Diploma: check. Life experience: pending

Be mindful of your finances when you set out to see the world. Photo provided by Braden Alexander
There are lots of ways to stretch your dollars when you set out to see the world. Photo provided by Braden Alexander
Young Money - Vanessa Kunderman
Young Money – Vanessa Kunderman

Many millennials are collecting their diplomas and preparing to enter the workforce with high hopes, heartier paychecks and the ability to finally put all that education to good use.
But… right after a quick jaunt overseas.
You’ve probably had an inner monologue along the lines of, “Come on! I deserve it! I mean, I spent all this time on my education and now to reward myself I want to see some cool places.”
We all tell ourselves this. Classic millennial behaviour.
Whether you’ve managed to save the money yourself or come in to some congratulatory spare change from school, it pays to budget your trip in order to have a smart travelling experience.
Here are a few tips to save you money along the way:
Airbnb
Get to know Airbnb (www.airbnb.ca). By “renting unique, local accommodations on any budget, anywhere in the world,” a young traveller can literally save hundreds by avoiding paying hotel rates. If a hostel or dorm isn’t for you, Airbnb is a great way to immerse yourself in the city you’re visiting without hurting your money belt.
Reviews are posted online to help you dodge poor experiences, with real people sharing their stories about where they stayed, while the homeowners also review the travellers who stay in their home.
ATMs
ATMs are your friend. When I went to New York as a teen, I was given a stack of traveller’s cheques and felt invincible. An even more invincible feeling is travelling with a credit card.
But wait: even though credit cards get you a great exchange rate on the currency you’re spending in, many foreign places just don’t accept credit cards. I know. What a crazy thought.
ATMs give really great exchange rates but come at a price. To dodge extensive bank fees (you know, that $2.50 fee for pulling money out), withdraw larger amounts of cash and keep your money in a safe place.
To market, to market
Get thrifty: some of the best travelling mementos are found at flea markets instead of big box stores and, depending on where your adventures take you, there may not be any large chains to shop at! The best part of flea markets is that prices aren’t set in stone so you can barter your way to the final price for that incredible kimono.
Less drank
Abstain from drinking as long as possible: I know, it’s a celebration! You’re seeing the world!
But partying every single night is not only exhausting, it really hurts your carefully planned traveller’s budget.
Drinking every once in a while is fine to plan around, but if it’s every night after dining out, your trip will be cut short. You can save an atrocious amount of money in this department, literally thousands, especially if you pair it with eating where the locals eat.
Vanessa Kunderman is a financial security advisor in Winnipeg. She writes every month on money issues facing millennials. Email her at: hello@vanessakunderman.com.

One thought on “Diploma: check. Life experience: pending”

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