Making the most of your holiday money

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Summer is well and truly here and with the school holidays imminent many families will be heading off on their well-earned summer holidays so are you making the most of your holiday money? Thanks to Brexit and unstable currency markets the pound is fluctuating at it’s lowest ever rate, meaning that sun-seekers are being left confused and unsure as to what it is they should be looking for to make the most out of what they are spending.

From hiked up holiday prices to fewer euros to the pound than ever before, many holidaymakers are worried that they’ll be paying more than they expected just to get away. Whilst there is nothing that anyone can do regarding the Brexit situation, there are some tips that you can use to help you get the most for your money when you are going on holiday. Saving money has never been more important, and it’s about maximising the amount you do have to spend.

Figure out the best way to spend abroad

With sterling at a 27 month low, it is vital that you research your holiday money. As technology has improved over the past few years thankfully it is now easier than ever to get the most travel currency for your budget. Thanks to websites like CompareHolidayMoney you can shop around for the best deal for travel cash or if you are planning on getting a currency card.

If you are getting cash, then you can compare rates from leading suppliers rather than just walking into your local bureau de change and asking for the rate they are offering then and there. If you don’t plan ahead, you may be left getting less for your money, which is always disheartening.

One thing to remember is that if you don’t plan ahead never rely on the currency exchanges at airport check-ins. These are famous for offering some of the worst rates, but if you really must get your currency from there, reserve ahead rather than just turning up as they may be able to sort you out with a better deal.

Choose your holiday times carefully

Everyone knows that between July and September holiday prices are at their highest thanks to school holidays, often doubling from what they were in the earlier months of the year. If you are booking your travel independently rather than relying on a deal from a travel agent or package holiday, then make sure that you get an overview of the prices using websites like Skyscanner and Booking.com

These websites allow you to do a check on the air fares and accommodation available either on or around your chosen dates. Many people tend to avoid doing this for their family holiday due to fear of it going wrong, but it could save hundreds of pounds and up to 400% on flight costs. If you do book your flights independently, be sure to check out what you get included in the fare, as often some airlines charge extreme amounts for baggage, picking your seats and airport transfers.

Pack an airport picnic

Thanks to a captive audience airports are notoriously known for charging extortionate prices for food and drink. Sandwiches and drinks for a family of four can quickly add up to around £30 and that’s well before the aircraft wheels leave the ground. Whilst you won’t be able to bring liquid through security with you, you will be able to bring your own food. If you’re travelling with children pack them their own packed lunch for the plane full of snacky foods, especially if you are going long-haul. You can buy drinks in the airport departure lounge or take an empty water bottle to fill up airside.

Check your documents

There are many families who don’t realise that the destination they are travelling to requires a special visa in order to be allowed to travel there. The USA is known for charging a small amount to visitors in order to obtain a visa, but this must be done well in advance of your travel date. If you arrive at the airport ready to head to popular summer locations such as Orlando, Australia or New York, and don’t have the right visa before you check-in, you will be refused travel.

This is a terribly costly mistake and one which you will not be refunded for, so apply for your family visa at least 2 months before you travel. Whilst some visas are approved within 20 minutes, some can take weeks, months or even get rejected altogether, meaning you have to apply for a different type of visa where you need to visit the country’s embassy. Take your time whilst filling out the form, as any mistakes will mean that the visa is void.

Be wary of car rental prices

If you are hiring a car once you reach your destination you must be aware of any possible costs that you may incur whilst you are there. Hiring a car abroad is notoriously known for being problematic, with companies trying to keep the cost they advertise as low as possible. They then catch you out with fees and charges during the booking process or even when you go to pick up the car.

Things such as sat-nav, car seats and toll bridges are common ways that hire companies can catch you out, so be aware. One of the most expensive add-ons is insurance excess. Rather than accepting the one which they offer with the car, do some research online first to see if you can cover this more cheaply from insurance specialists.

Posted by Natalie Wilson

Natalie Wilson

Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer in the travel niche and can provide advice on anything from packing essentials to hidden gems. When not writing, Natalie can be found reading a good book with a cup of tea or planning her next travel destination.

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