I always have a $50 (you can choose any amount) “no worries” travel fund set aside (not literally, but in my head) every time I travel. A “no worries” fund is money you expect might disappear while you are traveling and you have already factored that in as part of your expenses. The purpose of the fund is to keep you from losing your mind when one of the following happens:
1) You drop money out of your pocket onto the street.
2) You miscalculate the exchange rate and pay twice as much as you should for something.
3) You forget to bring something and have to pay three times as much for it as you would at home.
4) You get stuck someplace and you have to pay a taxi driver way more than you would if you weren’t standing in the middle of nowhere with no other options.
5) You have to pay a fine or a bribe.
6) A human or a monkey steals money out of your pocket.
7) The only hotel in town is above your budget
I see people freaking out all the time while traveling when they have to pay a bit more than they want or they have taken a small loss. The funny thing is, they didn’t have all their stuff stolen or all their money and credit cards removed from them during a robbery; they are grousing over 10 or 20 bucks….and these are usually people who are hardly poor. I think it is more a matter of control; they will overpay for something like a tourist bus ($50 for a ride that costs only $2 on a local bus) but go crazy because they bought a soda and left it on a bench.
This kind of behavior reminds me of women who always clutch their purses for dear life, terrified that someone is going to snatch them away. When I ask when was they last time in their life they were robbed on the street, most answer that they have never been robbed. So, think about it; is it worth the stress and paranoia every time you step out for the one time in your life something might happen? It is probably easier to simply accept a bum deal once during your lifetime (lose forty dollars, have to call the credit card companies and go to the DMV to replace your license) than think about being robbed three times a day, 365 times a year, year after year after year!
When you are traveling, of course, you DO have to be more careful with your money and identification as you don’t want to be stranded in a foreign country without a way to pay for anything and without a passport to enable you to leave the country, but the loss of a few dollars should not send you over the edge! A “no worries” travel fund will help you stay on an even keel, keep you relaxed so you don’t have to stress over minor stuff.
Just say before you leave, “I have a no worries fund, so that is how much I can expect to lose.” Then, if you end up not losing a thing, well, you can congratulate yourself on coming home with more money than you thought you would!
Four places and six weeks left to get in on the 11-day-trip to Nicaragua! $1000 for everthing except airfare!
Check out the rest of our 2016 trips! India in March, Mongolia in July, and Mexico in October!