Traveling Broke and Feeling Fine – Step XIV

The last thing you want to take with you on your awesome adventure is stress and anxiety. If nothing else, a trip away from home and the daily grind should help you relax and fully appreciate new experiences. In order to achieve financial zen as you travel, planning ahead is essential.

One of the best ways to reduce financial anxiety on vacation is to be very clear about your purpose and having options. Your purpose will remind you to enjoy those specific things you really want to accomplish, rather than being pulled in multiple directions by so many other interesting things to see and do. Just as you can’t explore the best sites around your hometown in a day, you can’t do that on vacation either.

Being flexible to adapt when circumstances change will also reduce anxiety. If you planned a hike and a fierce storm rolls in, you’ll feel so much better if you had already thought through alternate plans. The same goes for managing your cash flow on your trip. Think about ways to save along the journey, so you can splurge on unique opportunities when they come up. 2012-03-02 10.05.17

Before your trip, here are a few action items to consider:

  1. If you’ll be in a car or camping along the way – take a roll or two of quarters for tolls, laundry, etc.
  2. Carry a little bit of cash for those times when cards and digital wallets don’t work
  3. Let your bank know you’ll be using your debit card out of state and which ones you’ll be going through, so they don’t freeze your card
  4. Have more than one card or access to funds in case it gets lost, damaged or stolen
  5. Take pictures of your cards, drivers license, passport, medical cards, prescription and any other information you would need if your wallet is stolen or lost
  6. Know your daily spend limit and challenge yourself to stay below that, so you have extra cash for one off things that might come up
  7. Keep good notes or chicken scratches about your spending, from catching a Lyft to tipping at restaurants – it adds up fast – so take a minute and do the math

Have you started the countdown yet? Invest the time up front in planning and organizing your trip around your purpose. Avoid unnecessary anxiety and stress. Find your financial zen.