Could you save money on your next holiday?
Whatever month of the year it is, it's likely most of us are dreaming of our next holiday! Whether you've just returned or it's been a while since that week in the sun, we know the next jet-set trip or mini break is never far from your thoughts. However, once you've considered everything from flights and transfers to accommodations and insurance, it all adds up to an expensive reality. If you don't want the expense of putting it on credit, you should probably be savings and making allowances right now.
Here are 10 tips to help you save before your holiday and whilst you’re away!
1. Book early or late
There's lots of opportunities to get a good deal when booking a holiday whether you're an early bird or a last minute Larry. Being prepared and booking everything in advance is a great way to get a good price as well as leaving yourself a long time to save again for your spending money. Alternatively, saving throughout the year and grabbing a last-minute deal and you could also bag your bargain. Bear in mind that late deals mean that the pick of the best seats, rooms and packages may be gone.
2. Choose a deposit-only option
If you want to get booked up and work towards your holiday knowing that it’s already sorted, a deposit-only option can be a great idea. A lot of holiday companies let you book your holiday and pay it off over a number of weeks or months so it can be a lot more manageable than a big lump sum. Just make sure you’re happy that you’ll be able to make the weekly or monthly repayments.
3. Kick-start savings
Assess your spending, see where you could cut down and set yourself a holiday goal. Think unused gym memberships and TV subscriptions and get rid. Once it’s cancelled, put the money you would have spent on it the next time the payment was due to go out into a savings account. By having your holiday fund in a separate account you can see it building up over time - on some banking apps you can even name your savings account. Call it Tenerife and imagine those glorious beaches every time you save!
Don’t forget about spending money. Paying for your holiday is a big achievement but don’t forget that you’ll need to spend money every day whilst you’re away so start saving for this as well.
Top up those savings we’ve just spoken about by swapping everyday treats like coffees and meal deals for the homemade alternative. You could save thousands over the course of a year. If that’s not the makings of a holiday fund, we don’t know what is! Check out our six #SavingSwaps for some inspiration.
5. Load up on cash beforehand
Exchange rates are always up in the air but it’s still usually best to buy your travel money before you take a trip. And, if paying on plastic whilst you’re away opt to pay in Euro, not Sterling if you’re asked because the rate will often be better.
6. Save on essentials whilst you’re away
Pack a reusable water bottle for each family member. Fill them up at your accommodation before you head out for the day, ask for jugs of tap water in restaurants and visit drinking fountains to refill throughout the day. This is only a small thing but it could save you a lot of cash whilst you’re away. For example, if you’re a family of 4 and you buy two €1 bottles a day per person over a 10 day holiday you’ve spent €80 (around £70!) on bottled water. Ouch. This only applies if your holiday destination of choice has suitable tap water for drinking, of course.
7. Beat card charges
If you’re with one of the mobile banks such as Revolut, Starling or Monzo then you won’t get charged for using your card abroad. A lot of traditional banks won’t charge either but it’s best to check with them before you travel.
8. Eat smart
Three ways to save the pennies on food whilst travelling...
- Is a pricey sandwich on the plane really better than anything you can make at home? Definitely not. Although you’re not able to take liquids in your hand luggage above 100ml you will be able to stash homemade sarnies and snacks to munch on the way to your destination. You can also use that reusable water bottle once you get through security to save you buying overpriced bottled water.
- When eating whilst you’re away, try to steer clear of main squares and over-populated tourist areas as these eateries will almost definitely have hiked up their prices as they’re the most obvious places for holiday-makers to eat.
- Stock up on snacks from local supermarkets as soon as you get to your destination instead of buying them from convenience stores as and when you’re peckish.
9. Pack light
If you’re away for a week or less you can get away with hand-luggage only and save yourself splashing out on baggage. An easy trick to save space is to wait and buy toiletries as a family or a couple to share once you’re away. Normal sized bottles of shower products will be much better value than the mini versions you’d pack before you leave anyway. Plus, you eliminate the ‘shampoo explosion’ risk!
The second way to keep things hand-luggage only is to plan the clothes that you’ll want to wear before you go. Wear things more than once and mix and match items, especially with evening wear that you’ll only have on for a few hours. Finally, wear your bulkiest items on the plane to save even more space.
10. Use public transport
Avoid expensive taxis and take local metros, trams and bus networks - these are especially great in European cities and can get you around much quicker than a car would with traffic taken into account.
There we have it, 10 tips to prepare your finances before you travel abroad and to look after them whilst you’re holidaying in the sun, snow or city streets. Enjoy!
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