I daresay summer is officially upon us. In fairness, it’s actually been a pretty good couple of months, give or take some days here and there. But now that the school holidays are here, it really does feel like summer in every sense of it.
And of course one of the great perks of summer is hollibobs! That time when we can get away to pastures new, switch off from the stresses of everyday life, spend quality time with your nearest and dearest, and recharge the batteries for the year coming up. One thing that has become a bit of a factor is the level to which the pound has depreciated against other currencies such as the euro since the vote to leave the EU last June. Whatever your thoughts on the politics of it, it has squeezed holiday budgets!
Some get around this by choosing to do a staycation over the summer. But, whatever your holiday destination of choice, there is no doubt that many of us are feeling the pinch a bit more than usual. Fortunately, there are some quick and easy ways to make savings, and boost your holiday kitty…
Change money smartly
Never, ever change money at airports or hotels. You are guaranteed to get ripped off! Some retailers and specialists offer better rates than others, but for the best possible value, there can be no superior option to Revolut. This is an app whereby you transfer pounds into your account, and then spend these on a separate card in a multitude of different currencies. And you get fractionally below the perfect rate, too! It is so simple to put money in, and even easier to spend it, or withdraw cash. It really is a no brainer, particularly if you find yourself abroad a lot.
The Easyjet Flexifare trick
One of the biggest headaches for parents these days is the extent to which airliners (and hotels!) jack up prices during school holidays. It makes going on holiday really costly, and it doesn’t seem wholly reasonable. Nevertheless, there is a crafty workaround if you’re happy to fly Easyjet. All you need to do is book cheaper flights outside of the holidays on a Flexifare, and then change the date thereafter to more suitable ones. Obviously, there is an extra charge involved with booking a Flexifare ticket. But often this will be less than the difference in price during school holidays.
Grow your pennies
It may be a bit late for this year, but a good plan moving forward is to create a segregated account geared specifically towards saving for holidays. Each month, you then squirrel some money away and slowly build it up. The other key is to ensure that you earn decent interest on the money you work so hard to save. Banks currently offer very poor returns on savings, but there are alternatives such as ISAs for peer-to-peer lending, which, although slightly riskier, offer reliable returns in the region of 5 or so per cent.
If you don’t have your heart set on a specific destination, and, better yet, if you have some flexibility with when you want to go away, then last-minute package holidays can save you a fortune. Basically, tour operators lock in certain numbers of holiday packages, and they hand over to travel agents to fill these up. So vacancies end up costing tour operators money, hence their desperation to get you signed up when the time approaches. As long as you’re flexible about the where and when, you can take full advantage.
There is no worse way to start and/or finish a holiday than by paying sky-high prices to park your car at the airport. If you need to use the car to get there, don’t just turn up. You’ll save plenty by simply booking in advance, and surveying your options in this way. This handy guide will give you a better idea of how to maximise savings.
Pay by credit card
No, this doesn’t mean spending on a holiday you can’t afford! However, paying for things like flights and accommodation via credit card will give you protection from Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act in case anything goes wrong. It’s thus gives you good peace of mind. Furthermore, most credit cards offer rewards schemes like cashback or free insurance. Therefore, spending on these helps you make even bigger savings – provided you are able to clear your balance at the end of the month!
*This is a collaborative post*