Holidays are a time to relax and forget about your troubles. The thought of snoozing on a beach, or lying by a pool with a cold drink, brings joy to whoever is lucky enough to have booked a holiday. However, there is one thing that can cause gloom and rain on your holiday… expenses. From the taxi ride to the hotel, to the over-priced products sold at Duty-Free, costs are sure to creep up on you.
So how can you save money? Is there a magical formula?
But here are 15 tips and tricks to save some cash and maximise your holiday budget.
Travel at cheaper times
As great as the beaches in Barcelona may be during August, the flight prices are sure to be pricy. Why not consider going on holiday slightly early? You are sure to save money compared to the hefty seasonal prices. Also, why not consider flying out during the week rather than the weekend?
Bring your own snacks from home
How many times have you been tempted by a bar or restaurant at an airport? The aroma of pizza lingering in the air around you. Well cut it out. Often, foods sold at airports are over-priced and can cost you a lot. Making sandwiches at home and bringing your own snacks can save you a lot of money.
Use apps to contact back home
Data roaming charges can be extremely high when travelling abroad so avoid them at all costs! Use free apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Google Hangouts, and others to speak to loved ones at home. If Wi-Fi connections are a problem, many hotels provide free Wi-Fi, as well as a majority of restaurants and shops.
Choose public transport!
When on holiday, we often choose to take a taxi or cab to get around. You can save a bunch of cash by travelling on public transport like the locals. Buses, minivans, stuffy trains, whatever costs less and gets you to the same location!
Eat outside of tourist locations
Try the ‘six-block rule’; never eat within six streets of a major tourist location. Shop keepers and restaurants often increase their prices and decrease their food quality, so try and eat where the locals eat. Street food and small restaurants are sure to be cheaper.
Don’t exchange money; withdraw it!
Many tourists tend to withdraw wads of cash to then exchange to the local currency. BIG MISTAKE. Your bank card will save you money if you withdraw from the ATM and avoid currency exchange.
Get your travel accessories from cheaper stores
We are often tempted to buy a soft neck pillow or back cushion from the airport, but they can cost you quite a lot. With the average price of £20 per accessory, your costs will definitely rise. Why not purchase an accessory before the day of your flight from a local shop? Many high street retailers sell flight accessories in a range of colour and designs, saving you a heap of cash.
Travel with your own medicine
Getting sick on holiday is everyone’s worst nightmare and a trip to the doctor can cost you more than you expected. You can take your own prescription or over-the-counter medicine in your luggage. If you are planning to take a liquid medicine, be sure to check your flights ruling on the maximum amount you can carry.
Tie a ribbon on your luggage
As absurd as it may sound, many people lose their luggage and possessions when travelling. You will be surprised at how many people own the same luggage. By tying a colourful ribbon around the handle of your suitcase; you are more likely to recognise it at an airport.
Plan your travel locations before leaving
When on holiday, we all want to get as much in as possible without making any plans. As fun as spontaneous days out can be, they can cost you more money. Before heading out, make a list of all the places you aim to visit and how you will get there. Hotels offer maps and travel service leaflets to help you decide, so be sure of what you want to do.
Mind how you roam when using your phone
Recent changes to EU legislation mean roaming charges are a thing of the past. There’s no need to leave your phone on flight mode for a week as you can now travel within the EU while being able to call, text and browse the internet for the same price that you pay at home! We would advise to check before you travel on the countries that this affects, however, as when travelling outside the EU it can cost you as much as £2.50/min when making or receiving calls.
Pay in the local currency not pounds
Many shops abroad offer their customers a choice to pay in pounds or the local currency. Avoid paying in pounds as the currency conversion done by the shopkeeper will be poor in comparison to an ATM.
Buy souvenirs from the locals not gift shops
Gift shop owners are aware that tourists will almost always leave their holiday with a souvenir or two, so they increase their prices. Before making a purchase visit a street stand or look for any locals selling souvenirs. They will be cheaper and of the same quality, if not better.
HAGGLE, HAGGLE, HAGGLE
Countries with a vast amount of tourism tend to have higher prices on any products they sell. If you find a product you like, don’t be shy and haggle for a lower price. It’s also a lot of fun, too.
Buy tourist attraction tickets online
When visiting a tourist attraction, be sure to buy your tickets online beforehand. On the spot you may be expected to pay up to double the amount. There are a lot of websites and apps which allow you to buy tickets to many attractions all over the world for a cheaper price. What’s better than having fun and saving money?