So far, we’ve talked about some really great and simple ways to save some big bucks when traveling. Being prepared and thinking ahead can keep you from spending money when you don’t need to, letting you keep your money for the fun stuff you want to enjoy on your trip. Here are some more budgeting tips for travelers that can help you leave your cash in your wallet.
Long plane trips or sitting around in an airport terminal can be boring. Or, you may want to have a night in to relax and rest. Use these budgeting tips for travelers to spend some nice quiet time or to make time go by quicker when using public transportation skip that expensive in-flight movie that you’ve already seen.
- E-reader. Okay, so this one is an investment if you don’t already own one, but it can save some space and money at the same time. Carrying books when you’re on a trip just doesn’t work. Check the internet for free or low-cost books. Many public libraries offer e-books for checkout by members and with Wi-Fi, you can access the list from where ever you are. The money you save will quickly recover your initial investment into the reader.
- Pencil and Paper. Old-fashioned and low-tech? You bet. But carrying a small notebook and a pencil can give you some entertainment value (think Origami) and also give you a place to make notes or just plain doodle.
- Postage Supplies. Keep a small stash of stamps and pre-addressed envelopes. There’s nothing like getting a note from a traveling friend or uncle, especially for younger children. Of course, you have to make some adjustments if traveling in other countries that may use other types of postage, but you can whittle away some time sending “wish you were here” notes.
What to Carry in Your Carry On
Packing efficiently these days is a must unless you want to be hit with some fees for over-weight baggage. Between weight and size restrictions and a minimum of $35 per checked bag, most of us try to carry on as much as we can. These are some smart budgeting tips for travelers to make the most of your carry on allowances.
- If you’ve traveled any airlines in the last few years, you know that liquids are limited to five ounces in carry-on bags. Purchasing the travel or trial sizes of toiletry items can be expensive. Instead, invest in the small reusable containers for liquids like shampoo, soap and conditioner. Fill them from your economy size bottles before your trip.
- Use a hard case to store fragile and breakable items. Even with carry-on items, luggage gets tossed and bumped. You can avoid breakage of costly items like reading glasses or sunglasses by storing them in a durable protective case. Keeping fragile items safe is a budgeting tip for travelers.
- Keep hand sanitizer in your bag. This is the one item you should purchase in the travel size-refilling containers, even if they appear clean, can contaminate the sanitizer. Soap and water may be best, but if that’s not available, you have a way to protect yourself from germs and bacteria.
- Use a small backpack or easy to carry bag that leaves your hands free. A budgeting tip for travelers: by investing around $40, you will have a durable method to carry everything you need. It can also be used if you participate in hiking or biking excursions during your travels. A good backpack or tote can last you for several years, making it completely reusable and more than worth the initial investment.
- Duct Tape. Duct tape can do anything. You can fix shoes, do a temporary repair on your glasses and patch a hole in your tent. The trick is to wrap a length around something, such as your water bottle, and just use what you need.
- Plastic Bags. I use the plastic grocery bags. They can be wadded up and stored in a pocket or corner and come in handy for damp towels or swim suits. You can also use them to protect your clothing from leakage of liquids.
- Eye Mask. Absolutely essential equipment for catching some shut-eye on long plane flights.
- Scarf or Sarong. These items can do double duty as a cover-up, hair tie or a towel. They use very little room or can be worn to save even more space.
The Best Budgeting Tip for Travelers
No matter where you’re going or how long you’ll be gone, a budget is absolutely essential. A crucial budgeting tip for travelers is: plan and then plan again. Do some research and make a game plan for how much you will spend and what you will spend it on. Keep track of your spending to avoid running short during your trip. Making a low-budget trip doesn’t mean you have to skimp on fun.