It’s all too easy to let your hair down on holiday and lose track of your finances. In fact, over two thirds of us struggle to stick to a budget.
According to Post Office Travel Money, we overspend by an average of £212* while we’re away. Not only that, but despite going over our holiday spends, only 1 in 10 of us plan to extend our budget for future trips.
We get it… with the excitement of being somewhere new, combined with the thrill of leaving your troubles at home, it’s easy to splurge when you’re having a great time. After all, if you can’t indulge yourself on holiday, when can you?
With our top budgeting tips, you can still kick back and have fun… without breaking the bank.
Research the cost of your destination
You might have bagged yourself some cheap flights, but have you looked into the cost of those day-to-day expenses when you land?
It’s worth researching the average cost of purchases, like a cup of coffee or a pint of beer, to help you work out how much you can expect to spend. Post Office Travel Money monitored the price of eight tourist items across the world’s most popular resorts and cities. While you might only spend around £37 in Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, you could be spending a whopping £106 in Nice, France!
When you’ve got an idea of how much you’ll be spending on typical tourist items, you’ll roughly know how much you’ll need to bring with you. That way, there won’t be any nasty surprises when you arrive.
Planning is key
Once you’ve worked out how pricey your destination is, you can put together a thorough budget including how much you plan to spend on meals, drinks, activities and shopping.
Thomas Cook has a great holiday budget calculator, where you can enter the amount of your expected outgoings for your trip. It only takes a minute and it’ll give you an idea of how much spending money you’ll need to take. Remember, it’s always best to overestimate the amount you’ll spend, so you’ll have a little extra wiggle room should you get hit by unexpected costs.
It might be worth shopping around to find a credit or debit card which offers low, or zero, transaction fees when taking out cash abroad. You could also look into purchasing a prepaid card, which can be topped up with all of your holiday spends before setting off, so you won’t need to withdraw cash when you get there. It’s worth remembering, though, that you could end up paying additional charges to top up your card.
Stray from the beaten track
If you’ve not gone for the all-inclusive option, you’ll no doubt be excited to try all of the local restaurants around town.
It’s easy to head straight to the closest restaurant or café when you’re sightseeing. However, those places next to the cathedral or beachfront often hike up their prices to profit from the high level of tourists.
You could ask the locals where they like to eat, or simply try walking a little further away from the bustle of the town or city centre. You might find a hidden gem!
Pay with the local currency
“Would you like to pay in pounds or euros?”… Many banks and shops will ask you this question when you’re on holiday. If you say pounds, the retailer will do the currency conversion, which could end up costing you.
In this case, it’s best that you pay in euros, or whatever the local currency is. It’s cheaper to let your card do the exchange rate, especially if you’ve got your hands on a good overseas card.
Now that’s out of the way, there’s nothing left to do but have a great time! Just double-check you’ve packed your passport on the way out of the door…