For some people, the fun of any travel starts at the budgeting phase. It serves as a stepping stone in planning the big trip and a way to have themselves excited about their chosen destination. But for the rest of us, creating a budget for a trip feels like visiting the dentist after splurging on sweets for the past year. Having a budget is better than ending up broke in the middle of the trip and forcing yourself to make that emergency call to your friends or parents. Here’s how to budget for your big trip without the headache.

How much money would I need?

Begin making a budget with the most substantial expenses first. Typically, this will be your airfare and accommodation. There are lots of guidebooks, travel guide application and destination pages you can visit to know concrete information about the average costs you’ll have to spend in a particular country. These sources can be a valuable reference when gauging your expenses. You won’t want to visit Singapore using the same budget you used on your visit to Malaysia – you’ll surely starve!

By considering the amount of time you’ll spend in the location, you can approximate your daily costs across room rates and meal expenses. You may add a little budget for sideline activities like visiting the museum, getting some souvenir shirts that would end up greeting cobwebs in your closet and emergency taxi-fares in anticipation that you may sleep on your alarm.

Give yourself some budget for some unexpected splurging. Allocate an extra budget for a cocktail in Harry’s New York Bar in Paris or for a relaxing time in Széchenyi Spa Bath in Budapest. Remember, it is a bad budget if you find yourself steering away from the best though relatively more costly travel experiences. It may be cheaper to go for self-catering in Europe. However, if you aren’t able to taste the tender potato dumplings in Norway or fresh pasta in Italy, then, you are missing a lot on your trip.

What should I purchase before I leave for the trip?

Remember to add in pre-travel costs on your budget, which includes visas, credible travel insurance, and necessary immunizations depending on the country you are visiting. Other people cut back on travel insurance. However, if you won’t be able to get travel insurance firsthand, you won’t be able to afford traveling. If you are confident that nothing will go wrong, it gives peace of mind, and if something fell through the cracks like a canceled flight or lost luggage, you’ll definitely find it handy.

Another thing you should invest in is gear. Travelers, especially newbies, often spend too much on specialized travel gear. When, in fact, they can prioritize which ones to purchase to save money and still make the whole trip worthwhile. A comfortable and sturdy backpack is a must-have for any traveler. Don’t mind spending forking extra bucks for a good quality model that would last for a few tours. Another good investment is a pair of good shoes. No surprise that you’ll be spending most of your time on your feet. See to it that your footwear is durable, comfortable, and fit for your travel needs.

While traveling the lightest as possible is a good mantra, other things you have to think of are clothing that would suit up your destination’s environment, power banks and a reliable Swiss Army knife just in case.

How can I save money for a trip?

Once you have estimated an exact figure how much you will need for a trip, you can start saving. You can have this number as your screensaver or write in it a sticky note and put in on your fridge. When you see this number occasionally will surely fuel you up to go to work each day.

You can have your own telethon-style countdown as you gear towards saving. If saving seems to be a daunting task for you, then you can use and download budgeting software application, which includes countdown functionalities and will recommend ways to slice your expenses.

If in any case, you still miss hitting your savings goal, then you may have to reconsider the budget. Those expensive cocktails may have to be replaced by a cheaper bottle of soju or a hot noodle in a convenience store, which is also just as fun!

Taking these into account, being realistic and practical plays a vital role in the way you save your money. Ask yourself a few questions. Can you indeed be able to pay a luxury trip in the Maldives, or will you be as equally happy visiting great beaches in Thailand or the Philippines for relatively cheaper costs? Remember, if you are having a hard time getting your financial goals be flexible.

How do I keep cash safe when I’m on a trip?

Wherever you go, there are ‘bad guys’ that would surely have an interest in stealing your hard-earned money. If you are a foreigner, you’ll be an even bigger target. 

Most travelers tend to use flesh-toned pouches or money belts. While there is nothing wrong in using them, you could most likely do just as great by keeping your money in a zipped-up jacket’s pocket.

Having your money in different forms is also a good idea. Make sure to spread your money, so you have to carry the littlest cash as possible. An ATM card or a credit card is always handy. There are credible ATM locators you can use for Mastercard, Visa, and other prominent credit card providers. However, they, sometimes may be out for maintenance or run out of cash. 

Lastly, following basic rules would surely avoid you from troubles. Remember, don’t carry a massive amount of cash when walking to shady neighborhoods at night. As much as possible, make sure also to maximize using hotel safes and hostel lockers. It’s surprising how many backpackers leave purses and wallets in open sight on transient beds before going for a good swim; that’s undoubtedly one way to kiss your hard-earned cash goodbye.