Top 5 holiday budgeting tips
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Whether you're going abroad or taking a break in Britain, holidays are something to look forward to. There are many factors to consider when planning your trip including your destination, time of year to and holiday budget. To help get the most for your money, follow these top tips.
Package or DIY holidays
Package holidays normally include your travel, accommodation and one or more daily meal for a set price. If you want to visit a more popular destination for a common length of time (usually seven, 10 or 14 nights) a package holiday might be right for you. If you prefer a more remote holiday or city break, a DIY holiday deal may be better suited to you. Packages tend to cost less than DIY holidays because your destination choices are more limited. However, by shopping around for the best flights and accommodation, and researching great value places to eat out, DIY can turn out to be the lower cost option.
Haggle for your holiday
Travel agents sell a tour operator's holiday at a price they determine. So by calling just three travel agents, you could find significant variations on the price of the same holiday package. You should research the destination, flights and dates you want first then speak to different travel agents, giving them full details of the holiday you want. Using the best quote you're given, you should find out if any of the other travel agents will beat the price. It's a competitive market, so some travel agents will be happy to negotiate. You should also be polite and charming when speaking to a travel agent. This will help keep them on your side.
Book at the right time
Booking late is the best way to find a low cost package holiday. Travel agents have the planes chartered and rooms reserved way in advance so, if all spaces haven't been filled, they'll discount the package to minimise losses. The later you leave it, the more likely the agent is to slash the price. Your holiday choice will be more limited and you'll need to be more flexible on dates, but playing this waiting game can really pay off. Although substantial savings can be made, it's difficult to ensure you have the money to pay for your holiday at exactly the right time. If you need cash fast to get a great holiday discount on a specific day, you may choose to pay with a line of credit such as a credit card, bank overdraft or short term cash loan. One option is wonga.com. Wonga.com offers loans up to £400 and, if accepted, the money will usually be sent to your bank account in five minutes. Their service is online, 24/7 and fully automated, and the application process usually only takes a few minutes.
Spare the expense while spending
It's best not to exchange currency while at the airport. Research currency rates online or visit shops like the Post Office or M&S who are tend to offer the best prices on the high street. Also, be aware that some debit cards and all credit cards charge transaction fees. It's best to withdraw money from an ATM and use cash to exchange for foreign currency rather than an electronic exchange. If you do use credit or debit cards abroad and are asked whether to 'pay Pounds or Euros?' always say Euros. Paying with pounds allows the retailer to calculate the conversion, and is likely to cost you more.
Beat airline fees
If possible, only take hand luggage to save on extra baggage cost. Most airlines offer a free 10kg hand luggage allowance, but some offer 5kg. It's a good idea to check this before you fly. You can also avoid some airline fees by checking in online first.
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