Today’s guest post is by financial writer Jackie Edwards, who offers some tips on how to get your finances in order to budget for your next big trip (and beyond).
Among other tips, she cautions that while international travel isn’t just for the rich, you should approach travel as an investor would — making sure it pays off for you personally.
Good planning, choosing the right destinations, and learning about personal finance are other ways to develop a realistic travel budget. So don’t assume you can’t afford foreign travel — instead, make it happen using the resources you have (or can develop) and using them wisely.
By Jackie Edwards
The term “jet-setter” implies a person who hops around the globe, seeing places others only dream of. It’s often used in conjunction with other terms like “the wealthy” or “the rich and famous.”
But it’s possible for even the average budget-conscious traveler to become a jet-setter. Here’s how you can finance your next international trip in a responsible way.
1. Visit A Budget-Friendly Destination
Global travel is not synonymous with “expensive.” In fact, some of the earth’s most beautiful places are also the most affordable.
Can you imagine spending $12 a night for a hotel room with views of white sand beaches and clear aquamarine water? That is what you can find on the island of Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand.
2. Think Like An Investor
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” And travel absolutely gives you knowledge. You’ll learn about a new environment, culture, and — most importantly — yourself.
Investors know that they will have to pay a certain amount upfront — taking a risk that’s worth the possible reward they will receive down the road. If the risk isn’t worth the reward, an investor will not put money down.
Be sure that your international travel will deliver rewards. If you are breaking the bank or racking up credit card debt just to make someone else happy then you aren’t on the right track.
What does the trip mean to you, personally? What will you get out of it? What knowledge will you gain? Think about this carefully before going into any debt.
3. Plan Your Trip Well In Advance
Consider your significant expenses first: transportation and accommodations.
When you plan ahead, you have plenty of time to arrange your travel finances and look for the cheapest plane tickets. Plane ticket prices change quite a bit day to day. Wait until you have purchased your tickets before you book your hotel(s). If the ticket ends up being more than expected, you can always cut back on accommodations spending.
Not only does planning gives you plenty of time to look for deals, but it also gives you an opportunity to start socking money away.
Start a savings account just for your trip. Or, use a coffee can and feel the satisfaction of stuffing twenties into it whenever you sacrifice a meal out. However you save, advanced planning will give you time to reach your goal.
4. Become Your Own Financial Expert
Use your desire to travel as motivation to become a personal finance expert. It’s a sad truth that many of us don’t talk about money.
One study found that 43% of Americans don’t even know how much their spouse makes per year. Only 17 states in the U.S. require that high schoolers take a class on personal finance.
If you didn’t receive formal education with regards to your finances, and you don’t talk about it with others, you have to take matters into your own hands.
Read books, watch videos, and reach out to your financial role models. Educate yourself, so that you can clean up your finances before budgeting for travel.
Ready to become a modern-day jet-setter? Use these tips to begin planning your next international trip. You might find it so rewarding, you will start the process all over again when you return.
Author bio: Jackie Edwards began her career began in banking, working as a financial advisor helping families living on tight budgets manage their money better. She now works as a freelance editor, researcher and writer with a focus on finance, business and current affairs.
Note to Readers:
Due to popular demand, my book 100 Things to Do in Tucson Before You Die has currently sold out at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble Online, and all local Tucson bookstores (you may find a copy or two here and there).
If you choose, you can place an order from Amazon, B&N, or your favorite bookstore. There will be delays until the book is reprinted.
Or, you can order directly from me at paypal.me/clarknorton; price of $19.35 includes sales tax and shipping. Be sure to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and shipping address. We also accept checks. Thanks!
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And Happy Holidays to all!