How to save money whilst abroad
Thursday 19 July 2012
So you’ve spent hours hunting down the most bargainous holiday deal, only to have your budget blown out the water by overspending while you’re there. Keep on track, and still have a fantastic time, by following these eight top tips to curb your cash flow!
Bring your own
It’s never a good idea to skip meals – but to save on money, resolve not to eat both lunch and dinner at a restaurant. If you’re on the go during the day, buy some cheap local produce like bread, cheese and cold meat and make sandwiches – you’ll be surprised at how cheaply you can feed the whole family. Alternatively, if you’re lucky enough to have a balcony in your room why not buy ingredients for a cold platter, a bottle of wine and sit and watch the sun go down a few evenings out of seven?
Take advantage of breakfast
If like most hotels, yours has a breakfast buffet included, take some supplies back to your room with you. A couple of bread rolls, cheese and fruit can go surprisingly far.
Bulk buy water
A classic tourist mistake is to buy a little bottle of water from the hotel or mini marche whenever thirsty, but it’s much cheaper to bulk buy. On your first day, take a trip to the supermarket and buy a six-pack – it’ll keep you going for much longer and save you lots of cash!
Head off the beaten track
It may seem obvious, but the closer you are to the centre, the more expensive things are going to be. So whatever you’re looking for – a restaurant, souvenirs shop, or a place to rent a boat - head further away from the other tourists for the best bargain.
Ask hotel staff for recommendations
If you’re heading into town for the day – ask your waiter or receptionist if they can recommend good local haunts that aren’t just tourist traps. They probably have personal faves that they frequent – and chances are they will be much cheaper and give you a more authentic taste of wherever you’re visiting.
Always always always carry a guide, whether it’s one you’ve got out the library or pages printed from the internet, as these can often include standard prices for certain souvenir items. It’s very easy to get ripped off – so make sure you know how much that lavender bag is really worth before you buy!
Beware hidden charges
Certain cards will incur charges if you use them abroad. Before you travel, call up your various banks and check the situation. You might be able to waive the charge by notifying them, or they can advise you of the most economical way to spend money abroad.
Change cash in advance
Most of us these days only carry enough cash to last the first few days of the hol, but this can still be quite a packet! Be smart and hunt around for the best exchange rates before you travel. And definitely don’t use the currency exchanges at the airport.