“Travel brings power and love back into your life.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi
And you know, it really does. But when the reality of going back home kicks in, something else hits you: the possibility of going back to an empty (or barely surviving) bank account. Have you ever felt like you had such an amazing time away that the mere thought of thinking about how much you spent could crush all your good memories? Or have you ever delayed looking at your bank statements upon returning home?
I know, for sure, I have, or at least I used to, until I started applying these three tips to avoid being broke when coming back home:
Tip 1: Make a budget
I learned to budget since I was around 13 (perhaps even earlier), and this is definitely a skill that I am grateful for. Budgeting when traveling gives you a clear vision of a) how much you want to spend, b) how much you can spend and c) what you want to spend on. It is crucial to have that balance when traveling, because you might want to spend more than what you can afford, and this might put you into very delicate situations.
When establishing your budget, avoid allocating the exact amount to each activity. Rather, go towards the upper limit in the event that your activities turn out to be more expensive than what you originally expected. Finally, allocate more funds to the things that you consider as priority for each trip. For instance, going to Rome for a shopping spree? Then allocate more funds to shopping. Going food tasting in Paris? The biggest part of your budget should be on meals and fine dining. Looking to enjoy sightseeing, museums or historical expos in Geneva? You would probably end up spending more in sightseeing. So make your budget strategically based on what the primary purpose of your trip is.
Tip 2: Stick to it!
It’s one thing to make a budget, it’s another thing to stick to it! Regardless of how difficult it is, it is important to make a conscious effort to stick to your budget, especially if you’re traveling Solo. To ensure that you stick to your budget, you could separate each portion into different envelopes and whenever you hit the town, make sure you only take “what you need”. That way, if you see something that you’re extremely tempted to buy and know for sure you don’t need, you won’t be able to purchase it (since you won’t have any cash for it anyways).
Tip 3: Travel with currency from your home country.
This works especially well if your home currency is not very common (like the US Dollar, Euro or Pound). The reason this works particularly well for me is because whenever I travel with my home currency (which is currently the Eastern Caribbean Dollar), there is no where overseas where I am able to change it into another currency (unless I am traveling within the Caribbean). That way, I have a guarantee that I won’t be able to use that money during my trip and I’ll have some substantial cash when I return back home!
And you, do you have any tips to “avoid being broke” when coming back from a trip? Share it in the comments below, I’d love to know!