As a Generation Y traveler, one of the unfortunate realities is that we usually have to set a budget for our time abroad. Unlike some Baby Boomers and some more successful thirty-somethings, when we travel in our early to mid twenties we are constantly watching our wallets. Lately I have been thinking about how I could have made this trip without spending as much as I did—and maybe I wouldn’t be so worried about the lack of cash in my wallet now!
Stick to the budget.
I must admit, I took some random, spontaneous trips that originally were not set in my budget. I went to Greece on a whim, spent way too much on a hostel in Paris, and treated myself far too often on some fancy dinners. Would I say that I regretted any of it? No. However, I will have to work twice as hard when I return home for a few months in order to earn that money back. Sticking to a budget would have saved me from some hassle later.
Try to Avoid Unnecessary Spending.
This is hard to control, because dictating whether or not you are going to take an extra metro ride to another part of the city is hard to predict. You might be able to get a good idea of how much you can spend on meals, but if you can’t find a place that fits your budget, you have to go ahead and fork over some extra cash. Also, many banks charge for overseas spending, so you might have to calculate that it when you take cash out of an ATM. Sometimes leaving a little bit of wiggle room can make a huge difference when you get to the end of your trip. Budgeting beforehand can help a lot, but if it isn’t enough or too much, you should feel free to make adjustments.
As a member of Generation Y, we usually have no problem buying an extra drink or a purse that we have been eyeing since we arrived in our location. However, when we are on a budget, sometimes those things can be forgotten in order to pay for something more pressing (like rent). Saving up for something that you know you will love (for me it was a new leather journal), can make all the difference when you go home—you want some sort of souvenir you can remember your trip by! When you are back at home, you probably aren’t going to regret doing the things that you loved. In fact, you will probably wish that you had done more of it.
Image courtesy of mroach.