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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

How traveling teaches you to be more financially literate

This is an article ‘How traveling teaches you to be more financially literate’ by Marc Primo

There are hundreds of quotes about how travel helps you become a better person, but one of our favorites is undoubtedly how it makes us richer. Of course, what the anonymous adventurer who penned this verity probably meant pertains more to how travel transforms us into more fulfilled individuals in a more non-tangible way. It can also apply to the financial aspect of our lives. We all know that traveling into new territories can help us grow into more cultured and spiritually attuned individuals. However, there is so much more to travel, especially how planning your next holiday can teach you a thing or two about managing your money.

Being a globetrotter is not just about discovering new cultures, trying exotic delicacies, and seeing the most breathtaking sights. Travel can also give you a chance to become more financially savvy. By learning how to budget and make informed financial decisions, you can stretch your travel dollars and make your experiences richer and more fulfilling.

Here are some tips on how to improve your financial literacy as you you turn yourself into a world traveler:

Start with a budget and stick to it

The first thing you should do when planning for your next holiday is to create a budget that will help you manage what amount you have in your wallet. Start by identifying your sources of income, including any savings or investments you have lying around. Once you've crunched up the numbers, list possible transportation, accommodation, food, and activity costs.

Make sure you include some shopping money allowance because most travelers almost always take home something from the places they visit, but also leave yourself some wiggle room for other unexpected splurges.

Once you have a budget in place, it will be easier to track your spending and ensure that you stay within your means as you go on with your tour.

Be on the lookout for the best deals and discounts

There are many ways travel can teach you how to save money. When planning for your next trip, aside from setting a budget, try looking for the best deals and discounts you can find online. Scour for everything– from flights and hotels to tours and attractions. Some websites, like UpNext, Expedia, or TripAdvisor, offer great deals on travel packages to over 10 million destinations worldwide.

Consider opting for vacation homes and other sustainable rentals offering larger spaces for lower rates than your usual hotels. As countries lifted travel restrictions early this year despite COVID-19, an estimated 8.5% increase in vacation rental preference among travelers is expected in the next three years. That translates to 450 million people looking to save more money without jeopardizing their travel plans. Be wise and save money even before you book your travel deals.

Another way you can save more for your piggy bank while planning your next vacation is by looking for tourism hotspots that have a low cost of living, such as Bali, Indonesia which has a $29 daily price tag, or Krakow, Poland, at $33, or Chiang Mai, Thailand for only $25.

These destinations and others like them offer a range of affordable options for travelers, including budget hostels, street food, and public transportation, but most importantly, must-visit locations for every avid traveler.

Credit cards are not money on hand

Credit cards can be a valuable tool for travelers but can also land you in debt if you don't learn to use them wisely. To avoid high-interest charges, pay your credit card balance in full each month. Refrain from going on holiday with a large debt hanging over your accounts. Also, look for credit cards that offer rewards or cashback on travel-related purchases.

Many rewards credit cards have been showcasing their robust travel protections as a key selling point for some time now. Anybody who travels occasionally needs to have one of these cards. If you carry one, you may rest easy knowing you're covered if your flight is canceled or your luggage is misplaced. Read your credit card's terms and restrictions, as travel protections will remain a priority for travel rewards credit cards this year. Banks may modify their coverage to satisfy their cardholders' evolving needs.

What's important to remember is that credit cards should not be used as a way to finance your entire trip. Instead, they should be used as a supplement to help keep you within your budget or during emergencies.

Avoid splurging

When traveling, getting caught up in the excitement of new experiences and overspending is easy. To avoid unnecessary expenses, plan your activities ahead of time and prioritize the ones that are most important to you. Also, apply some delayed gratification and prevent impulse purchases so you can stick to your budget.

One way you can save during your travels is by learning about the local economy in advance. Doing so can help you make smarter spending decisions as you enjoy your holiday. For example, if you're visiting a country with a high cost of living, look for budget-friendly options for food and lodging. Alternatively, if you're visiting a country with a low cost of living, you may be able to splurge a little more.

Another way you can avoid unnecessary spending is by using local currency, which can help you avoid high exchange fees and get a better feel of how much you'd have to spend during your stay. Before you travel, research the currency exchange rate and exchange some money at your bank or exchange office and other purchasing options available in the place you're visiting. While you’re at it, check if you have a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

Record your purchases and savings

Last but not least, keep track of your expenses as you travel. While you may give room for some spending mistakes, you get to plan better the next time the travel bug bites you. Use an efficient travel budgeting app like TravelSpend or Expensify or spreadsheets that will record your spending habits and help you adjust your budget as needed.

There's no doubt that traveling can be an excellent opportunity to improve your financial literacy. By following these simple steps the moment you sit down and plan your next holiday, you can save money and worry less about breaking the bank while traveling.

Learn more ways you can manage your money by visiting


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