Adjust on the fly
Staying consistent about tracking your spending will help you understand it better and use your travel money more wisely, increasing your financial confidence.
Once you arrive in a new place, the things you thought would be important may change. Maybe you realize that you just can't pass up an opportunity to explore the untouched beauty of a hidden waterfall even though you hadn't budgeted for a three-day kayak excursion. All is not lost! By looking at your daily travel budget notes, you can easily adjust for that leg of your journey by increasing your sightseeing allotment and decreasing in other areas, like food or museum-entrance fees. A good rule of thumb is to figure out what excites you and redirect your travel money toward those experiences.
If you're traveling to another country, there's almost a 100% chance you'll overspend on something during your trip. Don't beat yourself up about it. Remember, you're on vacation. Instead, recognize those moments and learn from them.
Here are three great traveling abroad money tips:
1. Understand tipping etiquette
Many countries don't tip. If you come from a country where tipping is the norm, you may be spending your travel money when it isn't expected.
2. Chat with other travelers
Strike up a conversation to find out how to save money on food and how to avoid overpaying for goods from shops.
3. Practice your haggling skills
In many countries, haggling is the norm—and you'll find vendors quickly negotiating prices to try to sell you something. Be prepared with a price you think is fair (possibly by asking experienced travelers what they paid), negotiate confidently to get the best price, and don't be afraid to walk away from a purchase that feels too expensive.
You'll find that no two days are the same when you're traveling. Your spending will go up and down—and that will provide a great learning experience for balancing your travel budget.
Remember, if your spending feels too high one day, you can pull back on another day. By saving ahead and tracking your expenses, you should feel more confident that you don't have to miss out on an amazing opportunity because you're worried about money.