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Tours & Travel

How to Save Money for International Festival and Enjoy Yourself at One

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Every year, people from all over the world mark certain dates on their calendars. They start saving, book tickets and eagerly anticipate days of these international festival filled with music, boundless energy, culture, art and more.

Sounds just like a vacation, doesn’t it? But we’re not discussing holidays or trips that people plan. We’re talking about festivals – international festivals, where people of all races, cultures, and backgrounds come together to celebrate and immerse themselves in the creativity and art around them.  

The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

Travelling to these festivals can be an overwhelming and often life-changing experience. It can also be an expensive one if you’re not careful with your budget. For first-time travellers, it is imperative to follow certain tips and hacks to navigate your way through an international festival.

Although the tickets (both the flight and festival entry) may seem like the biggest costs of your trip, keep in mind that you will be spending money throughout the duration of the festival. If one is travelling with friends, it is easy to get carried away by buying festival merchandise, food, and accommodation.

We’ve put together a list of tips to stay on budget so that you can cut the right corners at an international festival.

1. Make a daily budget (and stick to it)

Your first day at the festival can be overwhelming. This is a new environment, where you’re encouraged to be free, have fun and indulge your creative side. However, those rules don’t extend to your budget. The first day especially can be tough to resist. So, start by making a complete trip budget and dividing it across the days of the festival. If you feel like you may need more on the first day, allocate that amount accordingly.

You can carry the amount in cash or on your Forex Card. The beauty of a Thomas Cook forex card is that it allows you to reload your card multiple times. You can load the card daily with the money you need for that day when it runs out, the spending stops.

Alternatively, many festivals operate on cash. Carry the amount you require. You can buy your cash via Thomas Cook and have it delivered to you before you leave.

2.Overestimate your Budget

It’s important to prepare for any eventuality – therefore you may need to pad your budget with a little extra in case you do go overboard.

Set aside an emergency fund in case you run out of money. This way, you won’t need to borrow from your friends in order to buy food or pay for trip souvenirs. You’ll also need to stay vigilant when it comes to your belongings. Keep in mind that cash is easily lost and not replaceable. Therefore, it’s advisable that you also carry a certain amount on a prepaid Forex card in case of an emergency.

Also Read: Reasons You Should Spend Money on Experiences not Things

3.Pack Smart

The magic of a festival is that it encourages creativity and individuality as a fashion choice. Therefore, it’s not necessary that you buy or pack your best clothes. Choose clothing that is comfortable and easy to move around in. Remember that you will be roughing it out; camping amongst hundreds of other people. Sacrificing your entire wardrobe to a messy and crowded festival is a high price to pay – especially when you need to replace what has been muddied beyond repair, or what is stolen due to a low level of security. Choose a lowkey look for the festival. That way you’ll save money, save luggage space and make an interesting fashion statement.

4. Keep an eye out for free services

If you’re on the lookout, you’ll notice free services at certain festivals. One example of this is free charging. You can use services like these to keep your phone charged, avoiding the necessity of carrying a portable charger.

However, do make sure that one amongst your group of friends has a backup in case the festival does not provide a free service. You can never be too safe!

5. Invest in a money bag

It’s easy, and understandable, to get swept away in the festivities. That is why you need to plan ahead. Given that most festivals don’t ensure the highest level of security, you’ll need to keep your money in sight at all times. A good way to do this is to invest in a money bag. You can keep your money securely around your waist. It’s easily accessible to you, and harder for a pickpocket to reach.

Alternatively, the Thomas Cook Borderless Prepaid Card and One Currency Card come with the option of a backup card or a free replacement option. The cards are also CHIP and PIN protected. They are embedded with a microchip that is virtually impossible to replicate. So, in the event that you do lose your cash or it is stolen, you always have a backup.

Keep in mind that festivals usually charge a sum for withdrawals. So, make sure to withdraw your cash before you step in. Keep the rest on your prepaid forex card – this ensures a safe balance of cash and card.

6. Book your Travel and your Forex in Advance

The great thing about festivals is that they are usually scheduled well in advance. This gives you time to save and spend your money smartly. You can book your tickets well in advance and also take the time to choose a foreign exchange rate.

On Thomas Cook, we provide a daily currency exchange rate. This way, you can study the exchange rate and choose the conversion amount that suits your budget. Planning in advance takes up time and demands attention to detail, but it will also leave you free to enjoy the festival without scrambling for money last minute.

7. Volunteer for a free festival

If money is tight, it doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself of this experience. There are plenty of festivals that take on volunteers and offer free entries as an exchange. You can choose to sell festival programmes, pick up litter or hand out festival merchandise – jobs that will keep you active and inside the festival.

In addition to waiving the entry fee, some festivals also handle accommodation, travel, and food. The details may vary from festival to festival, but finding an offer like this is invaluable.

8.    Resist the Merchandise

It’s understandable to want to remember the festival by buying merchandise. However, this sentiment can easily burn a hole in your wallet.  Take a deep breath and resist the urge to spend impulsively. There are always chances that you might find the same, or similar products online for cheaper prices.

If you do want to spend your money at the festival, wait until the last day. Vendors are likely to bring down their prices on the last day, and you’ll be able to buy merchandise at a lower price.

9.Bring Snacks and an empty bottle

One of the biggest costs of a festival is food – being smart about food allows you to spend more on other costs. Try and pack snacks in advance, so you won’t need to buy them (at a higher cost) at one of the festival stalls. Carry an empty bottle that you can refill with water and avoid buying expensive bottled water. Small cuts like these, will leave you with a lot more room to spend at the festival. Who knows, you might be under budget at the end of your trip, and have the cash to spare!

Festivals are a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shouldn’t be clouded by financial troubles. With some smart planning, spending, and saving, you’ll do just fine.

Now, let the festivities begin!


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