How to save money on holidays abroadLast modified:
Do you leave exchanging your holiday spending money until the last minute? You could be losing out and paying more than you have to.
We’ve got some top tips!
It’s no secret that we’re firmly in a period of political uncertainty, but how is this affecting your holiday? With Brexit firmly on everyone’s lips, how you can beat the exchange rates and still make the most of your trip abroad?
If you’re planning a trip abroad, there are a number of things you can do to make the most of your money and ensure that you’re not left out of pocket at the end of it. We’ve put together some top tips to help keep costs as low as possible, but still enable you to have a good time!
Think about your destination
If you’re just looking to get away but aren’t too worried about ticking a dream location off your bucket list, then researching potential locations could save you money. With the pound performing particularly poorly against the dollar and the euro, try swapping these for destinations where the pound isn’t doing too badly. At the moment, South Africa, Brazil and Singapore are all looking good!
You can also still go long-haul if you look at destinations where you can get more for your money. In countries like Thailand and Indonesia, the cost of living is quite low, so eating out won’t be as expensive as places like Paris or Spain.
Yes, initially package holidays will seem much more expensive than planning it on your own, but when you factor in things like all food and drink, airport transfers and even daily activities, it could be looking like a good option.
All-inclusive takes out a huge worry about any currency exchange rates as the majority of your holiday will be paid for upfront before you even step foot on the plane.
Carefully consider flight times
Being flexible with your flight times and days might also save you quite a bit. Mid-week and off-peak flights (particularly outside of school holidays), are going to be cheaper. Make sure that when you’re researching and booking that you try a variety of departure days and times to find one that’s reasonable.
Is there a better airport?
Although your first thought might be to go from one of the bigger UK airports, often smaller regional airports have better rates. When you’ve picked your destination, make sure you’re looking at different flight options to see if you can make a saving – but remember, you should also factor in any additional transport costs, otherwise you could find that your saving is wiped out and it could be more hassle.
Pay in the local currency
If you’re purchasing a souvenir or paying the bill at a restaurant you are sometimes asked whether you would like to pay in pounds – which is something you should decline. Many may fall for this as it feels more familiar, but it could be costing you money.
Retailers are often the ones that determine the exchange rate, so if you’re paying in sterling then you could end up paying more than if you had just paid in the local currency.
Check if your credit card is good for overseas use
Even if you’ve saved up for spending money, do double check whether your credit card is specifically designed for overseas use. These credit cards will not only give you a better exchange rate than if you had changed your money, but you’ll also benefit from higher levels of purchase protection and avoid sky high transaction or withdrawal fees too. Then, when you get home, you can pay off the balance with the money you had saved anyway.
Shop around to exchange your holiday money
Look online, check at the supermarket as you’re doing your weekly shop and avoid the airports – this is how you can find the best exchange rate possible. Also don’t forget, you don’t need to change it all in one go, you could keep an eye on the trends for a while and take the risk of exchanging it in batches to see if you can get a better deal.