BUDGETING ON HOLIDAY: OUR DEFINITIVE GUIDE
No matter where in the world you’re travelling for your next holiday, from Greece to Gran Canaria and Spain to Sardinia, there are plenty of ways you can budget whilst you’re away (and a few before you travel too.) So here it is, our definitive guide of savvy tips and tricks to help with your holiday budget so you can spend smart and save whilst you’re away.
Before you jet off...
1. TAKE OUT TRAVEL INSURANCE
Things happen, so ensure you’re covered no matter what and take out travel insurance in advance. Whether you have an accident and need to pay for medical costs or your luggage goes missing and you need to claim and cover your lost belongings, this is exactly what you’re insurance cost is for and it can save you hundreds and thousands of pounds if you do find yourself in an unfortunate and unplanned situation.
2. BOOK YOUR OWN DAY TRIPS
Countless popular day trips and excursions can easily be booked online before your holiday. It’s worth researching the area and planning where you’d like to go so you can arrange these experiences yourself and eliminate the hidden commission costs that arise when booking through a tour operator.
3. CONTACT YOUR PHONE PROVIDER
Data roaming charges currently don’t affect those visiting other countries in the EU; travellers holidaying further afield however are often caught out by high costs. Schedule it in your diary to check with your phone provider ahead of your trip and if needed add on a suitable travel bundle to avoid returning home to a big bill.
4. PLAN YOUR TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
From plug adaptors and travel cushions to insect repellent, make a list of everything you’ll need and either borrow items from friends and family or head to your local saver shop and look at the travel section. You can find lots of essential travel items for just £1 unlike in the airport where you’ll be expected to pay an inflated price. If you're tech savvy - browse our must-have travel gadgets for entertainment on your next break.
5. WEIGH AND MEASURE YOUR LUGGAGE
It takes no time at all to weigh and measure your suitcase and check whether it’s within the allowed limits of your airline. Remember every airline will have different restrictions so always check what’s included with your flight to avoid paying any excess baggage charges.
When you're on holiday...
1. SET A DAILY BUDGET
This may be the most obvious but setting a realistic daily budget for your everyday expenses on holiday will help to stop impulse spending and prevent you from running out of money at the end of your holiday. Factor in everything from eating out and transport to activities and shopping. If you do happen to go over your daily budget, minus this from the following day to keep your spending on track.
2. IGNORE THE MINIBAR
Hotels are renowned the world over for drastically marking up the prices of minibar snacks and drinks so avoid opening it up out of convenience and instead visit the local supermarket to stock up on refreshments for your room where you’ll receive a much better rate and eliminate costly minibar charges when you checkout.
3. WALK MORE
Whilst there will always be some transport costs involved on holiday like travelling to and from the airport, once you’ve arrived at your destination, you can quickly save money by exploring on foot. This has so many benefits as strolling around really is one of the best ways to authentically experience a new place, especially in cities like Amsterdam, Prague and Rome. Not only will you stumble upon local hidden gems, you’ll save on taxi, bus and tube fares too.
Better still, it all works towards staying fit and healthy while on holiday!
4. CONSIDER WHEN AND WHERE YOU DINE
Holidays are a time to relax and indulge and for many of us this means experiencing the local cuisine and treating ourselves to meals out most nights. It’s definitely worth considering when and where you dine to save on food and drink expenses. Most restaurants will have lunch and dinner menus, so opt to eat at lunchtime instead when you’ll pay a lower rate than in the evening. If you’re visiting tourist hotspots, walk a little further to discover somewhere local to dine rather than settling upon the first place you come across. Restaurants and bars located right next to popular sights are almost always more expensive as they take advantage of the passing tourist trade, so look a little further afield.
5. UNDERSTAND TIPPING
Generally as a nation we don’t tip as much our American friends, however we still frequently tip more than is expected when abroad. In Europe, service charges are usually added to the bill meaning an additional tip isn’t required. Many of us travel without really understanding the tipping culture so research before you go away and brush up on what is customary instead of guessing and throwing away your money.
6. LIMIT CASH WITHDRAWALS
ATMs in other countries will often charge you a high fee to withdraw cash so it’s wise to buy your currency before your holiday to receive the best rates. If you do need to make a withdrawal whilst you’re away, consider taking out larger sums at a time rather than racking up fees on more frequent smaller withdrawals.
7. REMEMBER IT'S YOUR HOLIDAY!
It may be tempting to treat every member of your family and all your friends to a holiday souvenir but this can soon become expensive – especially if you’re trying to buy something that isn’t a novelty. Remember it’s your holiday and spending your money on gifts that will most likely end up in a draw is not only a waste of your time spent relaxing and exploring, it’s a drain on your funds too.