Taking a much-needed holiday is always going to mean paying a little bit—especially if it involves leaving the country and paying for accommodation. Yet at least you know, in advance, how much cash you’re going to have to part with and can plan ahead. What many of us do not take into consideration, however, are the hidden costs of holidaying abroad, which can be easy to pay for without thinking, only to return home with a rather excessive credit card bill. For ways to cut costs and stay aware of your spending along the way, here are ten handy tips from.
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Don’t wait until the last minute to change your cash and try and exchange your pounds at the airport. Many ATMS and currency exchanges know they can offer bad rates at the airport, as they are the last resort before you get on that plane. Consider a pre-paid credit card which is specifically for overseas use—you can load it up with your desired currency, and avoid excessive exchange fees.
Your local bank may also have an overseas partner network, allowing you to use cash machines in your destination without paying extra fees. Give your bank a call before you depart to find out—there’s nothing easier than taking out cash just like you would at home.
Don’t get caught out with too much luggage, as the charges can be hefty—especially if you’re flying with a budget airline. You may even want to get yourself what’s called a “luggage jacket.” This handy piece of clothing has many pockets, which allows you to wear your belongings rather than weighing down your suitcases.
Also, consider where you’re going; if it’s somewhere with a good exchange rate, it may well be worth packing minimally, and picking up some basics once you arrive. Besides, wouldn’t you rather own a breezy skirt that reminds you of a relaxing holiday than a keychain or refrigerator magnet?
If you have to take your car to the airport, don’t settle for the airport’s car parking charges! Look at cheap parking sites near the airport; sometimes people living nearby will even offer their driveways for a lot less through crowd-sourced parking websites.
Also, make sure you book your taxi in advance, and that’s to and from the airport. If you forget to do this you can look forward to a very expensive cab ride home thanks to those cars parked in the airport’s official on-site ranks.
While we’re on the subject of cars, if you’re renting one while on holiday, be sure to avoid buying car insurance from the same place you’re renting the car. Always secure it online in advance—it’s much cheaper.
A very easy way to save money on the cost of your holiday is to avoid Friday and Saturday flights. These flights will always be more expensive, busier and more inclined to suffer delays due to the sheer volume of traffic going in and out of airports on these days.
Always consider your food costs while away. It’s easy when you’re a bit tired from a day out to slide into the first restaurant you see, but in areas with high tourist traffic, you’re almost guaranteed to be overpaying. Go to the extra effort of walking down a side street, trying a menu that’s written in the local language (always a good clue that the owners cater to local tastes), and asking around to find the best spots for a meal—locals aren’t going to overspend on low-quality food, and neither should you. If you have an itinerary or special event, it might be worth a bit more forethought to book a table online through one of the major reservation sites—they often have special offers or award points towards a free meal.
Consider local food a way into the culture, and you’ll discover more about your destination, while also saving money. There’s no need to do three meals a day in a restaurant when everything you need for breakfast or a picnic can be found in a grocery store. You can also usually pick up some really lovely—and cheap—souvenirs and gifts in the form of local cheeses, biscuits, sweets, and more.
You don’t need to buy a guidebook for your trip as you can always take one out of the library (remember them?). Alternatively, you can download free offline city guides to many major cities with apps such as City Maps 2 Go, Maps.me, and even Google Maps.
Speaking the language
Similarly if you’re someone who likes to try out the language or are going somewhere where you need to, you may want to consider a language app on your phone instead of a heavy book. They’re usually free and you’re more likely to have it handy if it’s on your phone.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy your trip abroad without accidentally overspending. If you want to discover even more, check out these tips from Skyscanner, this video of holiday hacks from Holiday Hypermarket, as well as this list from Nomadic Matt.
this is a collaborative post
image via DTSP