If you’re going abroad, it’s likely that the costs are already beginning to mount up. Despite the fact that flights can be cheap if you book them at the right time, for example, it’s possible for costs to spiral – especially if there are two or more of you going away. The same goes for hotel costs too. If the place you’re going to is a tourist hotspot, prices will often shoot up – and budget options may sell out well in advance. Paying to have fun and enjoy yourself on vacation is important, but that’s no use if you return in debt and miserable. Here’s how to ensure that you have a great time without having to break the bank.

Plan in advance

Planning is the key to any budget, and this is just as true if you’re on vacation as it is at other times of the year. It’s a good idea to sit down with your travel companions prior to heading off and discuss with them what you’d like to do while you’re there. That way, you can then head online to either the official websites of your chosen attractions in order to get a feel for how much they might cost.

Remember to include a line in your budget for spontaneous fun activities too! Not everything can be planned in advance, and you may well come across an activity or a day trip that you don’t want to miss out on. If you’ve got some cash left over at the end of the break, you can always splurge the remainder on a nice dinner before you head home.

Cash saving hacks

When it comes to actually booking your vacation, there are some cash saving hacks which you can implement early in the process. One of these lies in flight times. If you’re able to get to the airport early in the morning or late at night, for example, the flight costs may be significantly reduced. If you’re willing to go self-catering when it comes to accommodation, the cost of an Airbnb can often be an awful lot cheaper than going to a hotel. Don’t be afraid to shop around for accommodation and flights either, as the differences in price can be immense.

A positive side effect of doing this is that you’ll often end up with more cash freed up for the purposes of spending money when you actually get there. After all: if you don’t plan to be around your accommodation very much, it makes a lot of sense to shift the spending burden to eating out as that’s where you’ll be able to get more value.

Avoid forex rip-offs

Going abroad from the US is guaranteed to mean that you’ll need to convert some currency so that you can spend on the ground when the vacation commences. Although some countries around the world accept US dollars in shops, restaurants and elsewhere, it’s not usually a good idea to rely on it. The bad news is that foreign exchange brokers can sometimes rip you off, either through hidden fees on withdrawals or similar or by a pricing structure which appears to be fair, but which actually charges you much more than is normal.

By reading reviews, including these AvaTrade reviews, you can get a sense from other people as to how much it is likely to cost in fees if you use one particular broker or another. That way, you can easily avoid getting ripped off. If you know well in advance where you’re going and how much you’ll need, it may also be a wise move to keep an eye on the exchange rates in the foreign currency markets and time your decision so that you exchange when the rates are working in your favor. This way, you can get more for your money without even having to do any more than look online.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to save cash and stick to a budget when you go abroad. Whether it’s by finding a decent foreign exchange broker who doesn’t charge extortionate fees or simply planning out each cost in advance, there are plenty of ways to do it.