If there’s one thing the pandemic has made us value, even more than before, it is the significance of exploring, traveling, and tourism. While we may have seen the world from the windows of our phones and laptops, nothing can beat the thrill and the raw adrenaline rush that comes when you meander across stunningly beautiful landscapes, stand atop a lush valley and take in the lush view or simply, let the waves take you over!
Per industry reports, India ranks 10th amongst 185 countries when it comes to the contribution of travel and tourism to the country’s GDP, which fell from 6.9 percent in 2019 to 4.7 percent in 2020. And given that the country is home to 37 world heritage sites, 80 national parks, and 441 sanctuaries, along with countless places as scenic as a painting, traversing across the length and breadth of the country is an experience in itself!
With the world returning to a new kind of normal now, it’s finally time to step out and take on the world, but what about your finances? Such an important consideration to make while building out all those travel plans, right? Don’t worry, take it from an avid traveler, Neil Dholabhai, as he details 5 ways to manage your money well while planning a budget trip to your dream destinations. Read on:
The savings don’t stop
If you’re a dreamy traveler who is immediately onto their next trip the moment they land back from their first, the most important thing to do is to save consistently. Set aside a decided amount every month from your earnings and invest the same in a liquid fund, which allows for instant redemption and some added short-term appreciation of your money!
If you’re having trouble consistently setting aside money, you can start investing your spare change for your travel ambitions as well. Applications like Spenny, Jar, and more allow you to keep aside a small amount every time you transact online. So, make those Amazon purchases, and Zomato orders fund your trips, too! Or as Neil puts it, “Save as if you have a trip the very next day!”
Travel loans can sound very enticing, but remember, they come with hefty interest payments and EMIs, given that they are unsecured. Ideally, you should stay away from taking a loan to finance your vacations, because if you fall behind on a payment or default on a loan, your credit score could be severely and adversely affected. So, if need be, borrow an amount you can afford to easily repay. Going into debt for financing your traveling dreams is not a very healthy financial habit, so beware!
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
It’s not important to buy everything you need before a trip. Borrow some items from your friends and buy a few, depending on their utility. Make a list of items you’d genuinely need, cutting the clutter. That will help you cut out on unnecessary expenses. Also, traveling like a Roman, while in Rome i.e. taking local transportation to commute and extensively scanning for budget-friendly accommodations can help you save on hefty traveling charges. While unplanned trips can be fun, they can prove expensive as well. So, make it a point to plan your travels well and budget your trip in a flexible yet solid manner, so that there is the scope of going overboard, but not completely fall off the plan
Cash is king
Debit and Credit cards might not work everywhere, especially in remote areas with poor connectivity, and hence, cash can come in handy. Set a cash budget for yourself every day, so that you are saved in dire circumstances and also get a solid sense of how much money you’ve spent, or whether you’ve gone overboard. Give yourself space for extras, but for the most part, make sure you stick to your budget and do not constantly have to search for ATMs or connections for making UPI payments.
Track your expensesBeing on a trip does not mean you can shirk away from your financial responsibilities! Meticulously record all your expenses so that you can take a look at them once you come back and analyze where you can cut down. Make a note of your regular expenses like food, accommodation, and others like splurging or shopping, so that you know where your money is going.