When the school holidays start across the UK, many will be heading to a warm and sunny spot abroad to enjoy them. But as the cost of living rises and the average household’s disposable income continues to shrink, those who’ve managed to scrape together the funds for a vacation are likely to be sticking to a slightly tighter budget this year.
Poor exchange rates and hidden international transaction fees are just some of the many mishaps Brits face when traveling abroad on holiday.
The more fees there are, the quicker your spending budget will gobble up, which is why it’s important to be aware of what to look out for and exactly where to spend money in order to get the most out of your vacation.
Luckily, there are some simple tips to keep in mind when traveling to help you save instead of wasting, and here are six of them.
Call your credit card company before you leave
If you plan to use your debit or credit card abroad, an important tip is to call your provider and let them know.
Experts at Tymit said: “This will ensure that your card is not blocked due to suspicious activity.”
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Spend in local currency
When abroad, make sure to always spend in the local currency whenever you have the opportunity.
Jonathan Merry, CEO of international money transfer comparison site MoneyTransfers.com said: “It can be tempting if you’re no wiser paying in sterling than local currency when a retailer gives you the option.
“However, here you fall victim to uncompetitive exchange rates, which can potentially result in you ending up paying up to 5 percent more than the cost.”
So if you’re asked at the card terminal whether you’d rather pay in pounds or in local currency, always choose the latter.
Check credit card transaction fees
According to experts, it is important to verify that you are traveling with the correct bank card. Some cards charge you for using your card abroad.
Mr Merry said: “Some banks will charge you transaction fees as well as purchase fees for anything bought abroad.
“It can quickly add up when you make multiple purchases abroad. You should also check if your bank charges fees for withdrawing money from an ATM abroad.”
Cards with providers like Tymit and Monzo (up to certain numbers) don’t charge you for overseas purchases.
Mr Merry said: “Another option could be a prepaid card, which you can transfer money to before you travel to avoid charges when making payments abroad.
“If you’re moving abroad for a long period of time and making major purchases abroad, then the cheapest way to pay for these items is to use a money transfer provider, as they offer far better exchange rates than high street banks.”
To explore and compare money transfer providers, you can use this transfer rate tool to help.
Use public transport or explore on foot
When traveling on a budget, it’s natural to forget about the cost of getting around cities.
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The best option for traveling is, unsurprisingly, on foot. Not only is this completely free, but it also allows you to visit more sites as you go.
If this is not an option, there are many other inexpensive physical and public transport options that can get you around for a much cheaper price than a taxi.
Mr Merry said: “Many cities also offer bike hire, with pick-up and drop-off points across the city, which is a quicker option than walking.
“But if walking or cycling isn’t an option, then always opt for public transport.
“Most cities have great public transport options such as trains, buses, and subways or subways.”
By entering your current location and desired location on Google Maps and clicking on the ‘Public Transport’ button, you will be shown how to walk to the relevant bus station and will be told exactly which bus to take and where to get off have to.
The expert added: “Although it’s quicker and more convenient to hail a taxi, you end up paying a lot more and if you need to book an airport transfer, make sure you do it on time to avoid paying the high prices.” must day.”
Don’t splurge on tourist or passports
Before issuing tourist or passports, always calculate whether they are actually worthwhile.
Mr Merry said: “Try to plan a rough itinerary before you travel so you can see exactly how often you’ll need to hop on public transport or how many sights you’re realistically going to fit into your holiday as you might not really be up for it your expense will come. ”
Do not leave the money exchange until the last minute
And finally, for those bringing cash, don’t leave your currency exchange at the airport until the last minute.
While it may seem convenient, you will inevitably end up paying more for it.
Mr Merry said: “If your holiday is last minute and you have no choice but to use the currency exchange services at the airport, most airports allow you to buy your currency online and collect it when you arrive.
“This can be done the night before your flight and is much cheaper than doing it on site during the day.”