Determine when it is ideal for you to visit a tourist place and make the bookings well in advance
We love traveling, exploring new places and discovering various facets of ourselves we didn’t know even existed. Travel is an escape from the routine. Traveling is a very natural, basic instinct and increasingly, as fuelled by social media, aspirational too.
But, travel can be quite an expensive affair. The moment you step out, the cost meter starts ticking. Expenses start – for cabs, water, food or exploring castles and museums or sipping margaritas at the beach. Everything costs money. So, how do you ensure you have a fantastic trip but are not broke upon returning?
Plan in advance
Usually, the travel season can be quite an expensive affair. So, it is better to plan in advance. Tickets, stay, visit to the tourist places could also be expensive. Most places have preferred seasons, the place time to visit. But it also means crowds. So, determine when it is ideal for you to visit and plan in advance. Have an itinerary so that you can book in advance. A lot of people give preference to spontaneity and feel that planning in advance spoils the fun. However, I am a planner by nature and hence recommend that everyone plan in advance. But if you like your choices to be spontaneous, then try going during the off-season period, although it would be good to check if it is still appropriate to go during those times. Planning is actually half the fun. I know people who spend more time planning than enjoying the actual vacation. The travel may be for seven days, but the planning would be on for months!
Budget your expenses
Always have an idea of how much you will spend on travel, stay, commute, food etc. Also estimate how much money you will be spending on a daily basis. Keep a buffer. Don’t just have one number in mind; break it up. This sets expectations with fellow travellers too, be they family members or friends.
Spend smartly: Look for deals. There are deals everywhere; all you need to do is find them. This is also one more reason to plan early; you will have enough time to find and strike deals. If you are doing this in the last minute, you will end up paying more – for tickets or for stay.
Borrow: No, don’t borrow money. Borrow clothes that you want to wear and show off. I know people who don’t want to repeat what they wore during earlier vacations. So, they end up shopping for every vacation. Fancy! If you have the moolah, great! But for normal people, repeating or borrowing those weather appropriate clothes from a friend who is your size (hoping you have someone also with a similar taste) is worth it, especially if you don’t want to repeat clothes for social media photos.
Carry: Carry what you can and pack your suitcases well. Don’t pay extra for baggage. Travel light but carry the things you need. There will be sweet-spot between carrying everything you need and the baggage allowed. Find it! Take the time to pack well.
Currency: Carry currency in a prepaid card, rather than changing currencies abroad or at airports. Don’t convert at hotels and airports; the rates offered are usually not very good in these places.
Travel insurance: Always take travel insurance before you go. You never know when you might need it and if you do, it’ll come in very handy.(The author is founder & CEO of Investography)Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.