How to Save Money and Keep a Budget When Traveling

Travel has an exhilarating effect on the human spirit. Reality feels charged with novelty. Simple things like sunsets, courteous people, and perfect margaritas take your breath away when you’re away from home and free of all your regular routines.

Naturally, travel does cost money, and for you to travel each year, or every few years, you need to start putting money away for your planned trip. However, your fiscal management should extend beyond the preparation stage and include how you manage your money when you travel.

Admittedly, it’s difficult to be frugal when you’re living in the moment. A drink at a café to refresh yourself; a taxi cab ride, and tickets to museums, zoos, and historic sites can all add up. Unless you keep tabs of how much you’re spending, your chances of running out of cash when you travel are fairly high. That’s why it’s a good idea to save money when you can and keep a budget.

Let’s take a closer look at how to save and how to budget when you’re on a vacation.

How to Save Money when Traveling

The best way to save money is planning ahead on your largest costs — travel, lodging, and food.

  1. Save on transportation.

By buying plane tickets ahead of time, you can get a great deal on flights. You can get discounted rates when the demand for certain flights to popular vacation destinations are low. In addition, you can use public transportation like buses, subways, and trains instead of taxi cabs to get around a new city.

  1. Save on the cost of lodging.

If you have a place you love to travel frequently, then it might be a good idea to buy a timeshare. Sunny San Diego is a wonderful place to call your home away from home and a Welk Resort timeshare cost is something that will pay for itself if you love going to California on your annual vacations. Your timeshare could serve as a resort where you spend your vacation time or a luxurious “basecamp” for your peregrinations around California.

  1. Save on the cost of food.

Finally, you can save on food by cooking in instead of eating out. While it’s always nice to sample the local cuisine, it doesn’t have to be your only way of getting a meal. All you need is a portable hot stove or a crock pot and a few simple meals when you’re staying at a hotel for the night.

How to Keep a Budget When Traveling

  1. Record your spending in real time.

There are a number of versatile budget apps that you can use on your smartphone to keep track of how much money you’re spending each day. These give you charts and table-like displays that make it easy to keep a running balance. This way, you don’t risk spending more money than you can afford. Apps like Mint Budgeting App, Spendee, or Digit bot will give you a very clear idea of your spending history. You can also do item searches and drill down to a specific expense to remind yourself of the details.

If you don’t want to use a smartphone, perhaps because you’re in a country or a city where it’s not a good idea to flash any expensive electronic around, then you can use a notebook. It won’t give you lucid charts, spending history, or the ability to do a search, but it will give you a running total of how much you have available and how much you’ve spent. If you’re traveling with a laptop that you keep at your hotel, you can then transfer your numbers to an Excel Spreadsheet to get a better idea of your overall spending profile.

  1. Use online banking

While an app can help you keep track of the money you’ve budgeted for a trip, you can also keep track of your overall financial profile with online banking. This will let you know about any income being deposited into your bank account or the rate at which your automated bill payments are dwindling your overall balance.

A Small Inconvenience

Whether you travel to the same place every vacation or try new places every year, it’s always wonderful to see everything with a sense of childlike delight. However, you can’t entirely abandon your sense of responsibility and refuse to do tedious things like fussing over your money. By staying sensible about how you spend your money, you’ll enjoy your trip far more.


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