How to stretch your summer holiday budget
We all know the saying ‘travel broadens the mind’ – and I’m the first to jump up and down about the benefits of travelling, especially with kids. But sometimes what you want is the chance to relax in the sunshine, spend some quality time with family and just escape all the stresses of daily life.
And after a week in the Malaysian sunshine on Langkawi, where we spent half our time lying by the pool (almost unheard of for me!), it was worth every penny that I paid to chill out and indulge in a bit of luxury.
There’s no getting away from the fact that these holiday benefits do come at a price – even European family holidays are set to cost a fifth more this year compared to last.
But if you’re in the middle of planning your own summer holiday and worrying about how much it’s going to set you back, I’ve got some tips from icount.
An alternative to high street banks, it’s a current account and prepaid Mastercard® provider, so you only spend what you load onto the card.
Not only does that stop you doing daft things like me, getting the exchange rate wrong and accidentally trying to withdraw 10 times as many ringgits as I meant to, it also helps budget and keep your holiday spending within the limits you’d planned before you left.
But because you still want a holiday to remember, here are a few ways to squeeze the maximum value out of your summer holiday budget and save the pennies with this infographic – and some extra tips below.
And three more ways to stretch your summer holiday budget…
1. ALWAYS pay in the local currency
Unless your credit or debit card charges international transaction fees, it’s always best to pay in the local currency.
This is because you’ll have to pay ‘dynamic currency charges’ if you choose to pay in your home currency, and this could cost you up to 10 percent more than if you leave the currency conversion to your bank!
2. Opt for a city card to cut excursion costs
Almost every major city now has a city pass which can help you to save significantly whilst travelling! These budget travel cards usually give you free entry to a wide range of attractions, often free travel within the city and sometimes discounts to local restaurants and on sightseeing tours!
If you’re going on a city break, especially if you’re planning to hit all the major sights, it’s well worth checking to see if the destination you’re visiting has their own version – I’ve saved around £100 on trips before now.
3. Make a picnic for your day
Buying lunch out every day is a lovely treat – but also a sure-fire way to eat away at your spending money. Even in the UK, I’ve found that grabbing a few sandwiches, drinks and maybe a holiday treat can cost as much as getting into an attraction in the first place.
So hit the local supermarkets, markets and delis and pack your own lunch – you’ll get a different taste of the destination, cater for any fussy eaters and still have money leftover for ice cream.
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Disclosure: compiled in association with icount*
Main image copyright MummyTravels; piggy bank courtesy depositephotos/viperagp