FAQ Friday: How do I keep track of my holiday budget and avoid overspending?

June 24, 2022

On the last Friday of every month, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) from the hundreds of consumers who contact us. This month, we take a look at some of our top tips for managing your money when you are away on holiday and the steps you can take to help you avoid overspending.

1. Set a budget for your spending money

Although you may have paid for your flights and accommodation in advance, it’s still important to keep track of your spending money if you want to manage the overall cost of your holiday. Setting yourself a daily spending limit will help make sure you don’t go over budget, or run out of money.

2. Research the local area

Before you go, look online for best value restaurants, transport options and local amenities. Depending on where you go, you may be able to save money by buying travel passes that also offer discounts for restaurants, museums, or other activities. When you arrive, the local tourist office can be a great source of information on free or low-cost activities to help save you money.

3. Watch out for roaming costs

If you visit another EU country, you will pay the same for calls and texts as you would in Ireland. But, if you are leaving the EU, you should check the cost of calls, texts and data with your network provider before you go, to make sure that you don’t receive a large bill when you return home. Try to use free WiFi where you can.

4. Be aware of debit and credit card charges

If you’re travelling in the EU you’ll be charged the same fees as you would face in Ireland for using an ATM, or your debit or credit card. But if you go outside the EU, additional charges may apply for using your cards. Contact your card provider before you go to confirm any additional charges, as you may choose to limit how much you use them while you’re away to avoid extra transaction fees. Alternatively, you could consider using a pre-paid debit card while abroad. This may help when budgeting your spending money and could also give you access to cheaper transaction fees.

Top Tip

Let your financial provider know your travel dates and destination before you go. If you don’t, your provider may suspect fraudulent activity on your account and cancel your card!

5. Limit your ATM withdrawals

While you may need to withdraw cash from an ATM while you’re on holidays, you should take care not to rely too much on ATMs. Withdrawal fees can cost more than paying by card. So, try to avoid taking out small amounts of cash on a regular basis.

6. Take local currency with you

This will help you pay for things like public transport, taxis, food and service tips when you arrive. If you are travelling outside of the EU, it’s important to shop around for the best value exchange rates.

Top Tip

When using your debit or credit card abroad, you may be given the option to either pay in Euro or in the local currency.
It may be tempting to pay in the currency you know best but it could actually work out cheaper to pay in the local currency.

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