Plan your trip with these money management tips

Plan your trip with these money management tips

This article was produced in partnership with TripZilla.

Planning for a well-deserved holiday is always an exciting affair, especially if it’s your first one in a long time!

There’s often a sense of excitement when you start to imagine the different sights to see and places to visit. At the same time, it does take a lot of effort to plan the perfect trip as there is much to consider.

One of the more important aspects of travelling is knowing how to manage your money.

How much foreign cash do you need to take?

Are credit cards the best way to make payments?

Here are 10 money management tips for your trip abroad!

1.   Bring some cash

Even though we are moving towards being a cashless society, it’s still important to have some cash on-hand when you are travelling overseas.

After all, there might be certain destinations you come across during your travels that do not accept online transfers, credit cards, or other forms of electronic payment.

Make sure to bring an amount of cash that’s proportionate to the length of your stay. Also, try to ensure that your notes are in good condition, because some places can get a little fussy.

2.  Have a travel budget

Before travelling, it helps to have a travel budget as it helps you know how you can afford to spend during your trip, and how exactly you can spend for each activity.

While this might sound tedious, it can go a long way to help you avoid any overspending.

Important things to consider while drawing up your budget are how long you plan to travel, your accommodation, food, sightseeing, and of course, shopping!

By splitting your budget down these various channels, you’ll be able to know when you’re running out of money for something, and adjust your spending accordingly.

3.   Consider alternative payment methods

During you travel, you might find yourself stuck in a situation where you are unable to use a credit card or debit card. What happens if you don’t have enough cash with you?

While cards and cash are often the go-to transaction methods for travellers, you should also consider other forms of payment, just in case you need them.

Remittance is an electronic payment method provided by banks that allows you to send money overseas. This works if you need to make any payments in advance to aid with your travel plans, like booking hotels, tours in exotic locations, shopping and more.

DBS Remit is an example of a remittance service that allows you to enjoy zero-fee, same-day international money transfers. You can also send money in up to 19 different currencies to more than 50 locations across the globe on the same day!

From now until 31 Dec 2023, earn 10 chances with every minimum transaction of S$1,000 on DBS Remit or DBS Travel and Leisure Marketplace. Plus, earn a bonus 100 chances when you limit your cash withdrawals to S$100 or less every calendar month!

4.   Try out free experiences

Before you travel anywhere, remember to do your research and see if there are any fun, free experiences you can take part in!

At many major holiday destinations, you’ll be able to find such experiences, which often include museums, walking tours, and more.

You’ll be able to immerse yourself in your destination of choice, and reduce your overall spending while you’re at it.

5.   Choose your airline wisely

Not being comprehensive in researching for the best airfare deals could result in you spending a lot more than you need to on your flights.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options that allow you to compare flight ticket prices. It is important to choose the right airline and ticket options to suit your needs and budget.

Do take note that some airlines can be generous with baggage allowance, but it can be accompanied by higher ticket prices. Others may offer cheaper tickets, but charge rather high luggage fees.

If you’re on a tight budget, a good starting point would be to pick budget airlines. Secondly, you can also use flight comparison sites to scan for cheap flight tickets.

On top of that, learning how to pack light can also save you a ton of money when it comes to luggage fees.

6.   Use credit card or debit card

One of the easiest ways to make a transaction while you’re travelling abroad is to use a credit card, like the DBS Woman's or DBS Altitude.

You can make purchases instantly, it’s a wide-accepted method of payment, and using a credit card means you don’t need to carry too much cash.

But here’s a pro tip. If you already have a credit card, check the fine print to make sure that it doesn’t charge a foreign currency transaction fee.

If it does have one, consider getting a different credit card that doesn’t charge said fee. After all, you could be spending that money indulging on local delicacies instead!

Of course, some people aren’t comfortable with using a credit card, so you can always use a debit card instead, like the DBS Visa Debit Card, which can be linked a multi-currency account (MCA) like DBS Multiplier.

DBS MCAs offer 12 currency pockets, allowing you to perform a currency exchange with no fees and at any time.

7.   Take up travel insurance

Don’t be that person that shuns travel insurance, okay? Because it’s a lot more important than you might think.

Fact is, accidents can happen, even when you’re on holiday and at times when you least expect it.

You might lose your luggage at the airport, or fall victim to pickpocketing in a busy shopping arcade. And of course, there’s always the possibility that you might fall sick. 

In any one of these cases, the need may arise for you to cancel your plans entirely. With travel insurance like TravellerShield Plus, at the very least, you’ll be able to recoup some of your expenses, instead of losing the lot.

8.   Keep your bank in the loop

Before you head off for your big trip abroad, don’t forget to authorise your credit cards for overseas use.

With DBS, this can all be done though digibank with DBS Payment Controls.

If you have lost your credit and/or debit cards while you are overseas, you can block it with a tap if you misplace it on holiday.

In addition to that, be sure that you know how to reach them while you’re abroad, in case any assistance is needed.

9.   Secure your cash

No matter how much cash you’re carrying with you on a trip, a major point of concern is keeping the cash stash safe. There are a couple of ways to do this.

If your hotel room comes with a safe, you can store your cash in there, but make sure you remember the combination that you intend on using. If you don’t have access to a safe, you can consider keeping your cash locked in a suitcase, or backpack. 

You can even lock your backpack onto an unmovable piece of furniture in the hotel room for extra security. When you’re out and about, the safest option is to carry a set amount of cash with you, instead of all of it. You can either store it on a money belt, or any similar item that you can wear on your person.

10.   Find the cheapest travel options

Lastly, another great way to manage your money when travelling abroad is to keep an eye out for the cheapest mode of local transport.

Even though prices have recently gone up, an example would be the Japan Rail Pass, which offers unlimited, nationwide travel on almost all trains across the country that are operated by Japan Railways. 

Similarly, Rome has various City Cards that allow unlimited public transport access within the city, within specified durations. Doing a little research on your travel options within your chosen destination can be a ton of help when it comes to managing your money and expenses. 

Learning how to manage your money during your first trip abroad is an invaluable lesson. In fact, it will make every trip that comes after that just a little bit easier. Now that you’re a little more familiar with the money management part of your travel planning, all that’s left to do is pick a destination and feed your wanderlust!

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