The words “stress” and “vacation” should never appear in the same sentence, right? When you’re thinking about going on vacation overseas, you’re most likely envisioning a stress-free time, full of adventure and new experiences. But unless you plan carefully, your relaxing vacation can easily be spoiled by financial worries.

Budgetary concerns are the single most common source of stress and anxiety while on vacation. These tips will help you plan your travel with a realistic sense of what to expect, so you can spend your vacation relaxing.

Three Budgeting Hacks For a Stress-Free Vacation

Do Your Homework
Whether you’re jetting away to Paris or going sightseeing in Seattle, nothing ruins a relaxing time like the sense that you have been ripped off. While feeling like you have been targeted for inflated prices because you are a tourist is often a sign that you actually have been taken advantage of, many people get this feeling because they have an unrealistic sense of how much things cost in the place they are visiting. When you’re anticipating a vacation, it’s natural to get caught up in the excitement that the perfect adventure for you is around the corner. But before you let yourself get carried away, it’s crucial that you spend a bit of time on the boring but necessary part of planning a vacation: obtaining accurate estimates for how much everything should cost, whether it’s accommodation or street food.

Base Your Budget On Recent Information
While your friend who urged you to visit a destination (because they had a great time there five years ago) might be a useful source of recommendations, don’t base your travel budget on their reports of what things cost when they were there. Yes, it’s true that some travel destinations are cheaper than others, but remember that prices go up over time, especially in the hospitality industry. It’s crucial that you consult local sources of cost of living before you set down your budget. Google local supermarkets and check out food prices in the local currency. Check out hotel websites and get an accurate sense of accommodation prices. While it may take a little work, getting accurate information in the planning stage will help you stay within budget once you’re there.

Three Budgeting Hacks For a Stress-Free Vacation

Book In Advance
Securing the best possible rates for your most significant expenses (advanced bookings such as flights and hotels) means you won’t have to count every cent once your vacation has begun. Whether you’re hoping to grab a deal on your Airbnb accommodation or flights for the whole family, start trawling the available options a long time before your trip, and you could get lucky. The time you sink into searching far and wide for once-off deals will pay off later, when you’re chilling by the pool somewhere with another cocktail on the way!

A vacation should be relaxing, full stop, but financial worries can get under your skin if you don’t go into your vacation fully informed. These tips will help you approach your vacation planning sensibly, and ensure a stress-free holiday.