Originally published on Inquirer.net
By Camille Conopio
Your expenses for the trip don’t always end after settling the big things — fare, accommodation, tours. Other costs add up the moment you start to travel, from when you get to your destination until your return. It’s no fun coming back from a trip with an empty pocket. Let’s talk about managing your expenses while on the go.
Research in advance on your destination’s currency and the exchange rate. While currency and prices are not fixed and can change daily, learning about the currency while planning your trip can help you set your budget and handle expenses better than dealing with it during your first hours at your destination. Here are currencies of some destinations across the world:
- Australian Dollar
- Philippine Peso
- Thai Baht
- Singaporean Dollar
- South Korean Won
- Chinese Renminbi
- Japanese Yen
- Maldivian Rufiyaa
- United Kingdom Pound Sterling
- Vietnamese Dong
- European Union Euro
- United States Dollar
- UAE Dirham
- New Zealand Dollar
While you have bills and change ready, never underestimate the need to use your bank cards while out of the country. Transactions that may seem out of the ordinary, in this case overseas, can be flagged as fraudulent, resulting in denied transactions. Avoid this hassle and simply give a travel advisory for your debit, credit, and ATM cards.
Every time you get cash from an ATM overseas, certain fees will usually incur. Be sure to know more about these before doing any transaction. Here’s a tip: To avoid withdrawal charges that will quickly add up, withdraw in larger amounts (not too big though). While it isn’t wise to bring a big amount of cash while touring the city, simply have a discreet spot where you can store the money and just bring your credit card with you along with a useful amount of cash that will last you a day.
Carrying cash is always a wise move. These will help cover your fare, tips, snacks, and other minimal expenses on the go. Having small bills and loose change can save you from situations where a store or an establishment does not accept bank card transactions. US dollars are usually the easiest currencies to change (and use, in case of emergencies), and having smaller bills will always come in handy.
Avoid awkward situations in restaurants, an unexpected argument on a taxi ride, or with your housekeeper over tipping. The gesture of giving tips may generally seem like a generous act since some service persons practically rely on tips to get by; however, in some places it could be an insult. Learn more about your destination’s tipping practices (such as “service charge”) and know which varying bases to cover from country to country.
Secure your belongs and, most especially, yourself while out of the country because travel means expecting the unexpected. There’s a possibility that your airline might lose your luggage or delay a flight. Other travel mishaps may occur beyond your control. So, purchasing travel insurance may be one of the best things you can invest in.
Nobody wants a mobile phone bill shock. Prior to your trip, go over rates with your plan provider. If you travel often, say for work, it’s best to get an international roaming plan or a local network sim card from your destination. This will help you cut costs from your mobile plan while away. While many would advise using public Wi-Fi, it is also best to limit online transactions to prevent identity theft.
Nothing compares to enjoying a trip with your hard-earned money, but it’s even more fun and rewarding to know you have handled your expenses well.