How much can $85 give you in one day? A cart of groceries? A fancy dinner and movie for 2? An iPod? These things sound good, even great. But what if I told you that with $85 a day, you could travel the world? Well…now I’m telling you! $85 a day is plenty enough to see all of Machu Picchu, the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the nature filled Galapagos Islands, the ridge-lined Patagonian steppe, and much more. All you need is an adventurous spirit, a little financial discipline, and desire to travel. Not sure if you have the financial discipline? Think again. There are plenty of tools available out there to help you out. Even as a CPA, I never would have been able to maintain my budget if I didn’t have the right tools. Here are a few tips and tricks to use along the way.
Setting Expectations – Spending $85 a day traveling shouldn’t be a blind goal. Setting realistic expectations while stretching for the experiences you travel for in the first place are both equally important. If you’re traveling to London or Paris, $85 is unrealistic. If you’re going to most places in South America or Southeast Asia, that’s very possible. Researching costs where you plan to travel is key.
A Little Insurance – Give yourself a little wiggle room. You never know what may come up and you don’t want to be strapped for cash when you just have to try that once in a lifetime…twice. Budget an extra 10% for incidentals and emergencies.
Budget, Budget, Budget – Use a good budgeting tool. Trail Wallet is a smartphone app that does the trick. It allows you to budget with any currency and doesn’t require an internet connection. Those are key functions for any travel budget app. It also has some fun characters who keep you on the right track. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/trail-wallet-travel-budget-app/id547171665?mt=8)
Beyond all of the effort that goes into a successful trip, make it that much better by living through it fully! Just forget it all and smell the flowers.