Not only does a holiday cost money, but there’s a whole host of expenses whilst you’re away. Here are a few tips to help you save some pennies when you’re abroad:
1. Find a good currency rate
Before you travel, do a search for the best rates of exchange for your foreign currency. You don’t need to always go to the same provider and make sure you check for hidden costs like commission, transaction fees or delivery charges. If you’re collecting your currency at an airport, check the opening times, as they may be closed during bank holidays or if your flight is very early or very late.
2. Take your essentials with you
It’s easy to think “oh it’s fine, I can get it when we get there” but it makes sense to take your essentials like toiletries and medicines before you travel. Have a list and tick things off so you don’t miss anything. You might find yourself struggling to find what you need abroad and may end up paying over the odds when you’re desperate.
3. Use a credit card with no (or low) charges
Whilst it’s usually cheaper to use cash, sometimes you just need to use your plastic. Before you travel, check what your bank will charge you for taking money out from an ATM or for paying by card. Also check your credit card’s transaction fees, as well as the rate of exchange. Although this will continuously fluctuate, you can get a fair idea by checking it before you fly out.
4. Pay in local currency
If you’re using an ATM or your credit card, if you’re offered the choice, always pay in local currency. It will usually be cheaper, as if you pay in your own currency, the retailer will convert it locally and the rates will usually be poor.
5. Check your mobile package
If you’re travelling to certain countries in Europe, some mobile providers allow you to use your inclusive data, minutes and texts abroad. Check this before you go and if not, you may be able to buy a bundle that gives you an allowance whilst you’re away. And of course, most venues offer free wifi, so connect to whatever you can when you’re out in hotels, restaurants and public places.