How to avoid money disasters when travelling ...
So you've decided you want to go travelling, but you have zero funds to get there. You may have an idea of how long you want to be gone for, but have no idea of how much things may cost once you're there.
Where to start?!
1. Research - Look at your chosen locations and do a bit of research as to how much the essentials cost - I'm talking accommodation, food and travel costs between towns/countries here! This will give you your absolute base budget per day, on top of which you can add costs for activities - seeing sights, adrenalin activities (if that's your thing) and, of course, going out!
2. Don't forget emergencies - It's a sad fact, but every traveller I've met has had some form of 'emergency' whilst travelling, including myself. These range from being scammed or needing to get home quickly for whatever reason. Ensure your budget has leeway should anything go wrong.
3. Don't forget regular payments! - Do you have a pay monthly mobile phone? Any regular payments? Work these in to your budget!
4. Raising the cash - If you already have a job look at how much of your salary you can realistically put aside each month in your travelling fund. If you don't have a job, get one and do the same! It may mean 6 months or so of not having quite so many cocktails each week, or not being able to buy the latest iPhone, but trust me it is so worth it! I actually set up a separate account for my travelling fund and arranged a standing order to move my money for me each month, which certainly helped me to avoid the temptation of spending it! This is was really simple and easy to do through internet banking.
5. Bank accounts - Before you leave it's always a good idea to check out accounts that are beneficial for a traveller. For example, I spend £10 a month for my current account which gives me free withdrawals across the globe, and the usual commission fee for changing the currency is waived. This has saved me loads of money in withdrawals, and means that I'm able to just withdraw what I need rather than walking around with stacks of cash on me. You can also apply for a card (not linked to your account) to top up with cash which has similar benefits. Check out www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money for more info.
6. You've made it! How do you manage the budget when you're away? - This totally depends on your style. You could be the person who loves an old fashioned spreadsheet, or someone who prefers to wing it and check your account weekly to see the damage and adjust your spending for the following week accordingly. There are also apps that can help you with your budget, for example Expense IQ, where you input your budget, and spending each day (there's an alarm you can set up to remind you to do this). It's easy to use and very helpful if you tend to overspend! Other similar apps include Money Manager Expense and Budget. Nb: I found these on my android phone.
7. And if you need cash whilst you're away? - It does happen - despite the best laid plans, people can run out of money! Don't panic and instantly think you need to go home! A lot of travellers I know have worked in hostels both for money and to improve their language skills, others have worked in bars, some have taught languages (NB you don't always need a qualification, such as TEFL, Teaching English as a Foreign Language for this), and others write! There's also a site called 'Work Away' www.workaway.info which offers jobs, usually in exchange for accommodation, food and the opportunity to really experience another culture. If you need some more inspiration for what you could do whilst away then this is a good article by one of my favourite travel bloggers - www.global-goose.com/travel-tips/make-money-while-you-travel/
Faye Longhurst on behalf of Gapwork.com