Caxton FX are currently running a competition to find the most impressive holiday planner mum so whilst we aren’t able to enter the competition we thought we’d pool together our top holiday budgeting tips from the entire Hills Balfour team and share them with you:-
BEFORE YOU GO
- Choose the right holiday for your budget. If travelling with lots of family members then an all inclusive package may be cheaper in the long run.
- If travelling with friends then nominate one person to play “banker”. You often get the best exchange rates by changing higher sums of money so pool your cash and change it all together
- Set yourself a daily budget and stick to it!
- Work with a cash budget – each day have a physical amount of cash you need to stick to or if you are worried about carrying to much cash then try out a currency card.
- If you’re booking a hotel directly, always ask what percentage you can have off a rack rate for booking direct.
- May and June are low season for so many destinations you can pick up some absolute bargains.
- Look out for new flight launches and hotel openings who will offer introductory fares and rates.
- Do your research in advance on restaurants/bars. It’s so easy to get tempted by the closest and showiest but these can often be disappointing
- Research free excursions/tours/exhibitions before travelling
- Look up local spots to eat, much cheaper than getting caught by the tourist punters
- Check public travel passes and options for public transport. 3-day pass could be cheaper even if you only stay 2 days, public transport between airport and destination might take longer but saves money.
- Activate a temporary international bundle package through your mobile provider which allows you to spend your normal minutes / texts / internet allowance while abroad. Speak to your phone provider – they offer packages that cost around £3.00 a day and you are told when you have run out so you don’t come home to an extortionate phone bill after uploading your SMoasting Instagram pictures!
- Buy your sun cream before you go as it’s always bound to be marked up in holiday destinations
- Pack any home comforts – teabags, condiments etc – international supermarkets may often mark-up UK goods
- Try to avoid flying out on a Saturday – mid-week tends to be cheaper
- Check in a suitcase on airlines even if they charge – to avoid high costs of suncream, razors etc. at airport and in the destination
- When looking at flights for a particular destination try and get the best deal by either looking at skyscanner or signing up to a few travel company special offer emails so I can keep an eye out on deals etc. Simple yet effective!
- Alternatively try a flight comparison website. The UK’s newest flight comparison website compareandfly.com offers 24/7 monitoring ensuring customers see the live rates and know exactly the price they are getting. In addition, the website offers regular competitions and destinations guides.
WHEN YOU GET THERE
- Turn off your 3G if you haven’t arranged a daily/weekly bundle
- Find local parks/beaches/beautiful spots for picnic lunches rather than eating out
- Villas over hotels – usually cheaper especially if splitting with friends
- If you have accommodation with a kitchen go to the supermarket and cook meals at home. Saves a lot of money and foreign supermarkets always have lots of fun/bizarre options you wouldn’t find at home!
- Be willing to ‘rough’ it by skipping fancy hotels and settling for 3-star, B & Bs or hostels
- Look at renting people’s houses as an alternative option
- Plan meals in advance. If you’re self-catering make a food shopping list as you would at home to make sure you don’t get carried away in the farmer’s marché!
- Local supermarkets for lunch bits
- Buy wine/ spirits / mixers and nibbles in a local store and have a drink before going out – saves paying for lots of expensive cocktails
- Eat local food ie in Spain, lots of tapas style lunches – free tapas served with beers