Now that we are officially into holiday season you may be looking forward to your next break. Whether you’re planning a UK staycation, a European break or a full-on international adventure, you probably want to make sure that you are getting value for money.
This can be especially tricky when travelling with children. Did you know that parents can be charged £60 for taking children out of school during term time! You’ve probably noticed that as soon as you enter school holiday dates into a holiday search engine, the price rockets and you’re left in a dilemma. Do you take the children out of school and risk being fined or do you take the hit and book a break during the holidays? If you do decide to take a break during the school holiday follow our top tips to help you save and protect your money whilst travelling during peak holiday season!
How to save money on travel insurance?
Once you’ve booked your holiday, travel insurance should be the next thing to get sorted and tick off the list. If you’re going abroad with family or friends, it might be a good idea to purchase a group/family policy. This may work out cheaper than buying individual cover. Alternatively, if you’re travelling alone you may want to consider buying an annual policy to cover you for a year. This way you won’t need to purchase multiple policies should you travel more than once.
How to use my money abroad?
There are many different ways to use your money abroad:
Consider taking out money before you leave as many cards will enforce a charge for overseas use. It may be worth speaking to your bank to see what options they can offer you if you need to make transactions abroad.
If you’re looking to transfer money online, you can visit www.money.co.uk. They display different money providers and you can compare the charges that apply. It’s also worth double checking the exchange rate that they are offering too.
If you’re looking to go instore to exchange your money, you can do this at your local post office.
Use a prepaid card
Cards are available to take away with you. The card is given funds before you go and they can be cheaper to use than a debit or credit card. It will also give you a limit to avoid overspending.
How to save money on flights
Reduce your luggage
When booking flights, you may be charged extra for luggage. When you search for flights, the extra charges may not always show up until you go through the process of booking. Therefore don’t just assume that the initial price provided will include extra luggage.
If there are charges that apply and there is no way of avoiding them, it may be worth thinking about the amount you’re taking away and whether you actually need that large suitcase. If you’re only going away for a few days, try and limit your luggage weight by taking the necessities. Here are a few tips to reduce the weight of your suitcase:
- Use travel size: Try to avoid taking heavy bottles of shampoo, shower gel and other toiletries and replace them with the smaller travel sizes. This will reduce the weight, avoid the risk of mass spillage and it won’t cost you as much.
- Use the complimentary accessories: You may have booked in a hotel which provide, towels, toiletries and hairdryers so why take your own? This might even be the difference between needing hand luggage and a suitcase.
- Switch off: If you’re looking to clear some luggage space, leave the laptop or tablet at home and relax, you’re on holiday!
Compare your options
If you haven’t actually booked your break yet, and are thinking of getting away in the coming months, look around for competitive prices. If you know where you want to go, this process is a lot easier as you can search for the destination. Use flight comparison sites to find the lowest price for when you want to go away. Here’s some things to look out for when searching for flights:
- Ensure you check the dates when the prices are provided, as often flight and holiday providers may ask if you’re happy for the dates to be flexible by a couple of days.
- Try and be flexible with your choice of airports. If you live in an area with a choice of a few airports, have a look to see which is the cheapest. Your favourite airport may be costing you extra!
- Think about the time that you want to fly as later flights may be cheaper. You may miss a few hours by the pool but it could save you a small fortune.
How to save money on hotels
When you decide to go abroad your choice of hotel can be one of the biggest decisions you make. You may have a certain hotel that you like to visit yearly, or you may be looking for something completely different, either way the price you pay will be an influencing factor. Here is how you could save money when booking a hotel.
If you’re booking your hotel separate to your flights, it’s definitely worth running a comparison to see which provider if offering the best price. You may find the hotel offer a cheaper price to go direct through their own booking service so it’s worth taking the time to double check.
Think about your board
Often hotels will provide different options such as self-catering, bed and breakfast, half/full board or all inclusive. The question here is do you need to fork out for unlimited food and drink? If you know where you are staying, you can do some research to see if there are local supermarkets and shops, where you can buy food and drink. Work out roughly how much you are likely to spend a day and compare it to the hotel costs.
Ditch the sea view
Although there is nothing better than waking up to a sea view, you may ask yourself if it’s worth paying the extra charge? If you’re not one for spending time in the room or on the balcony, why waste your money? Spend every sunlit hour by the pool or on the beach and make the most of your holiday.
What’s the cheapest way to get to an airport?
A noticeable amount of your holiday budget will end up going towards transport, and usually getting to the airport can be expensive. If you’re lucky enough to live near an airport, you should be fine, but if you live in another city or town, you will need to find a way of getting you and your luggage to the terminal. Common options are driving and paying hefty parking charges or getting a taxi, which again is not a cheap method. Our tip to save money here is to ask a family or friend to take and pick you up from the airport. The helpful friend may ask for some petrol money but you’ll probably find that you’re saving money in comparison to driving yourself or getting a taxi.
How to save money in the airport
If you’ve been to an airport before, you’ll know they’re not the cheapest places to be. Follow these tips to save your spending money for when you arrive at your destination!
Eat and drink
Although it may seem like a nice idea to get through airport security and relax, it could cost you a small fortune to eat at the airport restaurants, especially if you have children. Take a pack up and eat it before you go through security. There’s usually places to sit before you check in, but make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to eat and get through to the departure gate.
Airports seem to be one of those places where you feel the need to take up on offers that are available. Whether it be the 2 for 1 offers in duty free, or the latest gadget to keep your children entertained, there’s a lot of temptations. Just ask yourself if you really need that new aftershave or perfume and remember there’s plenty of things you can bring from home to keep the children amused.
How to save on day to day travelling
Once you’ve reached your destination you’ll probably want to make the holiday as cost efficient as possible, especially if you’ve already spent a lot getting there. Here’s how you can make small changes to save a lot!
Use the bus?
If you’re going out for the day, you’re going to need to get around, especially if you want to explore! There are a few options available depending on where it is you’re going. Instead of paying to hire a car, you could look at jumping on the local buses.
Get your money’s worth
If you’ve paid to go half/full board or all inclusive, make the most of it and take food out with you. If you know you’re going to be out of the hotel for the day, you’ll need some lunch. This will save you paying out for extra food and drink!
How to protect your money whilst you’re on holiday
When we go abroad we often look for clever ways to hide our money to reduce the chances of theft. There may be a safe that’s kept in the hotel room or you may just keep some notes safe in the sock draw! But have you thought about protecting the money in your bank account or cash that’s left at home while you’re away? It’s not something that many of us may think of, as we are too busy thinking about protecting the things we have with us such as clothes, money and passports. Just because you’re away on holiday doesn’t mean the thieves and hackers are, so follow these steps below to protect your money.
1) Social media safety
The likes of Facebook, Instagram and snapchat can be used to identify if you’re away on holiday, especially if you’re a keen sharer of your holiday snaps. If thieves identify that your home is unoccupied, there is a chance of theft so be mindful when sharing that pool side view. For more useful tips to help avoid theft, have a look at our check list.
2) Protect your phone
With most modern smartphones, a password, finger print or even face recognition is used to keep personal information safe. Protecting your phone while on holiday is just as important, just in case you were to lose it or have it stolen! Before going away, check in your notes, documents and images to see if there is anything that could reveal personal information such as bank account details. If there is, delete them!
3) Don’t open that link
If you’ve booked a holiday, you’re likely to receive confirmation emails from the holiday or tour provider. Most of the time, these will be genuine, but on some occasions, fraudulent emails can be received, where hackers are trying to access your details. If you are ever asked to enter your details or verify an account through an email link, check the email looks genuine!
4) Password management
Nowadays everything has a password, from your Facebook login to your internet banking. It can be hard to remember them all, especially if you don’t have them noted anywhere. Use a password manager application to keep your passwords safe and in one place and remember it’s never wise to have the same password for everything just in case someone got hold of it.