Saving up and going on holiday is something we all look forward to, however it can hit our pockets more than we’d like it to. Here are a few ideas to get the most out of your holidays by being financially savvy and avoiding any potentially costly hiccups.

Accommodation

Many of us would like to stay in a luxurious pad that doesn’t break the bank, rather than settling for something cheap. If you want a home away from home without paying over the odds, accommodation sites such as Airbnb could be the answer. These popular sites offer you the chance to stay in someone’s home at a reasonable cost. A report by transport booking operator Busbud revealed that Airbnb properties were cheaper than hotels in eight out of nine cities it searched for, including Amsterdam, Sydney and London.1 

Get a travel money card

The usual pre-holiday itinerary dictates that you go down to your local Bureau de Change and get your cash currency to take away with you. But now there’s an easy way of getting your currency that could save you money and means you don’t have to carry a wad of cash around with you. According to the Post Office, using a travel money card is a safe and hassle-free way to pay when you’re abroad.

Shop around first to see where you can get the best rate from (https://www.money.co.uk/prepaid-cards/travel-prepaid-cards.htm), then all you need to do is simply top your card up with the currency you need before you go, and you can use it abroad just like you would your credit or debit card at home. Not only does it make life easier when you’re paying (as well as not leaving you with a load of foreign shrapnel come the end of your trip), but you’ll also sidestep any non-sterling transaction fees when you pay, usually at around three per cent. Be sure to read the T&Cs fully so you understand exactly how your chosen card works.

Head off the beaten track

It’s easy when you’re abroad to follow the crowd and head for the brightest lights in the town – however, this could work against you. Tourist hotspots are often renowned for charging over the odds for meals, drinks and souvenirs, without always offering the quality or authenticity you’d expect. Heading away from the crowds gives you chance to experience your destination in more of its glory. A great way of finding lesser known gems, TripAdvisor provides ratings from fellow travellers, assessing factors such as price and quality, to help you decide where to go. 

Travel like a local

When on holiday, it’s nice to get out and see as much of the local area as possible. The easy way is to simply hop in a taxi, but little trips soon add up. A simple and more cost-effective way to get around is using public transport. This is often at a fraction of the price and could take you further afield, allowing you to explore more of your destination whilst also leaving you with more spending money.

Don’t pay the price for airport parking

Unless you live a taxi ride away from the airport, booking into a parking facility may be a necessity. However, choosing the right car park could end up saving you a lot of money. Instinct may say to park your car at the on-site multi-storey – but be warned, the airport could charge a premium for this luxury.

A cost-efficient option is a ‘park and fly’ car park, where you’ll park your car up a short distance away from the airport and get a free shuttle bus to your terminal. Sometimes, you may find the off-site airport parking shuttle journeys are shorter than if you were parking on-site.3  Take a look at sites such as Parking4less.com where you can compare prices and shuttle bus distances.

Ensure you’re insured

Travel insurance can be one of the things we forget, but it’s important to have this in place to cover any potential mishaps. Travel insurance not only covers emergency medical care, but can also lost baggage, legal fees, cancelled flights and more. Annual cover can start from as little as £9,2 but the average cost of overseas medical treatment is £1,300.4 It’s a small price to pay to help save you from a potentially hefty bill if you become unwell or have an accident whilst away. Use online comparison sites to pick up the best deals for you.

In addition to travel insurance, a good way to keep yourself and your family healthy whilst on holiday is by having a health care cash plan from Sovereign Health Care. A cash plan allows you to claim money back towards a range of everyday health care costs including glasses, contact lenses, dental check-ups and treatment, physiotherapy and much more, and you can claim for treatment received anywhere in the world from a qualified practitioner. Please note, a health care cash plan is not a replacement for travel insurance.

To find out more about a cash plan from Sovereign Health Care, click here.

1 Busbud https://www.busbud.com/blog/airbnb-vs-hotel-rates/
2 MoneySavingExpert.com https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/insurance/cheap-travel-insurance
3 Parking4less.com https://www.parking4less.com/
4 The Money Advice Service https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/do-you-need-travel-insurance

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