When it comes to hobbies, travelling is right up there as one of the best. Nothing else gives you the feeling of being free to explore, to see things and experience excitement that you otherwise would never have had the chance to do. When you catch the travel bug, bitten hard with the wanderlust, you’ll probably never shake it. You’re always wondering where you go next and what new delights will be waiting for you.
The only problem with travel as a hobby is that it could be expensive. The golfer can always go and try out a new set of golf balls for a relatively low cost; the scrapbooking fan can buy a few cheap sheets of paper for a new design – but the same inexpensive thrill is much harder for the travelling fanatic to find.
Management of funds, therefore, is of an utmost priority – and that means there’s a few issues you need to battle through. Picking your priorities means you’ll be able to manage your budget so much better, both before you leave, and while you’re away.
So, to battle!
Battle One: Save Money or Earn More?
This is a classic for pretty much all financial management, but it applies to your travelling funds in a major way. There’s no doubt that there is a relationship between the quality and frequency of your holidays and the amount of money you have to spend, so let’s talk budget.
Do you want to save money by cutting back on your expenses and your purchasing habits? Or do you want to keep your spending habits as they are, but try and bring in more money? (The real superstars will manage to do both, but for the majority of us, that’s not so feasible!)
Both tactics have their advantages. If you decide to cut back, then you’ll live a simpler life in exchange for a wonderful time when abroad. This can be a sacrifice that’s worth making, as you tell yourself that the good times will come while standing in the rain for the bus to work.
With making more money, then you have the chance to keep your lifestyle as it is, and bring in a little extra for special trips.
If you want to cut back, make a list of all of your expenses and see which ones you can remove. Be as stringent as you can, cutting back all but the essential services. Set yourself a stringent personal budget and stick to it, putting all excess funds into your holiday account.
If you want to make more money, then your first stop is to see if you can make more in your existing employment – take on more and get a promotion or work for another company that will value & pay you more.. If there’s no possible, you could try a second job, or look at online methods from Crediful. There are many ways to make more income online. Some people sell products (physical or digital) and services online for profits.
Battle Two: Convenient or Cheap?
When it comes to making decisions about where you’re going to go and what you’re going to do, you will come up against this battle continually. We all love convenience, especially if we only have a short amount of time to spend on each holiday. So it’s tempting to take the fast train, book the flight, do whatever it takes to see what we want to see.
The problem comes with the cost of that convenience. This can have a real impact on your finances, to the point it could be the difference between whether a trip is financially viable or not.
A good solution is to base this one on how keen you are to get away. If you’re desperate just to get your feet on foreign soil, then put up with the inconveniences. You could fly to a less popular airport, rely on buses rather than hiring a car – but you’ll be where you want to be.
If you would rather wait and allow more convenience, then wait until it makes sense for you financially. Of course, be money savvy with the process. Research how to get deals, look for discount codes on the conveniences you can’t do without, and look for cashback on any purchase you make. Just because you are choosing convenience doesn’t mean it has to be incredibly expensive – you can still cost-control it to suit your budget.
Battle Three: Experiences or Souvenirs?
So you made the most of your money and now you’re on a trip. Hopefully you’ve saved some spending money – but of course, there’s no limitless pot for you to dip into.
You will then be faced with a choice of what to do with that money. While the options may seem endless, they can be split down into two categories:
- Experiences would be using the money for day trips, nights out, meals at local restaurants. Things that you do, rather than things you possess.
- Souvenirs is exactly that, trinkets that you buy abroad and bring back into your life. This will include gifts for family and friends.
While on the surface this might seem like an easy win – what devout traveller wouldn’t outright pick experiences?! – it’s actually trickier than it sounds. Souvenirs might not have the same memory-making experience, but they can be a trigger for memories. Think of all the times in life you have stumbled across a trinket from another time in your life, and it’s made you smile. Souvenirs are important.
Try and split your holiday money, with an allocation for each category. It could be 70% experiences; 30% souvenirs. This is a good split, as if you’re spending too much on souvenirs then it can feel like you’re just on a very expensive shopping trip!
Do this split and obey it from day one of your trip – you don’t want to splurge on a huge day trip and then realise you don’t have the money left to treat yourself to a souvenir or two.
With the battles concluded and your decisions made, all that’s left now is to enjoy yourself and your travels!