The key to any successful vacation is to plan with a firm budget in mind that takes into account the destination or itinerary; transportation to, from and throughout the vacation, as well as things to see, do and experience while there. Achieving a balance across these three areas, while keeping the necessary budget as low as possible, will free-up extra spending money.
When planning a beer vacation, the importance of having plenty of funds for tasting and sampling brews is paramount, so carefully planning the budget well beforehand will ensure that the money continues to flow as freely as the lagers and ales.
Beer vacation budget tips
Once the beer destination or itinerary has been selected and transportation and accommodation have been reserved, map out a daily budget that will cover any activities, shopping and basic food and drink. In case of emergencies, this total should be inflated by at least 10 percent, ideally 15 percent. Stay within this daily budget, no matter what and only turn to a credit card in case of emergency.
Speaking of credit cards, it is only sensible to contact the credit card company before leaving and inform them of the trip and that the card could potentially be used in the destination. Doing so will prevent any problems using the card; many credit card companies and some banks will decline a card if it is used in an unfamiliar destination on the chances it has been stolen. It is also a good idea to contact the bank and get the current exchange rates for the destination. While it may seem easier to exchange currency before leaving, the best rates will be available at an ATM in the destination. Be sure to exchange the total spending budget rather than day-to-day exchanges. Well-known beer destinations throughout Europe, from Berlin and Munich to Bruges and Paris, all use the Euro as their currency, so a trek through multiple countries will require exchanging funds only once.
Dining will eat-up a large part of the travel budget, especially if options are limited to hotel restaurants. Instead, take advantage of smaller cafés, sandwich shops and street food to keep this part of the vacation budget down and free-up funds for beer sampling. An inexpensive dinner of fish-and-chips in London, for example or a sausage sandwich at the Oktoberfest or the Berlin Beer Festival may be elevated to haute cuisine when paired with a fine ale or lager. Fresh produce and local farm products purchased in the neighborhood markets is another inexpensive option that saves money.
Tips if you have gone over budget
Even the most careful planning and budgeting may go awry when the beer begins flowing, but there are options for salvaging the situation when the cash runs out.
If the deficit is a small one, it may be possible to simply rearrange daily budgetary allotments for the remainder of the trip to re-balance the budget. If re-balancing does not work, sending home for additional funds instead of using a credit card is an option. Money transfer agencies, such as Trans-Fast, offer online and immediate service sending and receiving money around the world with minimal banking requirements being required to do so; in fact, the banking requirements needed to transfer money consist only of a US bank account or US credit/ debit card.