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Stretching your Dollar - Satisfy your Wanderlust on a Budget

The year-end holidays are around the corner! For most of us, this presents tempting  opportunities to satisfy our wanderlust (our strong desire to travel and see the world!).

However, be careful of overspending as this period is typically peak period for travel which means higher prices than usual.

But not to worry! Adopt the following tips to have a memorable vacation without breaking the bank.

Tip #1: Setting up a realistic travel budget.

Start with a setting up a realistic budget. You’ll need to draw up a spending plan that includes all expenses such as flights, accommodation, meals, souvenirs, local transportation, and entrance fees, etc. Don’t forget to factor in a buffer for emergencies or unexpected expenses that you may have overlooked.

You can work out your daily spending limit by dividing your travel budget (less expenses paid upfront such flights and accommodation) by the number of days in the trip. You may also allocate your travel budget into categories such as meals, transportation, excursions and attractions, and shopping.

Before you let your legs do the walking, let your finger do some research by checking out the internet for deals and estimated costs for your destination, accommodation, meals, activities and getting around.

Tip #2: Tracking your spending as you go.

While touring throughout the day, you can track your spending using a suitable personal budgeting or money management apps that can be found from official app stores.

It’s a good idea to keep those receipts as well in so you can do a tally of your total spending a the end of the day.

Tip #3: Reviewing and adjusting to within budget.

Compare what you spend and what you budgeted for each expenses category. If you overspend in a particular category, such as for meals and dining, consider cutting back on the next day and seeking cheaper places to eat.

Tip #4: Staying flexible with your departure and return dates.

Enjoy cheaper flights when your travel dates are flexible. Some examples of price savings include:

   > Departure dates on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays tend to result in a cheaper air ticket.

   > Avoid peak periods for travelling out of Singapore such school holidays, festive seasons and long weekends.

   > Avoid peak periods for desired destinations. For example, peak period for Tokyo is between Apr – May due to cherry blossom season while winter is popular for Switzerland due to skiing and mountaineering.

Tip #5: Purchasing travel insurance.

After setting aside a considerable sum of your hard earn money on air tickets and accommodations, the last thing you may want to do is to buy travel insurance. Some people see no tangible benefits to it and view it as an unnecessary expense.

However, having appropriate travel insurance brings peace of mind as the costs of not buying it may outweigh the costs of buying it when something unfortunate happens.

For example, a loved one getting very sick, your wallet gets stolen overseas, or your flight gets delayed due to a typhoon. You may incur additional costs to deal with these emergencies and having insurance can mitigate the financial impact.

In summary, start with a realistic budget and research your destination thoroughly. Factor in an emergency fund for emergencies. Allocate your funds accordingly and monitor spending as you go.

A well-planned travel budget ensures you can relax and enjoy your trip without feeling the financial stress. Happy travels! ✈️

Credit Counselling Singapore

Published 6 October 2023.