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Different Ways to Fund Your International Travels

CIOInsider Team | Thursday, 17 August, 2023

International travel is no longer a thing for the affluent. As the middle class population is growing financially stronger, people are now more confident in expanding their travel horizons beyond India. However, a lot goes into actually making it happen. In addition to extensive research and planning, the cost of a trip abroad is the topmost concern of travellers. Those who wish to travel abroad look for different ways to minimise the costs and fit their plans within their budget. People are now looking for travel credit cards on platforms like, or even take a short-term personal loan (STPL). While credit cards could help you save in the form of complimentary memberships, free flights, lounge access, etc., a personal loan could help you keep some cash handy when exploring a foreign destination.

So, if you are also planning an international trip, this article will help you in deciding which financing option would suit your needs.

Create a Travel Fund or Make Goal-based Investment

It is generally advised to begin your travel planning early so that you can avoid any glitches or issues during your trip. And a major part of planning comes in the form of arranging enough funds to cover the total cost. For this, you can start setting aside a portion of your income towards travel fund every month. You can also explore investment options like mutual fund schemes for which you can adopt a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) to reach your goal for travel savings. You can also set-up a recurring deposit fund dedicated to your future travels in which a certain amount of money is transferred automatically every month and on which you can earn a comparatively higher interest than parking the surplus in your savings account.

Co-branded Credit Cards with Travel Loyalty Programs

There are several travel credit cards which offer co-branded benefits in association with leading travel portals and airlines like EaseMyTrip, MakeMyTrip, Vistara, IndiGo, etc. You can get access to their loyalty programs under which the members are offered discounts on travel bookings and bonus air miles which can help you save more on your hotel stay reservations and flight ticket bookings. With co-branded cards, you would be able to maximize the benefits only if you make most of your travel spends with the associated brands. Hence, before getting such cards, understanding your brand preference is important.

Credit Card with Air Miles Program

You can also explore credit cards that offer accelerated rewards on your travel-related and other expenses but also allow you to convert the rewards into air miles. Air miles can be utilized to book your flights at discounted prices. Some cards also allow you to transfer the reward points to hotel loyalty programs, which could help you, save on your hotel bills. Note that cards designed around travel category could also come with other benefits like complimentary international lounge access, low foreign exchange mark-up fee, bonus rewards on reaching spending milestones and dedicated concierge service to get assistance even when you are in a foreign country.

Forex Cards

While travelling abroad, one of the major concerns is related to foreign currency transactions. International payments are charged with a foreign currency exchange fee, which adds to the total expenditure. To avoid this extra cost, forex cards are a great option for travellers. These cards can be preloaded with one or more foreign currencies of your choice and can be used to make payments abroad without incurring additional charges, as long as you make payment in the pre-loaded currency.

Personal Loan

Personal loan is another way to arrange funds for your travels. This is especially helpful for people who can spare a particular amount every month as EMIs but would not be able to afford a high lump-sum amount. A personal loan would give them immediate access to the funds which can be paid off over the period of a few months. Personal loan interest rates can range from 11% to 20% and even higher in some cases. However, you should exercise caution when you opt for a loan to cover a discretionary expense like a vacation. Loans can be financially draining in the long run, if you do not stick to a disciplined repayment plan.

So, even though funding an international trip may seem like an uphill task, there are still a range of options which you can choose from to make it happen. The key is to begin planning and budgeting as early as possible to avoid straining your finances for such discretionary spends. Instead of taking an impromptu trip, it is better to pre-plan and set-up a goal oriented savings strategy. You can also apply for and use travel credit cards to avail discounts, earn rewards and utilise the accrued loyalty points to make travel bookings to cut back on your total spends despite rising prices.

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