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5 financial tips before you travel

How do you make sure you are able to travel without going broke? Use my top 5 financial tips before you travel so that you can enjoy your next adventure.

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Money roll

Travelling can become very expensive. But if you use these S5 financial tips before you travel, then you will help ease the burden on your wallet. Not to mention allow you to relax so you can enjoy your travel adventure.

5 financial tips before you travel

5 financial tips before you travel

Prepare a budget for your trip

There is nothing worse than getting 2 weeks into a 3 week long vacation and discovering that your card is declined. But if you prepare a travel budget before you jump on the plane, then you will easily have enough money to get you through your trip.

Some cots to consider including in your budget are; transportation (there and back as well as around the destination), food each day, shopping and souvenirs, and optional excursions like diving or hiring a car.

Once you have a budget, add on another 10% just in case for any unforeseen circumstances.

Tell your bank where you are going

I recently ran into this problem when I was travelling through Africa.

As I went to book my flights home my card was declined. I quickly realised that because I was in Kenya, my bank thought someone had stolen my card and wouldn’t accept the transaction. After a few expensive phone calls I managed to get it sorted and they unblocked my card.

Before you go, also make sure you compare bank accounts for the best deal on savings, credit card rates and transaction fees.

Get travel insurance

Worst case scenario is that you pay a little for travel insurance but you don’t end up using it. The worst case scenario is frightening…

Imaging getting pick-pocketed as you travel through a foreign country. If they manage to get your wallet with all your cards and money then you are going to be stranded. Luckily travel insurance can quickly help you when you are short on cash.

Which brings me onto my next point…

Have a back up plan

While this is not technically a financial tip, it could save you a lot of money once you are there. Before you go on your trip, split the money you are carrying with whoever you are travelling with. That way if one of you is robbed, then you still have some money left over.

If you are solo travelling then consider wearing a moneybelt, or hiding your money/cards in a secret compartment of your clothing. There are lots of options to keep it safe.

Don’t forget about the bills at home

Finally, if you return home and realise that you had forgotten to pay a bill then all of a sudden you are in big trouble. It might be that you forgot to pay off your credit card and now you have a huge amount of interest included.

This is going to take your years to pay off and not something you want to return to after relaxing on your holiday.

Tell me below, what are your 5 financial tips before you travel that you use?

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Kristy of Family Visa

    August 16, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    One week before my flight I’d make sure that I check the currency rate of the country that I’ll be spending my holiday or vacation with to have an idea of how much money should I bring on my travel. I am not also fond of checking-in at hotels because it is expensive instead I sleep at motels.

    • Cole Burmester

      August 16, 2013 at 6:25 AM

      Hotels can be very expensive, but I always use a site like Hotels.com to make sure I can find the best deals. Often cheaper than a private room in a Hostel!

  2. Candice

    August 17, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    Great advice. My back up plan in the case that I get robbed while out and about, is to always have a credit card hidden in a compartment of my luggage separate from my day bag.

  3. Christoffer Moen

    August 19, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    These are really really great tips and I can’t agree more about the importance of getting travel insurance. It’s a safety net, don’t go without it. Like Candice, I also don’t keep all my cards in one place 🙂

  4. Pratibha

    August 23, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    It might help to pick countries with under-valued currencies. International travellers will find India around 20% cheaper now than 3 months ago with the rupee trading at a concerning low to the dollar.

  5. Jason Ryaan

    September 9, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    I always prefer to carry credit card rather than cash money during traveling. Preparing a budget plan is the most important factor that should be considered at the time of planning a trip.

  6. Marian

    September 12, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Nice tips very helpful indeed. I think getting a travel insurance is very important.

  7. Jone Laxer

    October 7, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Hi….Cole Burmester,

    These are great tips by you and i’m sure that by following these tips, anybody can save so much money on travel trip.

  8. Timothy W Pawiro

    December 29, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Yesss … notifying the bank is important. I think some banks want us to tell them that we’re going to do ‘overseas withdrawal’. If not we will make ourselves confuse in front of the ATM 😀

  9. Escape Hunter

    March 28, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Your last two tips stand out. Very important, vital, even.
    I always have backup plans… some bills can be paid online, thankfully I can solve that!
    As for bank cards – it’s good not to rely on them too heavily. Cash is king in most parts of the World…
    From experience, I can tell you that even 2 bank cards can prove unreliable in foreign countries… 3 are “must have” and plenty of cash as well.

  10. Shimla Walks

    August 27, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Very good tips. recommendable. It happened to one of our clients. A few years ago he came to India and got robbed in Delhi. Lost his money, passport, ticket, wallet and cards. Luckily he had a friend with him who lent him some money so that he could go back.

    One has to be very careful while traveling. thanks a lot for the lovely post.

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Travel Tips

Tips for Couples Travel: Keeping Romance alive

Travelling as a couple on the road can be extremely hard. Use our tips for couples travel to help your travels especially in time for Valentines Day.

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When you are travelling as a couple it is really important to remember to keep romance alive. These tips for couples travel will hopefully help.

You have to take great care to not only keep each other happy but also to celebrate special events such as anniversaries and other romantic moments in your lives.

Why?

Because travelling can take it’s toll on even the strongest relationships.

A lack of sleep while crossing different time zones will leave nerves frayed. While the stress of navigating your way around a foreign country will rattle tensions further. And to top it off you will be in each others faces through the good times and the bad 24/7.

Hospital Broken Collarbone Marmot Basin Ski Area

Adela in hospital after breaking her collarbone

Considering that with most budget travel, your savings will not usually allow for extra expenses such as romantic dinners which can help to recharge those relationship batteries. Instead you will find yourself arguing over whose turn it is to cook the spaghetti on toast!

With Valentines Day nearly upon us it might be worthwhile sharing some of our own little secrets of how we travel as a couple.

So how do we find the energy while on the road keep from tearing each others heads off every second day?

It’s easy!

Think outside the box

You shouldn’t have to look very far from where you are at that moment to gain just a little bit of inspiration. Travelling is romantic in it’s very nature!

Valentines Day in Paris

Sure you may not be in one of the most romantic cities of the world like Paris or having an epic Hawaii holiday on the beach. But, you are likely to be somewhere that isn’t home! That is what makes it special.

Stop being a tourist and slow down

I don’t mean for the entire time you travel but you can definitely spare a day or even an hour to slow down. For that short period you need to stop, think and act like a local.

What do locals do to keep their romance alive wherever you are? I am sure that they don’t wake up at the crack of dawn to be the first in line at the local attractions! No, they sleep in and savour each others company. Or they just stroll hand in hand through a park.

By slowing down you will enjoy those moments of madness as you run to make your train travel trip because you know you can chill out sometime soon.

Samoa waterfalls

Don’t be selfish

Travelling as a couple is all about compromise. If you have chosen the last 2 places to eat at or the last activity then it is time to hand over the reins. There is nothing worse than just getting to enjoy what you want while the other grins and bears it.

Other selfishness acts can be as simple as showing a little bit of courtesy. All it may take is to help her put on her backpack after a long day of hauling it around a dusty city and the romance will be kept alive.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

You need to let the small things slide. You know that really cute chewing sound she makes when she is eating her food? Well that kind of starts to grind on your nerves when it is just the two off you.

But if you cannot learn to accept those small imperfections (and face it everyone has them and I am clearly no god myself) then the bigger worries are really going to set a wedge between you.

Time outs

Travelling is all about sharing special moments together. But, and I cannot stress this enough, everyone needs space.

Whether you like to chill out by going for a run, reading your book or just pondering life’s mysteries with a beer in hand then make time for it. Just tell them upfront and trust me they will understand.

In fact they probably can’t wait to get away from you too!

Take time out when travelling as a couple

Take time out when travelling as a couple

Laugh

We have had some epic fights on our travels and have spent whole days silently driving across America not talking to one another. Do you know how hard it is to give your significant other the silent treatment for 8 hours when they are sitting next to you in the car?!

Let me tell you, it is near on impossible.

Those times are tough but as you sit in silence you will realise just how stupid the situation is. Here you are halfway around the world from your family and you only have one other person to rely on.

When you are laughing most of the time then the small arguments will bounce right off.

Four Jandals Maid of the Mist

Laugh at how ridiculous you look when acting like a tourist!

Spend time with others

Human beings are social in their very nature. Why do you think girls like to sit around with other girls and talk at a million miles an hour? It’s because we crave interaction.

I am quite happy to just chill out and be quiet. Adela on the other hand loves to talk. Early on in our travels I could not figure out how she can sometimes stand my quiet moments? Then it dawned on me.

It’s because we always find the time to interact with others on the road. If you spend your whole time abroad and only talk to one another then it is going to be one helluva boring trip.

Travel is about meeting others. When you do finally get that time alone together you will relish in it!

Date night

Most couples usually have date nights when they are at home. So why not when you are travelling?

I know I said earlier that most of the time budget travel won’t allow for you to go out for romantic dinners. But who said you have to spend $200 on a meal with a bottle of wine. Instead make a picnic and go chill out on the beach for a few hours.

Or just blow that budget and splurge! While your wallet might hate you, your relationship will thank you and the romance will be kept alive.

Splurging on chocolate in Quebec City

Splurging on delicious chocolate in Quebec City

Do you have any couples travel tips you want to share?

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Travel Tips

Couples Travel – Why every couple should travel before marriage

We think that every couple should experience couples travel before marriage. It will make you stronger by helping you learn more about each other.

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Romance in San Sebastian Cole and Adela

I have said it before and I will say it again. Before every couple settles down and gets married they should experience couples travel together for at least six months.

And I don’t mean just going somewhere relaxing and romantic.

Romance in San Sebastian Cole and Adela

I mean that you have to really travel together. You have to step outside your comfort zones together to see if you are going to go be able to go the distance.

Couples Travel

While we may not be married, we do know what 3+ years of couples travel will do to a relationship. There is nothing that will strengthen, or break, those intimate bonds of a couple in love quicker than couples travel.

Travelling as a couple can be one of the most rewarding experiences of any couples lives. It can also be one of the greatest challenges you will ever face.

Living out of each others back pockets for months on end in foreign countries can be tough work. You might not be able to speak the local language fluently which means that you often have only one another to talk to for a few days.

Or you might be driving 18,000 km across North America in a tiny car that is also your bedroom, kitchen and living room. There is no escape and nowhere to hide if you fight.

The silent treatment for 8 hours tends to get quite boring.

You have to be able to make it work.

Campervan, Couples Travel Tips, Cole, Camping

Yes we lived in that for 8 weeks.

So why should you travel as a couple before marriage?

Getting to know one another

During couples travel you quickly learn what makes another person tick. We have learnt a lot of life lessons while travelling as a couple and the ones that we stick to the most, are the ones that keep us both sane.

For example, I know that if Adela goes without a decent amount of sleep for a few days then she will be extremely cranky. And if I don’t get food on a regular basis then I am going to turn into something resembling the incredible hulk, just without the green tinge and muscles.

It is being able to spot those little changes in one another quickly that will help you overcome much larger hurdles later in life.

Cole and Adela, Couples Travel, Scooter in Tuscany

Good sleep + food = Happy couple

Facing your fears

Fears. We all have them. Whether it is a fear of heights or perhaps you suffer from claustrophobia, your partner can help you face those fears and overcome them.

We have a series on here about facing my fears where we deliberately put ourselves in situations that we are not 100% comfortable in. We think it helps us grow as individuals. But it also helps us grow as a couple.

When I suggested an adventure to go caving in Budapest, I knew that Adela would struggle with going underground. But she was willing to give it a crack. After we had walked just 50m underground, the door slammed shut behind us and Adela freaked out.

But knowing I was there to comfort her and help her out kept her calm until she got back to the surface. It of course didn’t stop me from carrying on afterwards and having an awesome adventure either!

Couples Travel - Caving in Budapest

Being stripped bare

Being stripped bare in front of someone you love is not the same as facing your fears. It is much worse than that. It is allowing someone to become so close to you that they see you at your most vulnerable.

Couples travel will open up your most vulnerable sides.

Imagine this…

One of you falls victim to a sneaky snake charmer throwing his pet snake around your neck. 12 hours later you can’t control the liquids coming out of either end of your body because of salmonella poisoning.

Marrakech Snake Charmer, Morocco, Cole, Couples Travel Tips

Not only do you wish that en-suite bathrooms with cowboy saloon style doors had never been invented. But this is also one time you don’t want to be alone.

For two weeks I was horrendously sick and lost a frightening 10 kgs. So far from home and without the support of my family I had only one person to rely on. Adela. Luckily she put up with the sounds, smells and stress, and supported me through it all.

For that I am so thankful because I will never forget how vulnerable I was and how she never exploited my vulnerability.

Perspective: It’s not all bad

Travelling as a couple is all about putting perspective on different events.

While you may become vulnerable, sick, frightened or angry, being there for one another is what counts to get you both through each situation. Because at the end of the day the good always outweighs the bad.

We never have to think too hard to remember the good times.

Indonesia Sunset Grim Lab

Sitting on a beach together watching the sunset. Drinking a coffee in a cute cafe in Paris or mountain biking in Canada. All of these experiences were made special because we did them together. They are treasured memories that we will share together forever.

Plus the bad can always be laughed at in the future.

In my opinion, if you can survive couples travel, you can survive anything. Including marriage.

Check out these Couples Travel Tips to learn how to survive travelling together. And if you want a “unique” Euro-trip adventure, you can always consider a holiday in Amsterdam to spice things up.

Have you travelled as a couple? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

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Travel Tips

Budget Tips & Tricks: How to go on Vacation without Breaking the Bank

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A vacation does not necessarily have to be the money sink that we all fear and dread. In fact, if done properly, you can end up saving a lot more money than you can imagine.

While there are a lot of luxurious vacation packages that are being pushed by travel agencies and the words “affordable” and “accessible” are as common as water and blinking, a truly frugal traveler would know better than to fall for them.

There are ways in which you can have a proper vacation in which you relax and enjoy yourself without having to spend your hard earned money. All you need to do is be very careful while at the same time be willing to plan and choose everything yourself.

1. Choose your destination and scout out the economy

The very first thing that you have to do is decide where to go on vacation, and while we are aware of the popular destinations, the truth is that every place has something to offer so don’t be afraid to venture out into less popular and frequented destinations.

Make sure to check out their economy online by searching for the prices of various basic items such as bread, bottled water, and so on. This will give you a rough idea of what the real price of various items are, thus allowing you to avoid over-inflated prices and “tourist taxes”.

2. Set up the transportation and lodgings

First off, check and see what the cheapest way to get to and from your destination is. The cheapest train tickets, the cheapest flights, the cheapest buses, and so on.

Then check and see what accommodations you can find. You might not want to go for the very cheap ones but be sure to at least pick one or a few with decent and reasonable prices. Of course, you can always consider camping which is why we recommend taking a look at the best down sleeping bag money can buy. This will keep you warm in any situation regardless of the choice you make (cheap motel or tent).

Once this is all said and done, check and see if there are any travel agencies that can beat these prices. They usually partner up with airlines and hotels, so you might be able to get a better price that way.

3. Pack light and keep a tight budget

Only pack the essential items that you will need on your trip. Usually around 3 changes of clothes, a washroom and toiletry kit, a couple of seasonal items depending on where you are going, and one of the best outdoor watches that you can find.

A good thing to do is to set aside a decent vacation budget and an extra 10% in reserve, just in case something happens and you need access to additional funds.

In conclusion

It does not take much to plan a proper vacation, even when on a budget. As long as you are careful and take the time to weigh in your options, you will undoubtedly find quite a few ways to save a good bit of money. Just make sure to have a backup fund just in case.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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