Create a Daily Cash Allowance
After the initial investments of transportation and hotel, set a daily budget for expected food, drink, activities and souvenirs/shopping. Inflate the number by 10 to 15 percent as a cushion for small emergencies or unforeseen expenses. Vacations are a great time to practice the “cash diet.” Once you arrive at your daily allowance, set aside that amount in separate envelopes for each day and stash the envelopes in the hotel safe. Each day, use only what’s in one envelope. Your credit card can be saved for emergencies.
Foreign money often doesn’t feel like real money—we don’t have the same psychological association with spending it. So you don’t blow through half an envelope on a tip, consider jotting the cost in US dollars on the envelope to keep track. Or just keep looking at the envelope to see how much is left for the day!