It’s a simple fact that while the occasional trip or two can be a good opportunity to recharge, it can also cost a lot of money. That’s why even a short weekend trip away warrants financial vigilance, and why there is a host of tips on booking cheaper flights and accommodations, all designed to help cut down on expenses.

Yet, longer trips may make it even harder to be financially responsible. After all, you’re in a new location, and the stimuli of new surroundings, combined with the fact that most vacations are considered special occasions, in a way, can become reasons for you to overspend. Fortunately, there are a few ways in which practicing mindfulness can help you reign in spending on your next big trip.

Always Keep Your Long-Term Financial Goals In Mind

One of the biggest reasons for mindless spending is not having a clear picture of your long-term financial goals. The solution for this is to first create a list of every single one of your financial goals: the car you’re saving up for, a loan you want to pay off, etc. Then set aside a strict overall budget for your vacation. Then pack the list and the budget for your trip. Keep this information in front of you as much as possible, too, and – as simple as this concept is – you’ll likely find that you’re less likely to spend recklessly or needlessly. This is actually a strategy you can use in everyday life as well, travel or no travel. Having a clear picture of what you want and what you can afford to spend just makes it easier to say “no” now and then.

Recognize That There Are Cheaper Alternatives At Home

There are actually a lot of things that cost less domestically than they would if you were to buy them abroad. Athletic shoes, for example, can cost up to a hundred dollars more in certain countries than they might in the U.S. This can even extend to certain experiences where there are also cheaper alternatives to be had – one popular example relating to travel being gambling. A lot of travelers find it tempting to duck into casinos or sportsbooks, which are specifically designed to attract customers (and make them spend!). But with gambling opportunities that exist online these days, it’s usually easy to find a cheaper alternative – not to mention a more convenient one. Overall, being aware of cheaper options, whether for products like shoes, experiences like gambling, or anything else, can make it all the more obvious how unnecessary certain purchases can be.

Meditate And Reflect On Your Spending

While the above tips can certainly help you to take control of your finances, sometimes what you need is to get to the root cause of overspending. Mindless spending usually occurs as a version of “retail therapy,” which can itself be an indication of sadness, anxiety and/or loneliness. Recognizing the underlying emotions driving your spending can be just the wake-up call you need and may even lead you to address something more serious than just spending. In other words, meditation is a great way to reflect on why you purchase things, which in turn can leave you feeling less vulnerable to impulse.

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