Skip to main content Accessibility Statement
Packing for holiday

Five money saving tips to take on your holiday

With a bit of planning ahead, you can save cash when you’re away, giving you more to spend while you're on holiday.

Here are our top tips to help save cash while you’re away.

Take some cash with you

If you are going abroad, you may need some local currency to pay for essentials for food and drink, tips and taxis when you first arrive.

You can buy foreign currency from an array of sources, including banks, bureaux de change and supermarkets. Nearly all offer commission-free deals, but rates vary so shop around online for the best prices. Don’t leave it to the last minute as you'll pay more at the airport or ferry terminal.

Watch out for fees on cards

Using your debit and credit cards on holiday often means you'll pay a foreign usage loading fee that can add up to 3% to the cost. So £100 spent overseas will cost £103. Some cards also add a minimum fee on top when you withdraw money from a cash machine and when you use them to pay for something.

Pre-pay the holiday way

If you don't want to use debit or credit cards, prepaid cards can often be a good way to spend money. These can be loaded up with cash before you go so you can spend without getting into debt, or be charged interest.

The exchange rate is set at the time you put money onto the card, but you'll usually be charged a fee, typically of up to £3 to take money out at an overseas ATM. 

Pay in the local currency

It might sound sensible to pay in pounds, but the exchange rate is usually far worse than the one you'll get from your card provider. So, always choose the local currency.

Ensure that you’re insured

Travel insurance is essential. Protect yourself properly by researching all your options rather than just choosing the cheapest. If you travel abroad more than twice a year, annual holiday insurance or multi-trip insurance is usually better value.

Most policies cover you for 90, 120 or even 180 days. Family policies are a cost-effective option, but check the number of children included and any age limits.

If you’re planning on doing anything adventurous, like paragliding or scuba diving, you may need extra cover. Check the ‘adventure sports’ clause as this may include less obvious activities such as horse riding, mountain biking, canoeing and motorcycling.

Get an EHIC

If you’re travelling within the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you to receive emergency medical treatment on the same basis as the citizens of that country for free or a small charge.

It won’t cover on-going care, medicines and repatriation. For this reason it’s not a replacement for travel insurance. Likewise, if you don’t have an EHIC your travel insurer may insist you pay some of your bill up-front before stepping in.

What do you think?

We really want you to share your views, but please remember to be nice ☺
All fields are required. Check out our full commenting guidelines

By clicking on 'Post Comment', you're agreeing to our Commenting Policy

  • Aura / 28 July 2015

    Is there an article that helps you budget on holiday in this country please? Can't afford to go abroad.