Most of us know the essential ideas necessary for planning a trip. Whether you’re heading out for a vacation or sending your crew on an extended stay for work, the steps are always similar:
- Figure out the dates
- Plan the transportation
- Head out on time
But somewhere in there, you need to think about how you’ll manage your money along the way. Because so many people skip this part, they make Money mistakes that throw them off budget for their trip.
Avoiding these common money mistakes will help you lower your stress and plan your itinerary. Your whole trip goes smoother because you know how to manage your money.
This isn’t always a problem — until you need to use your card and your bank declines it as potential fraud.
Many banks and credit card companies have serious security in place to protect their clients, including you. It’s an incredible thing to have when someone tries to use your card without permission.
However, when you tried to buy something on your trip and forgot to tell the card issuer where you would be, it’s a headache.
If you’re planning on leaving the state for a trip, give a heads-up to any card company you might use. This will get rid of the stress of a declined card and a call to your bank to authorize your charges.
Budgeting for a trip is done in estimates. You never know exactly how much you’ll need until you’re on the road.
Still, the better planned you are about your itinerary and expenses, the more accurate your estimates can be. Pull out the schedule for the trip, and break down each day into potential costs. Make a list of each thing you may have to pay for out of your own pocket and write it down.
Your list may look something like this:
- Fill up gas to get to the airport
- Set aside money for airport parking
- Snacks/beverages inside the airport or on plane
- Transportation from airport to hotel
- Tipping for drivers/hotel concierge
- Snacks/beverages for a hotel room
- Meals for each day
- Transportation costs to and from places on the agenda
In addition to this list, write down prices for tickets to any attractions you’re going to see, hotel accommodations if they aren’t already paid, and any other expenses. Then, estimate how much each bullet point is going to cost and make your financial plan.
We’re already used to being taxed for just about everything we buy, but when you’re traveling, the fees and deposits can throw you off-budget.
Here are some of the most common (but forgotten) extra fees and deposits to plan for:
- Hotel deposits, often per night, for incidentals and security
- Rental car deposits, insurance costs, fuel refills, and other fees
- Foreign transaction fees
- ATM fees
- Baggage fees
- Resort fees
- Parking costs
These extra costs can add up. Although you’ll get your deposits back after the trip, they’re still an additional expense cutting into your bank account funds at the time. Watch out for these extra fees and deposits, and avoid them where you can. If you can’t prevent them, at least have a plan for them in your budget.
When we use the term “foreign cultures” here, we mean anything outside your daily routine. You don’t have to leave the country to run into cultures that are different than yours. An easy example is the common stereotypical North vs. South mentality.
You need to know what you’re getting into as far as the culture of the people. Will they be fast-paced and hectic or laid-back and slow in their actions? If you don’t assimilate into the dominant lifestyle and you’re there on business, it can cost you a client.
Tipping is another foreign consideration. Some countries expect tips for every transaction between two people, like if someone carries your bags in the airport or serves you at a restaurant. Other places consider tipping a backward, offensive behavior.
Get to know the culture of the place you’re heading to, and how it will affect your spending.
Planning for your trip’s lesser-considered but ultra-important financial aspects will streamline everything. With these simple Money mistakes avoided, you’ll enjoy each day without the stress and hassle of a budget gone wrong.