How To Stay Spend-Savvy On Your Next Holiday

Although holidays are typically seen as time away from your daily life, the truth is it’s impossible to leave all thoughts of your daily responsibilities at home. Unless you live a life similar to the characters from Succession, you do need to keep an eye on your spending. Which is fair. Nothing sours a holiday—or the period that follows—more than a budget blown.

That said, watching your wallet while on holiday isn’t something you should dwell on, if you’re smart about it. With the right approach, you can be both sensible with your money and have fun. And with a host of credit card offers that give you more than just monetary value, now is a great time to plan your next holiday. Need convincing? Well, here’s a brief, but helpful, guide to staying spend-savvy on your next holiday.  

Embrace the admin

It goes without saying that a little planning always helps you make the absolute most of your time away. And few things in life are as fun to plan as your next holiday. At this stage, everything is possible – your travel itinerary is basically just a blank canvas that you can fill with any number of fun sights to see and things to do at your selected travel destination.

The obvious place to start is to decide where you want to go. Remember, anything goes; you can be as broad or as specific with your travel itinerary as you want. The important thing is to have a strong idea of what you want your holiday to look like. For instance, do you want your days to be jam-packed, or would you prefer to have alternating rest days and sightseeing days? Understanding what kind of balance you’re after can really help you bring your itinerary together.

And as strange as it might sound, the stronger the idea, the more room you’ll have for flexibility and spontaneity while you’re away. Anything that can be settled on before you depart, should be. If you haven’t decided where to go yet, though, don’t worry. Planning can be something as simple as subscribing to various travel newsletters and airlines. That way, you can keep abreast of any wonderful holiday deals. 

Lock down your budget

Yes, this is technically part of the planning process. Although your broader travel plans don’t need to be set in stone, your budget ideally should be. Again, by knowing how much you have to spend, the easier it will be to map out exactly where you can go and what you can do during your time away.

The trick with a holiday budget is to keep it simple. Stick to the main categories: flights, accommodation, food and drinks, entertainment, etc. Give yourself a rough daily limit. Then, if you can, increase that limit by 25% or so. While you still need to stick to your budget, by giving yourself a buffer you allow yourself the chance to take advantage of any happy surprises that may pop up, like a festival or cultural event that you weren’t aware would be happening.

Along with deciding how much you can spend and where you’d like to spend, you’ll need to decide exactly how you’d like to process payments during your time away. Do you want to make payments through your smartphone? Or are you looking to use credit cards, debit cards, travel cards, or cash? Each of these payments deserves consideration, primarily regarding their ease of use as well as the security concerns that each one may hold (i.e. knowing how to store these tools on your person when traveling to avoid falling victim to pickpocketing).

Let the locals lead the way

Once you’re on holiday, one of the best and most rewarding ways to be spend-savvy is to pay attention to how the locals live. Obviously, we don’t mean you should try to mimic their lives; rather, try to get a sense of how they enjoy the place that they call home. Whether it’s trying the bustling little cafe across the road from your Airbnb or taking note of the smaller, less crowded beach a little further from town, by sampling things that the locals do on a daily basis, you’re more likely to get maximum mileage from your finances. Not to mention that opting for local eateries over your hotel restaurant or taking the bus rather than a hire car can help you to really experience your travel destination from the eyes of a local rather than as a tourist.

But of course, there are a myriad of other ways that you can gain a local perspective. For example, why not try learning a few phrases in local languages? If you take the time to learn the basics of the region’s language or languages, you may give yourself the chance to make a stronger connection with them. Locals will always appreciate a visitor who’s eager to embrace their culture during your time in their country, regardless of how clumsy that attempt may be. It’s a sign of respect, and one that may be reciprocated. Going that extra length to show your appreciation will not only be well received, but it will also immeasurably enrich your time abroad.

Read more, Budget International Trips under 50000 INR from India

The important thing to remember is when it comes to being spend-savvy on your holiday, there are no rules. What works for you might not work for others, and vice versa. Often, it’s a case of trial and error – figuring out what works for you before you settle on methods and approaches that have proven themselves to be most effective in managing your unique spending habits. 

When you do find a system that works, though, you can apply it to any part of your life – from holidays to everyday living. Being sensible and smart with your money — no matter the context — is a handy life skill, and one that will always help ensure you get the most out of any occasion or adventure. Now, to more important matters: where did you last see your passport?