Even just a few months ago, the pound was king, and we Brits held all the aces when travelling abroad. Converting costs when buying things on holiday brought a smile to our faces, and it felt like the more we spent, the more we were saving.
But with the EU referendum now in full swing, our currency seems to be dwindling, and it’s a bit concerning to think where the pound will be by the time we’re all set to jet off on our summer holidays. What it certainly does do is place an extra focus on saving our pennies, and, perhaps more importantly, put emphasis on being shrewd with our travel money, and the money we spend abroad.
To help the cause, here are five handy tips to get the most bang for your buck on your next holiday…
Be smart when doing currency exchange
Most people aren’t even aware of this, but the best way to spend money on holiday is with a specialist credit card. The Halifax Clarity Mastercard has no fees, respectable interest charges, and, most importantly, is widely accepted and with good rates of exchange. There are a few other cards like this out there as well, but many people still make the mistake of using their debit card abroad, or, worse still, exchanging pounds at airports. Make sure to do a bit of research before you get on the plane, as doing this right can save you plenty.
Cash and credit cards just don’t mix
As mentioned above, specialist credit cards are a great way to save every time you swipe or scan. But that’s not to be confused with using them to buy or draw cash. Buying currency at a bureau de change, or even online, with a credit card is considered the same as withdrawing cash, and means you’re almost always going to be subject to hefty fees. Worse still, if you withdraw cash with your credit card from a machine, you’ll harm your credit score; in addition to being ripped off with charges.
Pay in Euros!
When you pay by card on the continent (or anywhere else for that matter), you’ll often be asked if you wish for the transaction to be charged in pounds or euros (or local currency). ALWAYS opt for the local currency. If you were to pay in pounds instead, this would mean that the overseas bank does the conversion, and more often than not their rates are dreadful.
Don’t skimp on travel insurance
It’s estimated that around a fifth of Brits go abroad without travel insurance each year, which is a huge and unnecessary risk. Most countries charge, and charge heavily for medical bills when it comes to accident or illness, and given the small cost of insurance, it’s just not a gamble worth taking. Annual cover can be as low as £13, and you should be able to insure your family as a whole for as little as £25 if you check on price comparison sites. But be sure to check that you aren’t insured already first. Some packages, or even bank accounts, offer insurance as a perk.
Choose holiday finance carefully
Not everyone can afford to foot the bill of a holiday upfront. Some sites offer good financing deals when you book them, others don’t. Many people will simply head straight to the bank for a personal loan, or simply assume that adding it to their mortgage is the best way. However, with a market for holiday loans as dynamic and competitive as it ever has been, there are often better deals out there. Peer-to-peer lending platforms in particular tend to offer the best rates on loans, given their more efficient business models.
So, hopefully all these points will help you get the most out of your budget on your next holiday. Obviously you don’t want to be worrying about money the whole time, or to turn it into an obsession that prevents you from actually having a relaxing time with your family. But with a little bit of planning, and not too much effort, you really can make your money go a long way.
Do you have any money saving travel tips to share? Let us know below!