Keep your goal in mind
KJ: Just because you’re on vacation to get away from it all doesn’t mean your goals and planning should go out the window either. $20 here, $20 there, $40 more in dinner, and a $30 extra taxi ride can all add up very quickly. Don’t be too proud to say, “we don’t have the funds for that” or, alternatively, find creative ways to shift your expenses around on vacation to make that a new goal. We had a meal in Amalfi (probably one of the most notable meals of my life) that cost us more than 2X what we budgeted for the entire day! Woah! Well, we planned around it, and made slight adjustments to our dining plan on the days before and after. Nothing significant, but cut out a few groceries here, cut out a few beers and unnecessary snacks there, and you can find out how easy it can be to do the things you really want to do even if it seems out of reach. Now, we not only shifted our budget, but we had the best meal of a lifetime (Hosteria Il Pino in Praiano, Italy), and we have memories to talk about for a long time (you know, in five or ten years when we’re too old to remember anything).
AJ: This goes back to what we’ve mentioned many times before with regards to how we enjoy our lives. We love a great meal and most times it’s worth it to splurge on one incredible meal a month in exchange for things other people might prefer.
Back to pen and paper
KJ: We’re tech savvy, but when it comes to budgeting and traveling, we can be quite rustic. Back to the good old days with only a tablet and chisel…oh wait…not that far back. With relatively little extra work, we keep track of our expenditures (no matter how large or small) to see where we’re at from where we planned. Under budget, yes-siree, I think we’ll grab an extra pitcher tonight!
AJ: I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Buy yourself a Moleskine notebook and don’t ever look back. We traveled for two plus weeks with me tracking every expense and collecting every receipt and many keepsakes in the back pocket. The elastic strap keeps everything securely inside, and it helps organize my extremely cluttered mind within its beautifully lined pages. Without this notebook we would have been scrambling to remember how much we spent where. With the notebook it was easy to sit down each night and track that day’s expenses and compare them to our pre-trip daily estimates.
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself
KJ: The reason you’re on vacation is not to stress yourself out and worry about every little item. If you did your planning and research before you set out, you should have plenty to let yourself relax for, now enjoy the trip you spent so many hours, days, weeks, months planning!
Is frugal the same as not being wasteful?
KJ: On our most recent trip, we made a couple decisions, less out of ‘got to stick to the budget’ than they were out of just good practical, non-wasteful sense. There are two illustrative takeaways from our trip that might help you realize that your little quirks aren’t as crazy as you thought (see also our frugal series wherein we discuss reusing coffee). Before we got to the villa in the Amalfi region, we stocked up on toilet paper and paper towels (among other necessities) only to find out there were plenty at the place we stayed. So..instead of simply leaving our toilet paper behind when we left (that stuff’s expensive), we packed it up in our large suitcase and took it home. No point in being needlessly wasteful! Another example of our ‘don’t waste anything mentality’ is the wine. We had two perfectly good boxes (yes, you ready that properly boxes – not bottles – for which we paid E1.60) of wine that we couldn’t leave behind, so we took them with us. Lo and behold, our flight in Naples was rerouted with our flight being pushed back five hours, so thank you very much, we enjoyed those boxes of wine while we played our cards and laughed at the entertaining people watching…it doesn’t matter what town or country you are in…this can provide hours of fun!
- Do you keep track of your expenses while on a trip?
What methods do you use?
Tell us about your travel goals you have set and accomplished.
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