You can travel internationally for leisure, recreation, business, or visits with family and friends. The amazing life experiences that come with travel have a price tag to consider though. Budgeting for international travel means addressing the primary expenses related to lodging, meals, and voyage or airfare. It also involves planning for other common travel expenses, including:
- The proper luggage and travel accessories
- Government documents, such as passports and travel visas
- Parking fees and in-country transportation
- Entry fees to tourist attractions and museums
- Spa visits and recreation
- Entertainment, tours, and excursions
- Souvenirs and shopping
- Fees for making calls, texting, or checking e-mail
- Laundry services or luggage storage costs
No one likes to think about emergencies, but it’s smart to have a plan in case an emergency occurs during your travels. Kristen Addis from Be My Travel Muse suggests, “having a rainy day fund in case anything goes wrong or something gets stolen. Even little things like replacing shampoo and soap on the road can add up quickly!” Your emergency travel fund should be in cash or travelers’ checks. The fund should be held in a safe place, in the event your credit cards are stolen. We having one on your person and one safely hidden in your hotel room. Though travelers’ checks are not accepted by all merchants, they can be a good emergency backup when a wallet is lost or stolen. Prepare for a health emergency by contacting your insurance company and discuss if you will have coverage outside of your home country.
Taking a list of your credit card company phone numbers along on your trip is another good idea, since cards can be compromised during travel. Before leaving on your journey, contact your credit card provider to share your itinerary. That way your card won’t be frozen by a fraud alert when it is suddenly used overseas.
It can be helpful to know the location of the U.S. embassy in the country you are visiting. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Enrollment will help the embassy contact you in the event of a natural disaster, political unrest, or a family emergency.