Top 6 ways to get the most out of your holiday budget

Counting down the days to your summer holiday but worrying about how much it’s going to cost?

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If so, follow these 6 steps to get the most out of your holiday budget.

1. Make the most of good exchange rates

If you’re heading overseas, the good news is your money will go a lot further this year thanks to the stronger pound.

New figures from Sainsbury’s Bank show sterling has strengthened against four of the five most popular currencies sold by its travel money bureaux.

The most dramatic increase has been against the Turkish lira, with the pound rising by 49% against the currency over the past three years. But those travelling to Australia, Europe and Canada will also get more for their money.


Are you heading to troubled Greece this summer? Here is everything you need to know.

 

2. Buy your travel money in advance

Don’t leave buying your travel money until you get to the airport as you’ll pay inflated exchange rates and commissions. Instead, take the time to shop around online and, if possible, collect it from a foreign exchange bureau rather than have it delivered.

Even if you forget to organise your travel money in advance, pre-ordering it for collection at the airport will still save you money.

3. Use the right plastic overseas

Having the right credit card in your wallet will ensure you don’t get caught out by expensive foreign exchange fees and cash withdrawal charges while you’re overseas.

The Halifax Clarity credit card, for example, won’t charge you a fee for spending on it abroad or for withdrawing cash from an ATM. However, cash withdrawals should be used with caution as you will still be charged interest from the moment you take your money out of the machine.

The card has a representative annual percentage rate (APR) of 18.9% APR for both cash advances and purchases.

Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).

Read more about your holiday spending options here.

4. Shop around for travel insurance

Travel insurance is a necessity no matter whether you’re travelling in the UK or overseas. And, as with anything financial, it pays to shop around for your cover.

Don’t be tempted to buy the policy offered by your tour operator or travel agent without taking a look at what else is on offer.

When you’re comparing policies, consider whether you are planning any other holidays in the next 12 months. If you are, it could work out cheaper to opt for an annual policy, rather than buying several single trip policies.

Also check exactly what you’ll be covered for – don’t simply plump for the cheapest policy available. The less you pay for your policy, the less it is likely to cover you for certain risks.

It will also come with a higher excess (the amount you have to pay towards any claim), so can work out more expensive in the long run.

If you're travelling to Greece and taking extra cash with you, it's important to ensure the cash limit on your travel insurance policy is high enough - you can read more about this in this article.  

5. Don’t pay for your EHIC

If you’re travelling to Europe, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to medical treatment in most European countries on the same terms as a local resident.

But don’t be misled by websites that pop up on Google and charge you a fee for processing your application. The card is completely free of charge, providing you apply through the government’s dedicated website.

Be aware that an EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance as it does not offer sufficient cover. But it is valuable added protection that will help to get you easy access to healthcare should you need it.

6. Buy your travel extras early

Planning to hire a car? Need to book airport parking? For travel extras such as these, it pays to plan ahead. If you leave hiring a car until you reach your destination, not only will you pay premium prices, you run the risk of missing out on the car you wanted and forking out more for the next model up.

It will also be more expensive to pay for airport parking on the day. For example, an eight-day stay at Heathrow Airport at the end of July would cost you £195.10 on the day. But if you booked ahead with Purple Parking, you’d pay £65.95, saving you £129.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

 

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