Holidays are the time to relax, unwind and enjoy the leisure activities your chosen destination has to offer. Just because you’re away, though, doesn’t mean you should forget about your finances. After all, your bank account will still be there when you get home. The last thing you want is to make it difficult to budget next month.
Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your holiday money, and making sure your getaway is both fun and affordable.
Choose the right flights
If you’re travelling abroad, you should start planning your trip far in advance so you can get the best deals on plane tickets. There are plenty of great budget airlines that will get you all around Europe for low rates, if you book with enough notice. For flights to far-flung places, use a flight comparison website to make sure you’re not overpaying.
Pick a destination with a good exchange rate
There are probably lots of items on your holiday destination wish-list: weather, food, accommodation, nightlife. Remember to take the exchange rate into account, too. If the currency in the country you pick is much weaker than the British pound, you’ll be in for a nice cheap break! Use an online exchange rate calculator to work out where’s best to go.
Pack your own food for the journey
Food in the airport and on budget flights can be pricey. Save pounds before you’ve even taken off by bringing food from home to eat on the flight. If you’re going somewhere in Europe, your flight won’t be very long. You’re allowed to bring food through security, so you shouldn’t have any problems with your packed lunch.
Get your travel money in advance
Don’t get caught out with high commission fees at the airport currency exchange bureau. A bit of forward planning and some internet searches will help you find the best place to get a good rate on your foreign currency.
Tell your bank you’re going on holiday
You might ask, why would the bank want to know my travel plans? But if you don’t tell them you’re going away and they see that someone is spending money on your card abroad, they might think it is fraud. If this happens, they could cut off your card and you won’t be able to take money out anymore.
This is a real hassle while you’re away, and can actually be fairly expensive, as you’ll need to make long-distance phone calls to the bank.
Pick up the phone before your holiday to let the bank know where you’re going and how long you’ll be away, and you’ll avoid this frustrating situation.
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Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk