Sticking to your Budget whilst on Holiday
There are so many way to save money when it comes to holidays, so I have just included a few of the best ones. The most important one for me is to be realistic about your budget. The 5* Instagram worthy holiday is always going to be appealing, but if it derails your financial goals, is it really worth it? It is also important to remember just because your friends are doing it, doesn’t mean you have to.
I know so many friends who are paying for their bad financial behavior in the 20s even a decade later. It is only now that the friend who was always on holiday or partying in the latest place, is happy to admit that it was mostly all paid for by their credit card. The financial hangover from this spending lasts a lot longer than the high of the fun of living in the moment. It is important to have your holiday budget as realistic as possible. Look at what you have put in the calendar e.g. things you have committed to already like weekend breaks, holidays or festivals and consider the following:
- If you look back at previous years, have you spent more or less than this figure
- Have you forgotten to include weekends away?
- With some clever planning in advance, would you be able to save 10% on the cost of your holiday?
- What could you do to have the same standard of holiday for less?
So now for my 4 Top Tips:
- Spending money
- Credit cards can add a fortune on to your purchase in fees – 3% is not uncommon when abroad, so make sure that you shop around for a card that doesn’t charge you extra to make purchases abroad.
- Most credit cards will usually charge you if you use them to take cash out at an ATM so you need another way to be able to access cash. The solution I use is a pre-loaded foreign exchange card. They are really easy to use, just like a regular bank card. But you can pre-buy foreign currency and load it on to the card. Take a look at Revolut & Fair FX –there are loads out there.
- When you are abroad you may well be asked whether you want to pay on your card in £’s or the local currency. At first glance, you might feel it is best to pay in £’s, however, this is the wrong answer. According to the FT Money section, “pick the wrong one and you could pay nearly 8% more”. The ability to pay in both is called dynamic currency conversion and is very common in Europe, Asia and I have seen it lots in the USA. It is estimated that British tourists will pay nearly £500m in additional charges this year alone due to dynamic currency conversion. This extra money is split between the place you are spending money (e.g. hotel, restaurant, shop) and the company that they rent their payment terminals from
- Buy your insurance when you book a holiday and if you holiday more than once per year perhaps consider having an annual policy. Read the small print to make sure that you have cancellation cover so if you can’t go due to ill heath then you can get a refund.
- Have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are travelling to Europe. This will allow you to get free or reduced cost healthcare. But it is no substitute for an insurance – you do need both. However there are loads of companies out there who will arrange it for you without a fee. You really don’t need to do pay for this service. They are so easy to apply for and really don’t take long for them to come through.
- If you want to treat yourself, perhaps consider a lounge. If you book far enough in advance you can get access for as little as £20 and this will usually include food, drink and some newspapers/magazines. When I booked one recently we even got free fast track passes through security which was a nice surprise!
- Although you can’t take drinks through security, you can take food through. So if you are on a budget, taking a picnic with you can be a great way to save money. Some airports also have water fountains if you want to fill a bottle up once you are through security.
- There is no legal requirement in airport shops (except Duty Free) to show your boarding card. The reason that they ask is that if you are travelling outside the EU, then the company can claim back the VAT. There is a big campaign at the moment to force companies to pass this back to the customer.
- Flight Delays
- If your flight is delayed by more than 2 hours, you have a legal right to food, drink, to make a phone call and if necessary accommodation.
- If your flight arrives more than 3 hours late for a short haul flight you can claim around E250 and for long haul flights this can be as much as E600 if its more than 4 hours. Certain restrictions apply though. You have to have departed from an EU country or the airline that you are travelling with needs to have a base in the EU.
Wishing you an amazing holiday!
Lots of Love
Miss Lolly xx