Unless you have an endless supply of cash to supplement your globetrotting, chances are that somewhere along the way you will have to watch what you are spending, so once you’ve made the decision to go traveling and you’re sticking to it, you need to start thinking about how you are going to afford it.
Here are some tips that will help you reduce the cost and keep them low on your trip:
Tourists are easy targets for criminals, especially those who travel alone.
Busy areas such as Capital cities are the worst places for it, as often thieves will operate in gangs and can steal your possessions and disappear into a crowd before you have noticed.
Don’t advertise your expensive belongings to thieves.
If you’re walking round with an SLR camera that has cost over £600 around your neck, or are flashing your wallet every two minutes then you will be a target.
Lock your valuables in a safe at your hostel/hotel, or if you must take them with you then make sure they are well wrapped up in your backpack.
A common trick is for pickpockets to slit a hole in the bottom of your bag while it is on your back, take what they want and leave the victim unaware of what has happened.
A tip to prevent this is to invest in a PacSafe or other good wire to keep the backpack safe from being cut open.
More safety tips
Keep your money and phone on your person but not in a back pocket – remember that you may be traveling to countries where even one stolen item may be worth a month’s wages to someone, so be careful.
Also, read up on any local scams that are rife in the countries you are planning on visiting; such as the Chinese tea scam, where a local will invite you to a ‘tea ceremony’ and then present you with a bill for hundreds of pounds.
Or the taxi robbery, common in Central America, where a group of people get into your taxi, close the doors and rob you of all your money – taking you to several ATM machines to get cash from your credit cards.
As with anything nowadays; there are always bargains to be had.
Don’t just accept the first price you find; compare prices, consider stopovers, look for transport passes in foreign countries and haggle with every travel agent you come across!
The first price is rarely the best deal – so although you may have to spend a few hours researching into prices and the easiest way to do things, it will be worth it in the long run when you’re taking in sights you never thought you’d see.
Haggle The Price.
Haggling can save you hundreds, as often prices are inflated to tourists. Using a personal travel agent can be very helpful
Most market stall owners will be expecting you to negotiate, and will always try to coax more money from you, so if you really want to buy something, get a figure in your head and be prepared to stick to it.
Half price or slightly higher is usually a good place to start.
You will find that if you walk away, the seller will often give in and agree to your price, simply to make a sale.
Unless a price is set in stone, there is always room to negotiate so be prepared to haggle, haggle and haggle some more.
Eat Like A Local.
In the same way you would do at home, go to the places you know and enjoy, so find out from the locals where is good and cheap to eat.
Don’t immediately head for the big brand chains you know, instead haggle with the street vendors for some of the local cuisine.
Also, head down to the supermarket and pick up a few days worth of groceries; you will still be able to feed yourself but it won’t take up the majority of your spending money.
Plan Ahead & Keep On Track.
Planning ahead is vital. Once you know how much money you are going to have, then divide it between what you plan on/hope to spend in each country and try to stick to it as much as possible.
The last thing you want to do is overspend as soon as you get to your first destination, and then have to skimp and save the rest of the way.
Think about where you can save money before you travel as well, such as taking your own medicines with you.
Taking over the counter medicines for common ailments such as flu, coughs, headaches, upset stomachs and bites can save you a lot of money, while certain medications can be really expensive in other countries.
Don’t avoid doing the things you had planned on doing just to save money; some days you are going to spend less than planned, others you are going to spend more. Prepare for your holidays in advance, and you will be able to do what you can afford.
The main thing is to be sensible, don’t just blow it all then think about what you could have done with the money you’ve wasted on beer.