Sunday, 12 March 2017

How To Budget For/Save When It Comes To Your Next Holiday

How to save money on holidays abroad

As you may already know, if you follow me on social media or read this specific blog post, I'm planning my first trip to the Big Apple, New York City, this Summer and as New York is one of the most expensive cities to visit, I've definitely been honing my money saving tips, which is what inspired today's post. That and the fact that Saga asked me to share some of my advice on the topic, to coincide with their #SagaTravelBudgeting campaign, regarding equity release being used to fund holidays and trips abroad.

You can save yourself quite a bit of money before you've even jetted off just by following a few simple tips.

Utilise comparison sites

Comparison sites aren't just for home insurance and reducing your energy/electricity bills. You can compare everything from flights, hotels, car hire and even train tickets on these sites and it's definitely worthwhile to have a few of them open at the same time as you can often find different prices on different comparison sites. Some of my favourites have to be Skyscanner and Momondo for flights and Expedia and Kayak for hotels and more.

Be flexible with your dates

Obviously if you're travelling for a specific event or have set dates that you need to work around, this might not always be possible but something as silly as travelling one day earlier or one day later can knock hundreds of pounds off the price. Travelling outwith the peak season, such as the school holidays, if you can, will also result in a substantial saving.

Consider an indirect flight

If you don't mind spending a few more hours sitting in an airport, flying indirect can, again, save you hundreds of pounds/dollars/euros. You could even work a short visit or overnight stay into your holiday when flying indirect, such as spending some time in Reykjavik when flying via Iceland with Icelandair or enjoying a few hours outside the airport in many a great city, one you might not have thought about visiting otherwise.

Book an Airbnb or villa

It can often be much cheaper to stay at an apartment, villa or house rather than staying at a hotel. This is especially true if you're travelling in a large group or with all the family. You can often rent an entire villa, house or apartment for the same price as a hotel room, if not much cheaper. Airbnb, and Clickstay are some of my favourite sites to use to do just that. And we've always saved quite a bit of money by staying at a villa, when visiting Orlando, rather than staying on Disney or Universal property or at one of the big chain hotels.

When you get to your desired destination it can be easy to get a little bit spendy and there's nothing wrong with that, especially if you're planning on bringing back some souvenirs or products that you can't easily get at home *cough, most of Sephora and basically the entire Wal-Mart/Target snack food/candy aisle*. But I'd much rather have my spending money for fun things such as excursions, attractions and shopping, of course, than to spend it on things that don't really add anything to my holiday, such as these;

How to save money during holidays

Don't buy at the airport

And what I mean by this is don't buy something that you could have easily bought and brought through security with you. You can get a 6 pack of crisps for the price of one pack at the airport! And even if your airport has an M&S food (sadly Glasgow International doesn't), why pay more for Percy Pigs simply because you're at the airport? Bring them with you! The same can be said for other snacks such as sandwiches, sweets and chocolate. Pack your own mini toiletries or even decant your current haircare, skincare and bodycare bits into travel-size bottles and tubs instead of spending a fortune at Boots before your flight. And don't end up having to buy something that you could have got at the pound shop or Primark such as luggage scales, a neck pillow or eye masks, for the extortionate airport prices.

Take public transport

On my trip to NYC I will definitely be taking advantage of the Subway system instead of splashing out on yellow cabs, even if it would be nice to fling my hand in the air and hail a cab. For 7 days you can get a Metrocard for around $30, which will allow you to use the Subway and buses as many times as you want/need to that week. Definitely look out for passes like this if you are staying for a number of days.

Take a dedicated travel money card with you

Last year, when travelling to Orlando, I did a lot of research into the best cards to use when travelling and eventually went for the Halifax Clarity card. There's no fees on spending abroad, unlike many other debit and credit cards and you don't need to worry about the latest exchange rate or carrying lots of cash on you either. There are several other cards, depending on how you're going to be spending your money abroad, that may be worth looking into before you go as well, so I'd definitely do a bit of research into this before your next holiday.

Money saving tips holidays

Use WiFi/check your data roaming policy

Most hotels and public places such as restaurants and shopping malls will have free wifi and I would certainly recommend using this to its fullest. Whether it's to Insta that amazing snap you took, check your emails or to reconnect with friends and family via Whatsapp, for example, do this when you're connected to WiFi. Double check what kind of data roaming policy you have, as well, as this can lead to you losing quite a bit of money unnecessarily. Three, for example, have their Feel At Home policy which allows you to use your data in 42 countries at no extra cost. If you are planning on using your data, looking into such policies before jetting off makes sense.

So there are my tips for budgeting for/saving when you get there, when it comes to your next holiday. I've also got another blog post dedicated to saving for the holiday itself (here) if you're in the process of planning where to visit next and how to save for it.

Do you have any money saving tips when it comes to traveling? If so, which ones work best for you? And what do you think of my budgeting ideas?

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Holiday money saving tips


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