Summer is finally here, and for many of us that means it’s time to start getting ready to go on our long awaited holidays!
It’s an exciting time, but it can also be an expensive one! So here are four tips for travelling abroad that will save you money.
1. Reserve your money online to secure the best exchange rates
With so many Currency Exchange options at the Airport it can be tempting to just get your holiday money at the last minute. However, the best way to secure a great deal is to reserve currency online before you travel. The reason being, there are many vendors that enable you to reserve cash online and guarantee you the best rate when you go and collect your cash.
For example if the currency rate is better when you reserved online, then that’s the rate you will get when you collect. However, if the currency rate is better on the day of collection, then you will get the latest rate and not the one you reserved online. So it’s a win win and the sooner you reserve your cash the better.
The company I always use is Travelex as they have many branches around the UK, plus at major Airports like Heathrow.
Travelex also run ‘Happy Hour’ promotions, where they offer special reduced rates on currencies for a limited time. You can sign up to their program and get a notification everytime there is an offer.
It’s also worth mentioning Travelex send email alerts for when a currency is trading low, to ensure you are always up to date on the best time to exchange.
2. Get a card which does not charge for transactions abroad
One of the biggest hidden costs when abroad is the additional transaction fees some banks add on your purchases when buying items in a foreign currency, with some as high as 2.99%!
Obviously this is one of the reasons it’s good to get currency out before you go, however it’s also not a great idea to take out all your spending money as cash (especially if you’re away for a couple of weeks!).
This is why it’s key to have a Credit Card that doesn’t charge for international transactions, as over the course of a holiday it will save you a lot money.
The card I would recommend is the RBS Credit Card, as it has no annual fees and no charges on purchases abroad. I took it away with me on a recent trip to France, and it saved me money on everything from evening meals to car rental.
3.Use Skyscanner to save on flight costs
Skyscanner is the first place I go when i’m looking to book a trip. It’s super simple to use, and has saved me a lot of money in the past.
One of the ways it will save you money when travelling abroad, is it enables you to view all the flights available between your selected airports. So you can mix and match airlines to get the cheapest flights. For example, for your outward flight Easyjet may be the cheapest, but on your return journey Ryanair may be cheaper. By using Skyscanner you can easily compare, find the best deal, and then book the flights with the biggest savings.
Skyscanner also has a multi-destination option, which makes it easier to save on larger trips too. I used it to plan a trip to Singapore, Australia, and Fiji and it save me hundreds by finding the cheapest flights.
4.Book your accommodation through Airbnb
Airbnb has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and if you haven’t tried it yet then it’s time to get involved!
There are so many benefits to using the service, and i’m going to share a separate post covering them in more detail. But essentially the Airbnb always works out cheaper than getting a local hotel, plus the size of the accommodation tends to be bigger.
The website is really easy to use, and you can speak directly to the owners before you arrive, so it’s easy to get additional information about the area or the accommodation.
Airbnb also has some fantastic high end properties, so it’s not just for those who are looking for something cheap. Last summer I rented out a villa in Croatia which had a pool and access to a private beach for a price much less than i’d have got elsewhere, so definitely check out Airbnb next time you are looking to book and save on a holiday.
Want some more money saving tips? Check out our article 7 Ways You Can Reduce Spending and Save.