“How much money should I take on my Trip?” This question we all ponder before travelling to a destination. We don’t want to take too little and miss out on experiences that we don’t normally get, whilst if we take too much money, then we may spend more than necessary, or end up with lots to exchange on our return home.
Nowadays you don’t necessarily need to always take cash and can often use your bank card for paying for things. This is more likely in hotels, for major attractions and in bigger shops. However, for more developing countries, you may find you need to have cash with you too.
In order to decide how much you need it’s worth thinking about some of these things. Below are some considerations to help you decide how much money you should take on your trip.
1. Will you be eating out?
Do you get any meals included in the accommodation, or will you be eating out a lot? If you are eating out a lot, then it’s worth budgeting accordingly. There are websites online (such as www.numbeo.com) which tell you the average prices of food and drink, and these are great research tools. You could also look on tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants to find restaurants you want to visit, then look at their menu and prices.
If you’re staying in a hostel then you may be able to buy items from a grocery store and then use cooking facilities, and sometimes hotels may come with certain meals included as well. This can help you plan your food budget in advance.
2. What attractions/excursions do you want to see and do?
If you are planning on going on excursions, into museums, or other attractions, then it’s worth checking the prices in advance. You may also get cheaper tickets if you book in advance and online.
Before going to a destination search in Google, look on blogs such as this and other services for things to do and then check the price of entry.
Sometimes it’s also possible to find free activities too such as walking tours. There is an expectation to pay a small tip though so keep this in mind.
3. How will you be getting around?
Are you visiting a place where you can walk everywhere, or will you need to commute around? Does the destination have a subway system or will you have to get taxis? These can all vary the price of your trip.
If you are trying to save money then try and use public transport or walk whenever possible. If you wanted to take cars then you could also use Uber to save money. When possible it’s worth looking into what transportation options a destination has before you arrive.
You can also consider staying in a more central part of the city, as this may allow you to walk between many of the attractions and therefore save on transportation.
4. Are you wanting to shop?
Some destinations are great for shopping and that may even be one of your reasons for visiting. You may be visiting a destination that is renowned for major retail outlets and big brands, or you may be visiting a place with markets and shopping bazaars selling local merchandise. If you are wanting to shop then take that into account when you are deciding how much you need.
5. How accessible are ATMs or exchange facilities?
If you are visiting quite a rural location you may struggle to find ATMs and places to get money out. In this scenario, it may be worth having slightly more in case you run out of cash and can’t use bank cards. You can sometimes use Google Maps to scout out the place where you’re going to get an idea of what ATMs and banks may be around. A proper bank branch will normally offer an ATM so keep this in mind.
It’s definitely worth considering your budget and how much you may need before you jump on the plane and head to your destination. This will help you manage your cash flow so that there are no surprises, you don’t struggle and have a much better trip.
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