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10 Tips to Cut Down on Holiday Costs

Sunday, October 05, 2014

When you’re on holiday, you feel as though the whole world is at your feet. You long to see everything, taste everything, and meet everyone, and before you know it, you’ve got a vicious credit card statement awaiting your return home. So for those who wish to avoid paying for their mistakes once the holiday is over, we have compiled a handy list to ensure you don’t spend too much while you’re there.

1. Pick credit/ travel cards wisely

If you’re planning on using a credit or travel card for your spending on holiday, ensure you’re using the credit card best for you. This means shopping around at the various banks and checking the transaction, withdrawal, and hidden costs involved. Some credit cards will offer low interest rates over longer periods, which is great if you need time to pay back your spendings over an extended time. Other cards won’t charge you for exchange currency when you draw overseas. However, if your credit card offers high interest rates and charges you through the roof for drawing overseas, it’s much wiser to leave it at home.

Credit Card by dahlstroms (Flickr)

2. Swipe rather than draw

Wherever you can, try to use your card rather than having to pay cash. You will be charged when you withdraw, while most credit cards will be free to swipe.

3. Keep a record of your spending

Even if you don’t have a specified daily budget, simply keeping a record of your purchases will make you aware of how much you’re spending. This will help to avoid you running out of money before the end of your holiday or getting nasty shock when you receive your credit card bill.

TIC by sambeckwith (Flickr)

4. Visit tourist information centres

When you arrive at your destination, scope out the nearest tourist information centre to get pamphlets and detailed information on what to do in the area from the locals. You’ll likely be given coupon booklets offering great discounts too. Some train stations in London will have 2-4-1 booklets, offering everything from attraction to restaurant discounts.

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5. Use discount websites

Keep an eye on websites that offer discounts, such as Groupon and Last Minute.com. These sites offer all sorts of activities at discounted rates – you just need to know where to look. Sign up for Groupon email subscriptions a couple of months before you depart and you’ll get the promotions delivered straight to your email. After all, there’s no point paying full price for something if you can get a discount!

Group Tours by ubrayj02 (Flickr)

6. It’s safer in numbers

Travelling and sightseeing in numbers is great not just for security measures, but also because you’re likely to be offered a group discount. Some attractions offer special group rates so you’ll be saving a lot more than if you chose to go it alone.

7. Buy tickets online

Most attractions offer cheaper rates for those booking via the internet. London is a great destination for this as it offers a much cheaper rate for anything booked online than those bought on the day. The downside of this is that you will have to pick a date for your visit in advance; on the other hand, you will be saving!

Heriot Manor (TG)

8. Pick accommodation carefully

Simply going with the cheapest accommodation to save money is not always the answer. You will also want to take into account the distance of the accommodation from the town centre, as you may end up paying more for petrol or transport costs than you would for a slightly pricier (but more central) accommodation. In addition, find out if any accommodations offer discounted rates for attractions or restaurants so you can save even more! TravelGround.com offers a range of affordable accommodation options in South Africa.

9. Limit fancy eating habits

Everyone enjoys a fancy meal out now and again, and it’s ever that much more tempting when you’re in a foreign country with new tastes to explore. However, it’s often your food budget that bears the brunt of your spending at the end of the day. You can avoid spending too much on holiday by purchasing food at local supermarkets when you’re out and about, rather than sitting down at a restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and supper. Simply picking up a sandwich and a cool drink at a supermarket will save you more than you think!

Tourist by barteverts (Flickr)

10. Travel smart

One of the easiest ways to cut down on spending is just to be clever about it. Check Google or ask around to find out about free attractions, travel out of peak times, and walk as much as you can.

What are your handy tips for avoiding spending too much on holiday?

Written by Lauren Morling, blogger at TravelGround

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