If you’re going to see the world (hooray!), you’re going to need money.
Gone are the days where people would bring all their money with them on a trip in cash or traveller’s cheques. With the rise of ATM machines, people can access their money from virtually anywhere in the world – the only trick is making sure your account has money in it to withdraw. Opening a savings account will help with having access to money on the road as it gives you a secure place to store your cash until you need to use it.
Depending on the length of your travels, there are different ways to save for the expenses you’re likely to encounter and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to have everything saved up front or paid for before you depart. Particularly if you’re just planning for future travel, have you thought of a Cash ISA? It gives you a secure place to store your money for when you need it and could even be used as your travel account if travelling is something you plan on doing regularly.
If you’re going away for a few weeks or less, you can be a little more free with your spending as it is likely you will resume making money at the end. This does not mean you shouldn’t save anything, as many places you visit require cash and the last thing you want is to be burdened with paying off credit cards long after you’ve returned home. Take a little off your pay cheque and put it in your savings account until it reaches a level you’ve comfortable with before booking anything and feel confident you have access to your account while travelling.
After the month mark, you really should have a solid budget on how much money you have to spend each day prior to leaving and once you are away. You’ll want to leave home with a fairly large amount saved and if you’re going for multiple months, perhaps even a way to make money while travelling. If you’re working while travelling, you don’t need to worry about as much to start but if you are not, you may want to start saving months or even years in advance of leaving.
You might think that if your plans are to move around for the foreseeable future you will need to save a massive amount of money and live off of that, but you’d be mistaken. You then might think the answer lies in finding some kind of work in which case the cash flow is steady and planning isn’t necessary, but then you’d also be mistaken. The truth is indeterminate travel itineraries require a great deal of flexibility on your part, as you’ll have to juggle doing what you want with somehow making money. You may go for months without work, requiring you to live off what you have stored in your savings account, and then follow that up with long periods of work where you deposit almost everything.