’re visiting before returning home. If you are delayed for an extended period of time, contact your airline for a lunch voucher; these are nearly always provided when such requests are made. In the end, they want to keep your business.
Voice and data charges are a component of your budget to consider when traveling overseas this summer, from keeping in touch with relatives back home to sharing your holiday exploits on social media. Your GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) smartphone will automatically connect to the local international provider in the area, and you will be charged exorbitant costs. Inform your cellular provider of your travel plans before leaving, and inquire about possible international plan discounts. If such discounts aren’t available, consider purchasing an international pay-as-you-go phone while you’re there. WIFI is also a good option, especially if you use Skype to call home. Some Internet cafés and hotels charge a fee to use their WIFI, but this is significantly less than the cost of cell phone service.
It’s easy to believe that the flight there and back is the most stressful portion of your trip. In the event of an emergency, though, you’ll find that the flight was a breeze. When you’re on vacation, you tend to engage in more rigorous activities that you wouldn’t do on a regular basis (from hiking to scuba diving, etc). Unexpected hazards of damage arise as a result of this. If you suffer a serious injury, your insurance may be able to assist you. Other emergencies and injuries, on the other hand, may need paying bills out of your own wallet (sprains, cuts, bruises, etc). Because this is an expense that not everyone will face, consider using your credit card instead of setting aside a certain amount of cash for these charges.
Along with departure fees, you may be charged visa fees based on the length of time you want to spend in a certain nation. If you’re going on a long trip, be sure you have these fees set aside and paid. In addition, if you need to go to a local embassy to complete these procedures, make sure you account for transportation charges to and from the location. Before acquiring her visa, a friend of mine who is now in China had to visit three embassy offices. Unfortunately, we can’t place a price on the stress the task causes!
If this is your first time traveling outside of your home country, you’ll want to make the most of it. If you visit a country during a national holiday or celebration, you’ll notice that activities and adventures arise out of nowhere, and some of them may be once-in-a-lifetime experiences for you to enjoy. To avoid unexpected expenses, make sure you have a method of payment in mind for these unplanned outings, whether it’s cash from your budget or a credit card. In the end, you’ll thank yourself.
This point is important to avoid unexpected travel expenses. At last, fees linked with housing can be surprising for many travelers while traveling anywhere. Make sure you know exactly how much you’ll have to pay for lodging. Internet fees, room service costs, open bar expenditures, and room service tips are all expenses that most people overlook when traveling. To avoid sticker shock at the conclusion of your vacation, make sure you factor these fees into your budget. You’ll be better prepared for any fees that arise as a result of factoring these fees in your travel budget. You can not only defeat them, but you can also save money in the process. Let us know how you’re saving money this vacation season in the comments section below.