Do you start planning your summer holiday now to mentally escape the cold and wet of a dreary January? Or are you just after some winter sun? Well, Portugal and Bulgaria top the list of countries where your pound will go further, although choosing a cheaper destination is just one way you can bring down the cost of your holiday.
Forward planning your trip is actually really good for your finances too, and we’ve four things to think about to make sure you’re not spending more than you can afford on your trip.
Think about what you’ll spend when away
A study of key holiday expenses by Post Office Travel Money found you can get more for your money if you visit the Algarve in Portugal or Sunny Beach in Bulgaria.
It would cost around £33 to buy some regular holiday essentials in each of these destinations, compared to around £120 in Boston, USA or Rio, Brazil.
What’s in the Post Office essentials shopping basket?
A three course meal with wine, a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer, can of coke, glass of wine, bottle of water, sunscreen and insect repellent
How much you spend when you get there can make a huge difference to your holiday budget, so it’s important to think about everything you might want to spend including day trips or activities.
The top 10 value for money destinations
Algarve, Portugal (£33.36)
Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£33.53)
Costa del Sol, Spain (£38.79)
Marmaris, Turkey (£49.74)
Prague, Czech Republic (£51.17)
Paphos, Cyrus (£53.03)
Budapest, Hungary (£53.18)
Tokyo, Japan (£58.47)
Sliema, Malta (£62.62)
Corfu, Greece (£63.54)
Source: Post Office Travel Money, January 2017
Work out the total cost before booking
As well as daily spending, you’ve got to factor in getting there in the first place, as well as accommodation costs. You might also want to buy new clothes for your trip or have to pay someone to look after a pet.
Include these costs when choosing where to go and how long you’ll go for, and see how that total cost of your holiday matches up against how much money you already have saved or how much you think you can save up.
Get your travel money in advance
The best way to get your currency is to order it in advance – even changing your cash the day before will save you a decent chunk compared to getting it at the airport or using cash machines at your destination.
Buy your travel insurance straight away
If you’re shelling out a decent sum of money on hotels and flights, you really don’t want to lose that money if something happens which means you can’t go. So to protect yourself you need to buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday.
Don’t forget you’ll also need an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) to get treatment across most of Europe.