Financial Budget Hacks For Every Student.
Traveling can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. There are always ways to save a little extra cash. We’ve asked the College Tourist fall team to share their best travel budget hacks. Here’s what they had to say:
Avoid the ATM
Go to the ATM as little as you can. Travel to Europe with as many euros as you feel comfortable having. Remember: every ATM fee is one less souvenir you can buy or one else gelato you can eat, and it definitely adds up quickly.
Keep a Currency Conversion Chart on Hand
If the exchange rate is very different from your home currency, look up the conversion before arriving and screenshot it (especially if you will have limited access to Internet). This will make it easier when you’re trying to travel on a tighter budget, so you can know how much you’re spending.
Download Helpful Apps
The Trail Wallet app, helps to keep your travel expenses within budget. You can set a daily budget for yourself on the app and then track your spendings throughout the day. The app creates a pie chart to help you visualize your spendings. It also has the helpful tool of providing you with the current exchange rate for 218 different currencies.
-Alyssa San Agustin
Don’t Waste Money on Long Distance Phone Calls
WhatsApp is one way to utilize your phone’s Wifi internet connection and place calls for free. Facebook messenger has the ability to make phone calls as does the iPhone Facetime audio feature. Do some research before your trip and make a plan so you don’t end up spending all your money on foreign phone call rates.
Do Some Research Before Determining Your Budget
Have a vague budget before you leave (based on what will/won’t be provided by the program), but determine and plan your weekly costs once you’ve been in your host city for a week. By then, you’ll know how many meals you need to buy, the metro fare, and the expenses of fun activities you’ll definitely be wanting to do.
Protect Your Cash
We’d all like to believe in the inherent goodness of our fellow travelers at hostels, but to save yourself from the sticky situation of waking up in a foreign country with no cash, cards or passport, consider investing in a comfortable money belt. Whilst you don’t always have to wear your money belt when you’re out, when sleeping in shared rooms in hostels it gives you some extra security so you’re not left stranded abroad.
Opt for the House Wine in Restaurants
It’s always cheap!
Use Specific Bank Cards
Since currently being abroad, I have come to thank my parents on multiple occasions for taking the time and allowing me to get a Travelex card. This card is able to be filled and activated by my parents into either Euros, crowns or many other currencies! Yes, you will have a conversion rate from US dollars to other currencies but you don’t have the added stress of getting charged when taking out money.
A debit card from Dean Bank has no ATM fees, even when you’re abroad! If possible, make sure your cards have chips for fast, easy payment.
Pack a Picnic
One of my favorite memories from being abroad is when my group and I were on the island of Cyprus. Restaurants were a lot more expensive than we were used to and we didn’t want to spend a lot on lunch. We decided to go to the local market and each bought two or three items (bread, cheese, fruit, etc) and had a wonderful picnic by the ocean with locally grown/freshly baked foods. It saved a ton of money and we got to taste all sorts of things we wouldn’t have originally!
Keep Your Eyes Peeled for City Passes
Many major cities offer tourists a city pass, which often covers transportation costs and offers discounts to major sight-seeing spots. In Rome, get the Roma pass for small lines and cheap entry.
Use the Cash Envelope Method
Dividing your cash into envelopes for each week is a full proof, tangible system of knowing exactly how much you can and can’t spend
– Kristin Naujok
Find Free Food
Pick a hostel that includes complimentary breakfasts…that’s one less meal you have to buy! Hostelworld is very detailed in different categories, which helps you to pick the best one for your budget.
Use Your Student ID
There are so many discounts offered to post-secondary students around the world. Cheaper Eurail tickets and free admission to museums were just some of the deals I took advantage of while I was abroad.
We’d love to know: What are some of your travel budgeting tips?
Leave your answers in the comment below.