Whether it is a short trip across the nearest international border or a journey to the other side of the world, taking a trip abroad is a thrilling experience; however, the trip can quickly become one filled with worry and fear rather than fun if a traveler suddenly finds himself or herself abroad and broke. Even after careful planning and budgeting, finding yourself without money happens more often than one would think. There are ways to prepare for this situation before even setting off on the trip and, if the money disappears, there are ways to get the cash needed to get home safely.
Preparing a realistic travel budget
Ensuring that vacation money will last throughout the entire trip starts during the budget planning stage before the trip begins. Planning a vacation budget will help to alleviate some of the money fears, as well as helping to streamline and focus the trip so that the most enjoyment can be had.
The first step is choosing the destination and deciding on how long the trip will be. Some countries and destinations are more inexpensive than others and a two-week vacation in one country may be as costly as spending two months or even two years somewhere else. Research is the key to successfully planning a vacation; use the internet as well as travel guides and the experiences of other travelers. Find out how much transportation, accommodation, attractions, all of it, costs. Write down everything and, once it is all down on paper, add on an additional 20% to ensure that there will plenty of money to cover inflationary costs and emergencies.
What to do when the money runs out
Even a financial planning genius may find themselves out of money and far from home at some time. “Out of money” may mean that a traveler is completely without funds or it could mean that there is money available but that it cannot be accessed. Regardless of the cause, what every traveler wants to know is what to do to remedy the situation.
If the money problem is that there are simply no funds to be had, then the traveler has few options for getting home other than securing some kind of employment. Seasonal work may be available if it is an agricultural region or, if it is peak travel season, some hotels and resorts may be willing to employ a traveler, especially if they have some language skills or another type of unique skill. Many hostels will allow a guest to earn their keep, buying time to try and find another way home. A final option is to seek help from the local consulate or embassy, where it may be possible to get a specialized government loan to return home. The loan must be repaid, however.
If access is the issue, there are a few options that may be explored. A traveler may contact the home branch of their bank and arrange for a new ATM or debit card to be sent, or possible arrange for funds transfers of some kind. Friends and family can also help by utilizing TransFast or another online money transfer outlet to send money directly to the traveler via a mobile phone number or email.