How to holiday on a budget
🕐 27TH DEC 2018 | 3.46PM
Going on holiday can be an expensive ordeal, especially in the current economic climate. From flights to accommodation and all of your added extras, things can soon start to add up. Heres our advice on how to save those pennies when planning to travelling abroad.
Krakow, Poland - recently revealed by the Post Office as being one of the cheapest places in Europe
Choose your destination wisely - if you haven't already booked!
Every year the Post Office publishes research on the cost of holidaying in various countries. Here you can compare, for example, the cost of a cup of coffee, a beer, three-course meal or suncream in the 20 most popular holiday destinations. In 2018, Krakow in Poland came out on top as one of the cheapest city break destinations in Europe, closely followed by Vilinus, Warsaw and Athens.
Don't fly at the weekend if possible
Scour the price comparison sites for the best deals on flights and accommodation and, if you can, avoid travelling at peak times to make the most of your holiday budget. Weigh up whether all-inclusive or self-catering will work out better value for you; and consider lower-star rated or more unusual accommodation - check TripAdvisor for other travellers' opinions before you part with any cash.
Book your travel extras as early as possible
Did you know that on average in 2018, Holiday Extras customers saved at least £100 every minute by pre-booking their airport parking. It pays to always book extras like airport parking and hotels, travel insurance, and car hire in advance. Never, ever, wait until you arrive at the airport car park to pay for your holiday parking - you will always save on the gate rate by booking before you travel.
Buy a prepaid currency card
Currency cards such as FairFX offer a competitive exchange rate, and do not charge for transactions or withdrawals when you're overseas. They're also really useful for helping you keep control of your holiday budget.
Find the most competitive credit card
Look for credit cards that won't add transaction fees, such as Halifax's Clarity card and the Post Office's Platinum card. Don't pay in sterling on a card when you're on holiday - you'll be charged a few pounds for the exchange every time you do this. Go to MoneySavingExpert.com for everything you need to know about using credit cards abroad.
Buy city attraction and travel passes
In many popular destinations you can buy attraction and travel passes that will save you more and help you holiday on a budget. Check out your nearest tourist information office for details.
Venture off the well-worn tourist trail
Everyday necessities, eating out and sight-seeing will be cheaper - and often more authentic - once you leave the hordes behind. Instead of heading to a restaurant every day, try some street food or go the local supermarket and buy provisions for a picnic or home-cooked meal.
Look for free activities
Tricky to find in fiercely touristy locations, but in many places you will be able to find a free festival in a village square or an exhibition with no charge. And wherever you are, an invigorating hike, amble through town, or stroll along the beach will cost you nothing.