Travelling abroad

Follow these money saving tips to make your holiday money go further.

Before you go:

  • Consider all your travel options, and most importantly, shop around. Many tour companies offer packages but you may find it cheaper to book the various parts of your trip separately. But remember that you have less protection under consumer law  if you do this. Consider renting an apartment, staying in hostels, campsites or hiring a camper van. Not only are these options likely to be better value for money, self-catering accommodation means you can save by eating out less
  • Shop around for travel insurance. If you book a package, you may be offered travel insurance as part of it, but you don’t have to take their insurance. You may be able to get better value by buying it separately from another provider, particularly if you’ll need travel insurance for more than one trip in a year.  If you have private health insurance you might be able to get discounted travel insurance too
  • Plan ahead before you go – research the local area, public transport and places to eat out. Research the area online or borrow travel books from your local library for free. You are less likely to end up in an overpriced tourist area or to pay too much for a taxi if you do your homework before you go
  • Tell your bank that you will be using your cards abroad, as sometimes they will freeze your card for security reasons if they see it being used in another country
  • Read our section on using your money abroad so you don’t get caught out by bank and foreign exchange charges
  • Bring some local currency. Get some local currency before you go so you can pay for bus or taxi fares or make small purchases. The two main factors to consider are the exchange rate and the commission you are charged. They determine the amount of foreign currency you will get for your euro
  • Know approximately how much foreign currency you can get for one euro.When you are shopping or eating in a restaurant, it can be confusing to know how much the prices are in euro and it’s easy to lose track of your spending. Keeping account of your spending in euro will help you keep track of your budget while you are away

When you get there:

  • Set a daily spending limit based on your overall budget.This will help you keep track of your spending during your trip and make sure you don’t go over budget or run out of money
  • Take time to visit the local tourist office. They can provide you with maps, information and tips on where to eat and places to see, free of charge. If you like sightseeing tours, shop around for value and haggle to get a better price. Many companies offer discounts if you book multiple tours in advance, or for a group
  • Avoid eating in busy tourist areas when eating out.Choose restaurants that are popular with locals. Not only will they be better value, but you’ll get a great insight into the place you’re visiting. Consider alternatives to eating out such as shopping in the local supermarket and making your own snacks and lunches
  • Take public transport or walk rather than get taxis.  If you do get a taxi, agree the price before you set off and don’t be afraid to haggle
  • Be aware of roaming charges. Text instead of calling, or try to use local pay phones. If you have a smart phone find out how much data roaming will cost on your phone and think about switching it off when you are there. Go to local internet cafes instead of using the internet on your phone, or find free WiFi zones
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Keep some money somewhere safe in case of emergencies
  • Make sure that you write down your ATM, debit or credit card numbers. Also write down the 24-hour telephone number for your bank or credit card company. This means you can quickly report lost or stolen cards while overseas

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