With summer in full swing, there is a lot of holiday chit-chat going on.
But the real question on everybody’s lips is: Is it possible to go on holiday without breaking the bank?
We are here to tell you that budgeting abroad couldn’t be easier.
Here are our 7 top tips to reduce your holiday spending!
1. Plan Your Budget For Each Day
Ever been on holiday and ran out of money a couple days into your trip?
We’ve all been there...
It is a stressful and frustrating situation to be in. So, why not avoid the trouble, take control of your holiday spending, and plan your daily budget beforehand so you have no unexpected financial slip-ups?
The best way to plan your holiday budget is to follow our 3 simple steps:
1. Figure out the total budget for your trip
This is an extremely important step. By identifying your holiday budget, you have a fixed amount that you can stick to, and so you can make informed decisions about what you can and cannot afford.
I would also suggest calculating a maximum budget, as well as an expected budget. This way, you can be more flexible with your money, especially if you run into any problems and need a little extra cash at hand.
2. Note down a list of possible expenditure during the trip
These will include: travel, food, excursion costs, and unexpected costs. Planning an itinerary is probably the easiest way to do this. By forecasting your daily plans, you will then have a clearer idea on what portion of your holiday budget will be spent on each category.
An example of an unexpected cost would be getting an injury that is not covered by your travel insurance. Therefore, it is super important to have flexibility in your budget to cover these expenses.
You may go home with a busted knee, but definitely not a broken bank!
3. Set a realistic daily budget based on your total budget and your possible expenditure
Now you have planned your budget and itinerary, you are now able to set yourself a realistic daily budget. It is better to overestimate this than to underestimate, just so you do not end up penniless on your first day holidaying abroad!
Need a little guidance? Check out Money Advice Service’s [Budget Planner] (https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner)
2. Buy Your Own Snacks For The Flight
Although you are restricted in terms of liquid allowance in airport security, there is nothing stopping you from bringing food!
And since there is nothing worse than spending £7 on a sandwich, why not control your holiday spending by bringing your own snacks from home and save your money to spend when you are actually on holiday?!
3. Pay In The Local Currency/ Exchange Money Beforehand
If you choose to use your credit or debit card abroad, be aware that you will usually be asked how you would like to pay: in the local currency or in pounds. While you might be tempted to pay in pounds, it is always better to pay in the local currency.
The reason for this is because banks use DCC (dynamic currency conversion). This just means that they are able to charge you their own exchange rate, and so it is easy to get taken advantage of.
Because of this, we advise that you skip the hassle altogether and just exchange your money beforehand at a good exchange rate, so you know you are getting what you give. Check out XE's [Currency Converter] (https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/) to find out live exchange rates, and how much you should be getting for your money.
4. Use A Travel Money Card
If you would prefer not to exchange money and use a card instead, a really good alternative is getting yourself a travel money card.
This option is increasingly popular, as it is a practical and safe way to buy foreign currency. In essence, they are debit cards that allow you to keep all your money in one place.
These are helpful if you want to control your holiday spending as you are not required to pay currency conversion fees every time you make a purchase.
5. Consider Hiring A Car
Ordering ubers, taking trains, and catching the bus can really add up. There’s always so much to see that you underestimate how much money you spend gallivanting around!
So why not hire a car?
This way you can not only reduce your holiday spending but have the freedom to explore the country at your fingertips!
To find the best deal on car hire, it would be a good idea to book as early as possible, before you go on holiday. Online brokers tend to have the best deals so make sure you have a good look around before committing to one.
6. Cater For Yourself
Opting for self-catered accommodation is a popular choice nowadays. Though it may seem like a burden, it is one of the best ways to control your holiday spending, and you end up saving more than you would think!
All you have to do is find the nearest supermarket and buy all the essentials that you need to whip up a quick and tasty meal. This doesn’t mean that you can’t eat in town and try the exotic cuisine – it just means that when you do, you can afford to go to a fancy restaurant and enjoy your meal properly!
Who said budgeting abroad couldn't be fun?
7. Manage Your Mobile Phone Use
The last thing you want to come home to is a hefty phone bill, simply because you didn’t organise better beforehand, right?
While roaming charges in the EU have predominantly been banned, it is worthwhile contacting your network provider directly to find out what your options are before you go abroad.
If your data roaming isn't free, then take control of your holiday spending by taking advantage of the free wi-fi wherever you can. Hotels also offer wi-fi payment plans, which tend to be cheaper. Therefore, you would be best opting for an accommodation that offers wi-fi access.
What if i need to make calls abroad?
With technology constantly developing, we now have access to apps such as ‘Whatsapp’, ‘Skype’, and ‘Facebook Messenger.’ If you have free internet or wifi access, you can not only make phone calls, but also video calls through all three of these tools!
So if you're missing your dog, he is just a video call away!
By now, you should be a pro at budgeting abroad and controlling your holiday spending...
You can finally go on holiday comfortably and come back feeling lighter in your body, but not in your pockets – the way it should be!