The prospect of going on holiday is something everybody looks forward to. Regardless of whether you are planning a cultural city break or a relaxing beach retreat, escaping the daily routine for just a little bit is absolutely essential from time to time. Unfortunately, holidays can also be a rather testing experience if you have a tight budget or don’t want to spend that much. Thankfully, there are a number of ways in which you can make your money go further.
1. Use currency exchange rates to pick your destination
With the help of algorithmic trading, financial investors around the world are constantly looking to take advantage of the foreign exchange market in order to make impressive profits. However, holidaymakers can also capitalise on fluctuating currency values to identify cheaper destinations as well.
If you can find a country with a weaker currency than your own, you will receive more spending money at the bureau de change. As a result, you will have enough money spare to experience the finest sights and sounds of your chosen destination.
2. Know when to book
You might think that the best time to book a flight is as far in advance as possible. However, a study recently revealed that the ideal time is in fact 53 days before departure, which could save you up to 29 per cent of your fare.
Booking other holiday essentials such as accommodation and attractions might differ, but it is worth researching when promotions or discounts are available. Leaving it until the last minute is risky, but you can still secure some bargain basement deals this way.
3. Use a travel credit card
If you don’t want to walk around with a stash of foreign cash in your pocket, there is no reason why you can’t use a credit card instead. However, choose an option designed for overseas use, as your standard credit card will probably charge hefty fees for withdrawals and purchases.
Another advantage to using a travel credit card while on holiday is that you will often be protected against purchasing faulty items. Just check what is covered under your provider’s terms and how much you can claim for.
4. Don’t go crazy with food and drink
Unless the main reason you are going on holiday is to sample the local cuisine, you should eat and drink like you would at home. This means having a sizeable breakfast, making your own lunch, and only dining out once per day.
Another way to cut down on food and drink expenditure is to look for ‘happy hour’ specials and ‘early bird’ discounts, which typically start late afternoon and finish in the evening. You’ll have the freedom to eat at these times if you’re on holiday and could eat the food you want at a price that you’ll be able to afford.
5. Beware of dynamic currency conversion
If you do decide to withdraw cash and make purchases with a travel credit card while on holiday, beware of dynamic currency conversion. This is when you are given the option of paying in your currency or the local currency.
Even though the local currency might be a bit confusing, this is always the better option, as the exchange rate provided by the ATM or retailer is usually much poorer than the one from your card company.