10 Sep 2020 • 6mins • Yolt

How to stick to your budget while travelling


Hurrah! Your bags are packed and you’re ready to jet off on your much-anticipated trip. And while you’ve budgeted like a boss for this holiday, the pre-holiday stress is sinking in. No worries! It's possible to ace your holiday budgets while having a good time. Here are a few quick tricks to stay on track, as effortlessly as possible, during your holiday…

Step One: Stay on budget by making your splurges count

If you live by the ‘be prepared’ philosophy, you’ve probably already planned and budgeted for your holiday – you can see how your checklist stacks up against ours here And if you’re the type to live in the moment a little more, let’s face it most of us do, here’s a quick read about best budgeting practices for holiday activities.

With your holiday budget in hand, you're all set to pamper yourself silly, but remember to keep an eye on your daily spending – even a quick 5-minute daily check-in will do. It’s super easy to get carried away when you're having a good time. In fact, according to a survey by The Travel Club, the average UK adult overspends by 54% when on holiday. So, if you’ve gone overboard on Eating out for that day, perhaps reign in your spending when it comes to Transport – a little walking goes a long way! It’s this careful balance that allows you to have a fabulous time while staying within budget.

Want to know where you’re falling short during your holiday? Set budgets and track all your holiday activities using Yolt categories. You could even go a step further and tag your holiday activities and filter through them later. If you've been using tags to track your holiday spending from the beginning, keep using that same tag to track everything while you're on the trip. Then, you'll have a top level view of how much you really spent, from your flights down to that last beach-side mojito.

Step Two: Keeping it local vs. travelling like a tourist

Why not experience the best of both worlds? A quick meal at the tiny local café around the corner during the day and a grand sunset cruise with a 3-course dinner in the evening. Meal prep can also be a great way to save a good chunk on your travels. So, whether you’re out and about or relaxing in your hotel room – a quick trip to the local supermarket is a good idea. Fresh fruit, bottled water and quick snacks are great ways to keep your energy levels up and your spending levels down. Plus, these expenses don’t need to eat in to your dining out budget, you can categorise them under groceries in Yolt.

By exploring and experiencing both touristy and local activities, you’ll gradually learn to balance your budget. Also, you could track the blow-out part of your holiday vs the authentic using Yolt tags. So, if you ever wanted to dive deeper into your spending habits (we know you do!), you would have a complete breakdown of how much it costs to #travellikeatourist vs. #keepitlocal.

Step Three: Stay on top of monthly bills

It's easy to get carried away while you're on holiday - and forget about life back home. But neglecting your everyday subscriptions and bills can be a pricey mistake, and no one wants stressful (and expensive) late fees waiting for them when they get back from holiday. Make sure you have enough money in your account for your upcoming direct debits and avoid going in to overdraft! Luckily you can do this in Yolt. Learn how to track your bills in Yolt here.

Step Four: Avoid hidden expenses

It’s easy to get nickel-and-dimed by sneaky expenses. But what isn’t easy, is predicting all the possible added costs of going away - especially if you're exploring some place new! Knowledge is power - so here are a couple of expenses that might pop up and that you may not have thought about…

1. Bank Fees:
Withdrawing money, or paying via debit card, when abroad usually results in additional fees. But lucky for us the market is pretty competitive and banks like Starling and Monzo have amazing travel rates. So, do your research and pick an option that works best for you. Plus, you can hook up your new-hassle free account in Yolt. Here’s a full list of banks we support – Monzo and Starling included!

2. Mobile Phone Charges:
Check the cost of roaming with your mobile phone provider, preferably before travelling. If you don’t like what you see on their website, check in with them because there might be good options to temporarily upgrade to a plan that gives you more data. On the other hand, if splashing out on mobile data isn’t for you, be sure to turn off your roaming and limit data usage for non-vital apps. And if you’ve got a new phone, perhaps look at getting it insured if you think you’d need it. We’ve hooked up with simplesurance so you can get insurance in Yolt while on the go, because we know what damaging your new phone feels like… It can feel like the end of the world!

3. Tipping:
Depending on where you’re travelling, you’ll find that the rules about tipping differ. If you haven’t done your research before leaving for your holiday, don’t worry. Just ask a local or somebody that works at the hotel for advice. Bear in mind, you’d probably need to adjust your budget accordingly.

4. Extra baggage:
Think before you reach for those attractive souvenirs. Do you have free space in your bags? Or would you need to purchase more baggage allowance? If the souvenir is a must, we would recommend buying the extra baggage allowance online, before you get to the airport. If you do it on the fly, it could cost a pretty penny. Alternatively, you could Marie-Kondo the need for that souvenir...

So now you know… Budgeting and planning for your trip, shouldn’t feel like you’re zapping the fun and magic out of it. You can still be spontaneous without wrecking your budget, with Yolt by your side!