How to Break Bad Spending Habits When Traveling Solo

Female Solo Traveler with Luggage and a Backpack

When traveling solo, you must be more mindful of many things. Schedules, safety, and budget become more important to track when you don’t have anyone else to go back and forth with. 

Female Solo Traveler with Luggage and a Backpack

Often, women who travel solo spend more due to unplanned purchases, unexpected expenses, and even peer pressure. This can significantly jump when you’re doing so during a celebration or holiday, too. Studies show that 86% of millennials spend more money during the holidays than they plan to. The worst comes when you maintain bad spending habits, so break them when you go on your trip. 

Avoid Emotional Spending

One of the most important things to keep in check is emotional spending. While many people are familiar with spending that happens to cope with stress, there’s also a tendency to spend more when you’re feeling celebratory. It’s simply about controlling your impulses and spending in response to your emotions. 

The psychology of spending money and retail therapy boils down to emotional triggers and a lack of fundamental financial habits. Consider that your travel is already a rewarding expense, so there’s no need to counteract this experience with the debts that may come with buying common impulse buys like tech and decor. 

Ensure you recognize the signs of emotional spending, like buying expensive purchases even when money is tight, seeking instant gratification by shopping, spending out of pressure or needing to patch self-esteem issues, and returning many of your purchases. 

Set Specific Goals

It will make your trip much smoother if you have specific goals, so you may want to incorporate financial goals into your plans. Set goals for both spending and saving so that you have a certain objective that keeps you motivated to stick to your budget. Having it written down on your phone or in a physical notebook may also help remind you when you need it. 

Setting goals can be a big part of your solo traveling in 2023, and you’ll find that having specific key points to aim for can make your journey feel more fulfilling and less complicated. Make a plan of your travel goals, and map your financial goals around that so you can know how much money you need to set aside. 

Research Ahead and Stick to Your Plans

It will be easier to resist the common pitfalls of bad spending if you have an airtight budget already considering that. Transportation, accommodation, and food are obvious needs to account for, but you’ll also want to set aside a specific amount for shopping, activities, and emergencies. 

To create a decent budget that you’ll be able to stick with while on your trip, you should research points of interest you may want to spend on when you get there. By getting the prices ahead of time, you can avoid impulse buys. Finally, having a separate emergency fund ensures you have the money to spend on unexpected circumstances without eating into your budget for other recreational activities and purchases. 

Limit Your Credit Usage

Although it may seem convenient (and even gets rid of conversion fees), you’ll want to avoid using your credit card for daily expenses while traveling. You can easily exceed your limit or forget to keep track of your budget when using a card. Right now, credit card debt is at a record high, with most families in America struggling to get by.

As a traveler, you are at an even higher risk of overspending because everything is likely in a different currency when looking at prices. This doesn’t mean you can’t use your credit card at all. It’s just better to be mindful before you swipe.

I haven’t been the best at remembering all these tips in the past, but hopefully, from now on, during my travels, I will. I hope that they are helpful to you as well. Let’s get our bags packed and see the world!

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