It’s no secret that the cost of holidaying varies throughout the year with prices for some particular times increasing by as much as 115%. Keeping an extra close eye on your spending and making sure it’s not excessive or unnecessary, will mean your break is enjoyable and not extortionate.
To help you make the most of your budget, leading holiday currency provider, Travel Money Club and its founder, Don Clark has shared his top tips for how to get the most out of your holiday budget this summer.
Don Clark, Founder at Travel Money Club, said:
If exchanging travel money is the last item on your list, you are guaranteed to be missing out. Although exchanging at the airport or while your abroad is convenient you are at the mercy of poor exchange rates, charges and exchange fees. Shockingly, an estimated £21m is squandered each year by Brits** failing to plan ahead.
Small savings add up
Do you really need that awfully overpriced sarnie on the plane? Little decisions, like bringing your in-flight food with you on short haul flights, can help keep costs down and make sure your money is being spent on more memorable holiday experiences. For example, avoiding hotel restaurants, in the search of authentic local hotspots, could mean you get better value for your money as well as lovely cultural experience.
Printing out necessary paperwork such as your boarding pass may seem like a tedious task at the time, but you will thank yourself once you have arrived at the airport. Airlines can charge up to £50 if your boarding pass hasn’t been printed, and some expect you to cough up if dates, titles or names don’t match up to your passport. It’s worth taking that 30 minutes out of your hectic day of packing to cross reference all of your documents and emails to avoid unnecessary money being spent.
Booking car parking at airports works on a supply and demand basis, so the further in advance you book the cheaper it will be. Many airports now offer a range of different options to suit you such as: short, long, premium, valet and summer/winter car park spaces. Last minute and on-site parking is a sure way to empty your wallet before you even fly.
Weigh it out
Step on the scales with your luggage so that you can accurately measure how heavy your suitcase is, avoid the guessing game because it’s not worth it! Be mindful of weight limitations as they differ depending on the airline you’re flying with. Try to be at least 2kg under as your scales may differ to those in the airport, you may also want to bring some souvenirs back. Don’t assume that hand luggage is out of the equation either, there is weight and size limits on this too and falling foul can result in an extra charge.
Don’t be forced into accepting a poor exchange rate
When eating out, or shopping on holiday, be sure to pay in the local currency rather than sterling. Travellers can curb overspending by always opting for the local currency when paying on credit and debit cards. Paying in pounds sterling allows the place of transaction to set their own conversion rate which is often very poor in comparison to normal bank rates.
Do your research
Many people aren’t aware of the current exchange rate and therefore have no idea if they are getting a good deal or not. Make the most of online comparison websites and currency exchange services, they often beat high street exchange rates by a mile and you can easily compare the most up to date rates like for like.
Make your own fun
Booking day excursions can be expensive, why not skip the middle man and explore for yourself. Have a beach day, go hiking, and create your own sightseeing tour – after all some of the most unforgettable holiday experiences are often free.
If friends or family have just returned from their holidays with a pocketful of unused currency, they will often be happy for you to take their remaining currency off their hands at a bargain price. You could even offer to buy them a bottle of their favourite tipple from duty free as a thank you.
*FairFX, May 2016
**Post Office, Feb 2018
Derek Taylor, our very own foreign exchange expert, is recommending that Travel Money Club members buying Euros this week should target their “Forward Orders” at €1.1300 for a great deal.
Derek Taylor, our very own foreign exchange expert, is recommending that Travel Money Club members buying Euros this week should target their “Forward Orders” at €1.1550 for a great deal.