So you didn’t stick to your budget

Bride & Groom in sunlight

Despite setting out with the best of intentions, when traveling sometimes things do go wrong, and those carefully made plans to stick to a budget can unravel all too quickly. A miscalculation here and an overspend there can soon add up to a shortage of funds. When this happens there are a number of possibilities – cutting short a planned trip, finding some temporary paid work to subsidize the vacation or spending more funds than you originally planned. The first step, however, is to re-examine your budget to see what is affordable if not planning to return home early, and to estimate exactly how much extra money might be needed.

Revisit your goals

When creating a budget for traveling most people draw up a list of those places they have really set their heart on visiting. These can be considered as the chief goals for the trip – and having strayed from the budget some may have to be reviewed, downgraded or left out altogether. Reviewing expenditure since the start of the journey will help to confirm what is still affordable – from accommodation and travel costs to food and a daily cup of coffee. Keeping a record of costs in a notepad or in a memo on a smartphone helps keep track of spending habits, and means it is unlikely you will stray from the budget again.

Find work

If getting a temporary job is a viable option this can really help boost the travel fund and it may be possible to earn enough to get your plans back on track. Consider hotel jobs, such as bar work and cleaning, or teaching English. Stay in hostels where possible, buying food at local markets and eat-in rather than constantly paying for restaurant meals. When moving short distances try going on foot rather than using buses and trains. All these will help save a little more of what’s left in the budget. They may make the difference between continuing your journey and having to head home early.

Extra funds

Independent travelers may have friends or family back home who are able to send them money, and in order to do so they will have to be clear about the banking requirements needed to transfer money and to ensure they have put in place the correct banking requirements needed. It is not advisable to have anyone send cash and although it’s possible to have someone send you travelers’ checks it can be risky. These days online money transfers are more convenient being fast and secure. A contact at home can simply select the country where the money is to be sent and the amount, select the type of transaction (for example, a bank deposit or a cash pickup) and then fill in the details for the recipient – this is usually a bank account abroad or an agent stationed in the country the traveler is visiting.

Sending money online is fast and there are competitive exchange rates available that can be ‘locked in’ at the time of sending, so they will not decrease in value should the exchange rate fluctuate.


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