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Tips for planning your holiday trip

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Tips for planning your holiday trip

The Winter break is right around the corner, and holiday travel planning will soon make the sharp transition from casual procrastination to hurried arrangements. Your flights and hotels may already be booked, but there’s a great deal more you can do to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and doesn’t break the bank. As personal and travel insurance providers, we at Belmont Health & Wealth are experts in the world of travelling; if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that a trip without a budget typically doesn’t end well. Having a budget not only streamlines your spending expectations, but helps with decision making as well, in terms of tourist attractions, dining, and shopping. Dining out every night certainly sounds appealing, but your wallet might disagree. For tips on how to craft and manage a sound travel budget, read on!

1. Take everything into consideration

To create a travel budget, you’re going to have to channel your inner control freak - plan for everything. The more you take into consideration, the more accurate your budget will be, which is what budgeting is all about! It should include:

  • Transportation. This means flights, gas, parking, taxis, metro - everything you’ll spend getting from point A to B. Work with maps of your surroundings, and try to plot out how often you can walk.
  • Food and Drink. This one’s critical. As closely as you can, account for where you’ll want to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Going so far as to check out menu pricing per restaurant can be a game changer!
  • Entertainment. Lonely Planet is an excellent resource for pricing and attractions in virtually every city. We highly recommend checking out their travel guides.
  • Gifts. If you’re doing secret santa, a gift from a faraway land is sure to please. Just make sure you don’t get caught in a tourist trap shop!

2. Make sure your money is accessible

All the budgeting in the world won’t help you when your credit card is declined, or when the bartender refuses to take your loonies as payment. If your currency isn’t readily available when you need it, it could have serious consequences. Converting a portion of your budget into cash before you leave is almost always handy. Relying solely on credit cards is risky, and having cash available can make all the difference in an emergency - just try not to carry it all in one place. Requesting an increase on your credit limit with your bank is also a good idea. Check with your bank to see if there’s an affiliate in the country you’re travelling to, as well. When accessing your funds remotely, this can significantly reduce the cost of those transactions.

3. Websites to help you budget

Two websites to visit when budgeting for travel are Saving For Travel and Budget Your Trip. Budget Your Trip offers loads of useful information regarding the city you’re travelling to, and Saving For Travel takes a step-by-step approach to calculating your expenses. Both are certainly worth a look. [separator type="" size="" icon="star"] If you have questions regarding travel budgets (or vacation hotspots), be sure to message us through our social channels. Happy Holidays!

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