How to stay on a budget while traveling

I’ve delved into my history as a management and psychology student for this one. Management and psychology are a powerful combination –  and I recommend any person serious about getting into a marketing career to take courses in psychology. After all, marketing is all about leveraging psychological tools to encourage consumers to purchase your product. Ethical? Questionable. Fascinating? Absolutely. But learning about how to get customers to part with their hard earned cash,  as well my own experience while travelling, has taught me a few tricks for sticking my own budget 

  1. Don’t carry around a lot of cash.This is helpful for more than just minimizing the danger of ~ pickpockets ~. Many of the places I’ve been to in Vietnam are cash only – so people withdraw large amounts of cash at a time. While this helps avoid ATM fees, it may lead to spending more in the long run. When you’re carrying around a lot of cash, your brain functions based on the availability heuristic – because you have the cash readily available, you have more cash to spend. If you have physical cash in your wallet, you will feel as though you have less money to spend, regardless of how much is in your checking account. 
  2. Plan ahead. If you’re going to hit the night market or shopping mall, plan ahead what you want to buy. Marketing ploys and tactics are most effective when directed at people who are uncertain and likely to make impulse purchases. If you plan beforehand exactly what youre looking for, you’re much less likely to be convinced to buy something you don’t really want. 
  3. Don’t shop when tired. There’s a reason that gift shops are always at the end of the exhibit. When you’re tired from walking around, you’re much more likely to make a purchase. Why? Self control functions just like a muscle. Just like its harder to hit the gym when you’re tired, it’s harder to exercise self control (even subconsciously) – so check out the gift shop before your tour, and double back if you decide you totally need something afterwards.
  4. Chose the right area. This isn’t so much a psychological principle as it is common sense. Big cities are more expensive. If you want to do some shopping and really get that bang for your buck, travel a bit into the countryside. You may have to search harder for what you’re looking for, but the price makes it worth it. 
  5. Don’t drink and shop. Duh. A casual walking beer while hitting the night market is fun, but if you’re five drinks deep, avoid it at all costs. Your judgement is impaired and these vendors can sense your drunk ass from miles away and will push you to buy some crappy trinkets. Avoid. 

Ok there are my tips, and I hope I will help you save a bit of extra money to blow on beer and postcards!!! Have fun and stay safe xo 

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