Holidays — you know, those things you throw your life savings at for a temporary escape from the monotony of a mundane existence. Since most urban millennials are corporate slaves who earn pittance under the guise of a salary, mastering the art of budgeting while travelling is becoming increasingly important.
While tickets, stay, and food is usually accounted for, there are certain unforeseeable situations that might spring a surprise or ten. To keep you on your toes, we’ve listed down five such possible predicaments that you need to keep an eye out for.
Fluctuating Foreign Exchange
50 one minute, 49 the next — foreign exchanges rates may waver repeatedly, but unforeseeable events in the global market could trigger a serious collapse in the economy.
Remember Brexit? A day after the announcement, the value of the British Pound plummeted from Rs. 100 to Rs. 79. A similar downfall in the Indian or Asian market could seriously hurt your bank account and have dire consequences on your travel plans.
Unpredictable Weather Or Emergencies
It’s a hot sunny day, said the forecast, when suddenly, a cold wave hits and an unbearable chill takes over. So yeah, chances are, you’ll probably curse under your breath as you quickly jump into the nearest clothing store to buy a woollen sweater and a scarf. Or perhaps, you’re taking a stroll in a seemingly harmless neighbourhood where you get jumped, pickpocketed, or mugged — in which case you’ll not only lose all your money, but your passport and other important documents too.
The worst case scenario, of course, involves a volcano going off and messing up air traffic, leaving you stranded at your holiday destination for an additional week. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, read about the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull Eruption — it’s quite the story.
Hidden Lodging Costs
When you book a hotel room, is the amount inclusive of taxes? Does it include free breakfast? Access to television? Snacks in the room, or even something as seemingly basic as wifi?
Furthermore, not every country around the world has the same charging ports or plug points, so you might need to purchase some power converters. Secondly, not all Indians are accustomed to toilet paper. The absence of your beloved jet spray means that every trip to the washroom will require you to purchase a bottle of mineral water.
So our point is, make sure you have the clear picture — you don’t want a rude shock just before your checkout!
Travel Within The City
But wait — this seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? As Pratik Vaswani will tell you, that’s not always the case.
A travel enthusiast, 24-year-old Vaswani has ventured all around the country, but a particular trip to Pondicherry during his college days taught him plenty. “My friends and I booked a hotel a little away from the main French Town because it was cheaper,” he reminisces. “What we didn’t know, however, is that renting a car on a budget there, without a driver, is almost impossible. Buses are usually brimming and autos don’t ply by meter either, which means we had to overpay to just go a few kilometres away.
“It ended up burning big holes into our pockets, and we had to significantly alter plans towards the end of our trip. So my advice would be, please do some research about the costs of travel within the city before heading there!”
We mean charges like convenience fees on your card. You might not take it into account, but credit and debit card transactions of any kind will cost you extra money.
Furthermore, unlike the ones in India, restaurants abroad expect you to leave up to a 10-15% tip on meals. You can’t exactly go without food, so these are definitely going to add up over time — especially if you gobble down three meals a day.
Cell phone roaming and data charges, too, is something you need to ponder over. While such costs might seem menial individually, the cumulative amount might certainly have a bigger financial impact than initially expected.