Money Talk: How much did my 2013 Epic Journey cost!?!

Picture of foreign currency

Money, Budgets, Financial Talk

Whenever someone talks about going on a trip / vacation / holiday / escape / getaway / journey / pilgrimage – whatever it is labeled as, the BURNING question in the back of everyone’s mind… HOW do they afford it?! How much did it cost!?!

If you’ve been reading along on my blog, I tend to talk about anything but money. It’s a cliche thing for a Canadian or a Chinese descendent or in the general global society to be up front about financial matters.

Well today, I feel like sharing and talking numbers – as one of my intention for this blog is to motivate more people to travel – solo or not. So I do not want people to use $$ as an excuse or reason for them to deter from traveling and exploring this beautiful world of ours. Continue reading

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5 things to consider before your solo trip…

Post by Karen Sze

So you’ve decided to hit the road, by yourself – talk about being adventurous and brave!! Congrats! 🙂

Whether this is something daunting or just a walk in the park for you, here are a few thoughts I’d like to share with you… Continue reading

Back to the Basics… Pre-trip planning

Post by Karen Sze

Your travel itch needs to be scratched, what to do after your vacation request has been approved, the destination(s) chosen and the flight(s) booked…

Contact your bank and credit cards

  • By providing your travel info (dates, destinations) to your banking institutions, it help them to help you protect your money against frauds. One time, I forgot to tell them I will be in Hong Kong visiting family, I got stopped at my first transaction until I proved to the lady on the phone that it’s really me using my own Visa card. Another time, 6 months after my trip to Europe, Visa called me up and asked if I’m really in Madrid buying a fancy watch. Well I assured them that I’m hard at work at my desk job. They swiftly sent me a replacement card as I was about to go on another trip in less than 2 weeks.  I’m glad they’ve got my back!!
  •  4-digit PINs are preferred in many countries – if you have a 6-digit PIN for your debit or credit cards, see if you can have it modified
  •  Leave enough money in your bank account – the last thing you need while on vacation is having your card declined when you are out of cash in a foreign country. In many countries, Cash is still King!
  • Setup Autopay so you don’t come back to Overdue notices in the mailbox

If you live by yourself and…

You are travelling for more than 1 month, consider these money saving ideas…

  •  List your place on AirBnB or similiar – let someone pay your rent while you’re travelling
  • Suspend your car insurance, internet, phone and/or cable service – why pay the full month when you won’t be needing their service
  • Request the post office to hold your mail delivery or ask a relative or friend to pick up your mail
  • Empty the fridge and freezer
  •  Turn off the main water supply to toilets and washer and dishwashers – you don’t want to find out your place flooded while you were travelling
  • Flip off some of the electrical breakers
  • Consider draining the hot water heater
  • In winter time, make sure to leave the furnace on – just change the temperature setting on the thermostat so your home doesn’t freeze or melt while you are away
  • Disconnect the battery in your car
  • Notify your neighbours so they can keep an eye out for you

As I prepare for my upcoming Epic adventure, I will share with you many more thoughts that pop up in my mind before taking a trip.