Tuesday 26 September 2017

10 ways to save money on your holiday

Tanya Airey is managing director of Sunway
Tanya Airey is managing director of Sunway

Tanya Airey

With the economy getting back on its feet, more of us can afford a foreign holiday this year. You should still do what you can to save money, however.

Here are 10 of my best holiday money-saving tips.

1 Check the currency exchange rate before you book. A bad rate of exchange against the euro may make it worth reconsidering your holiday destination.

Six years ago, for example, you would have got two Australian dollars for your euro. Today, you'll get one-and-a-half dollars - which means your euro doesn't go as far. On the other hand, it's a lot cheaper to visit Iceland today (thanks to the currency exchange rate) than it was before the crash.

2 Book early. Many package holidays offer early booking offers, such as no single supplements, and room and meal upgrades.

A solo traveller for example could save up to €120 per week just by booking early and availing of a 'no single supplement' offer. However, these offers are limited, so book early to have a better chance of getting one.

3 Travel off season. You can save a lot on the same holiday by travelling off season instead of high season.

For example, in July, a week in Tunisia in a four-star all-inclusive hotel will cost €764 but if you're in a position to travel in May, the same holiday will only cost €499.

4 Buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday - if not, you won't be covered for cancelling your holiday after you book your tickets.

By having insurance in place from the start, you won't risk losing all your money should an illness or unexpected event prevent you from travelling. Buy an annual policy if travelling more than once a year.

5 Book your airport car parking in advance online - there are big savings to be had by doing so.

6 Download a GPS app onto your phone before you leave rather than paying for a GPS or map when you arrive. Some GPS apps give you short-term trials - by downloading the maps during that trial period, you can use them off-line for free when on holiday.

There are plenty of free travel apps out there too, which will give maps, tips and tourist highlights - this will save you money on maps and resort guides.

7 Buy visas online if you can. More countries are introducing visas and in a lot of cases, it is cheaper to buy them online rather than on arrival in the country.

8 Buy tickets for local attractions and theme parks in advance. This can save you a packet - particularly for families travelling to Orlando.

9 Switch off data roaming before you arrive at your destination, as the cost can be exorbitant. If you rely on the internet, check if the accommodation you are considering booking offers free wi-fi.

10 Invest in a weighing device so you can weigh your baggage before leaving for the airport.

The charges for extra kilos are very high and trying to take things out while at check-in can be stressful and embarrassing!

If travelling with your partner, split your luggage between both bags, so if one bag gets lost, you each have half of your belongings.

This will save you both time and money shopping for items while waiting for your bag to arrive. And finally, always put medication in your hand luggage. Just in case.

Tanya Airey is managing director of Sunway

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