Smartest ways to stick to a budget while you’re on holiday
Worries about financial difficulties lead many people to try and save money and avoid unnecessary spending. The feckless days of running up credit card debt without a care in the world are long gone, and thankfully there are numerous money saving blogs and forums which have highlighted ways to save money, both at home and on holiday. Flight scanners and holiday comparison sites are often used to find the best deals when booking holidays.
On arriving at your holiday destination, though, many people lose track of their day-to-day spending and receive an unpleasant shock when they come to add up their holiday expenditure. What are the best ways to stick to a budget while on holiday?
Excursions and day trips can cost a lot of money, as can theme park entrance fees. Paying for these before a trip can save a lot of money. In London, for example, a card can be purchased online allowing unlimited entrance to many attractions for one flat price, giving large savings for those who want to visit several different places.
Similarly, theme parks such as Disneyland will offer reduced rates for guests who purchase tickets online before they go, rather than paying at the gate. Many online forums and holiday comparison sites give access to special deals and discount codes for those who buy in advance, giving even greater savings.
Cash is king
While a credit card is often touted as a safer and more convenient way to spend while on holiday than cash, it makes it far harder to track exactly how much is being spent. A credit card should be taken on holiday in case of emergencies, but for everyday purchases such as food, drinks, activities and shopping, it is best to use cash.
An achievable daily budget should be set, and that amount of cash placed in individual envelopes, one for each day. Writing the amount on the envelopes in both foreign and home currencies, if abroad, will help to make clear how much is being spent each day. They can be kept securely in the hotel room safe, taking one out each day.
Leave the hotel
Unless all meals are included in the tariff, eating at a hotel is usually very expensive. Instead of paying for a lavish buffet breakfast that will probably be half-eaten, walking outside to a café or sandwich shop will save money. The same goes for evening meals; hotels know that business travellers with expense accounts will pay high prices, and their restaurants usually reflect this.
Eating at a local eatery gives a more authentic experience as well as saving money. Never pay for hotel internet access; it is usually ludicrously over-priced and guests are often forced to pay for a full day of access even if they only need a few hours. If it is absolutely necessary to go online, internet cafes are generally far cheaper, and will charge by the hour, or less.
With a bit of careful planning and forethought, it’s easy to enjoy a holiday without the burden of money worries. Especially if a little research is done to check out the best free attractions in the area, a relaxing, stress-free break is almost guaranteed.