Navigating the minefield of travel, love and money
The best way to avoid financial arguments on the road is to discuss your expectations and budget before setting off. (Simone Becchetti/Getty)
It’s no secret that money-related arguments are the root of many a lover’s quarrel. And when you add travel to the mix, you get all the same financial woes – just in a more exotic setting. Discussing your expectations and budget before setting off on a trip can go a long way in smoothing the ride; so we’ve brought you some expert advice on how to tackle the money-meets-travel issues head on.
Consider an all-inclusive package
Booking an all-inclusive package (with flights, hotels, tours and even meals included) might lessen the spontaneity factor, but it can also negate the idea of sticker shock by showing what you’ll spend up front. “Many [all-inclusive vacations] can be booked months or years in advance,” said Christina Ernst, president of Georgia-based VIP Alpine Tours, “Most resorts need small deposits and a good travel agent can set up a payment plan, which will not cost [clients]extra.”
Avoid foreign transaction fees
Most credit card companies add a 2% or 3% fee to all charges made outside the country (it’s also possible to incur a fee if you buy something from a foreign business online). If you’re used to paying for everything on credit at home and do the same abroad, you’ll likely end up with some nasty additional charges on your next bill. Capital One offers credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee, and you can see a list of other US options on Cardratings.com.
Pick your splurges
Communicating about what you both want from your holiday – and budgeting for it ahead of time – is very important. “Maybe he wants to lie on the beach in Thailand, and she wants to ride elephants,” said Dr Wendy Walsh, author of The 30-Day Love Detox and columnist for a dating advice website. “Every relationship problem happens because people have different sets of expectations, so the more you can lay out and explain, the better.”
Expect the unexpected
Deciding in advance what to budget for food, lodging and transportation is a no-brainer. But it’s the unexpected things that can make for costly surprises. Find out ahead of time what the customary tipping practice is in the country you’re visiting to have a better idea of extra expenses at restaurants and on tours.
Also, have a common plan regarding whether to give money to people who approach you on the street. “To give or not give to beggars is never an easy question, but it’s an important thing to discuss before you go on a trip,” said Jennifer Raezer, founder of digital guidebook publisher Approach Guides. Some people give money, some people give food, while others prefer to donate to local charities. The choice is yours, and deciding together will make it easier to deal with when you're united in your response.