When you’re on holiday it’s really easy to overspend. You’re having a good time and you want to spoil yourself. Why not, you’ve worked hard and deserve it. But it’s really important that you don’t go overboard. Once your money is gone, it’s gone and you could experience some serious buyer’s remorse, or worse, debt. This doesn’t have to be the case. With some careful planning and some clever budgeting, you can have an absolutely fantastic, guilt-free holiday that won’t leave you crying with a huge credit card bill and it definitely won’t break the bank. Here’s how to save money while you’re away on a fabulous holiday.
The number one spending culprit on most holidays is because you either forgot to pack it or didn’t research beforehand and had no idea that you should. We’ve all been guilty of this. You get there and realize that you either don’t have enough underwear, didn’t pack your shampoo, or you could have saved a ton of cash if you have just bought and brought it along. For example, you and your partner have decided to go somewhere nice and warm to soak up some summer sun and have a little fishing trip. You arrive and realize it’s incredibly overpriced to rent something like a SUP or a kayak and that doing so will dig into your holiday budget. There are plenty of cheap kayaks available online, which make for an excellent investment and can be used anywhere. Always be prepared as sometimes your holiday destinations will not have stock of something that you’ve forgotten.
Yes, it’s your holiday and you deserve to spoil yourself, but is it worth it to bankrupt yourself while doing so… Probably not. You’ll find that spending less money might not be as exciting and extravagant, but that you come back from your holiday and don’t immediately feel guilty or stressed about spending money you shouldn’t have spent. Start by applying the latte habit principle. Basically, what this is, is that you restrict yourself from buying these small unnecessary extras, leaving you with more money in your pocket for one nice dinner out, rather than 3 mediocre lunches. These small tweaks are a great way to keep your wallet less bare and help you save on daily expenses.
Going cold turkey like this doesn’t work for everyone though. You still need to eat and if you’re not cooking, you will have to buy food for every meal. If this is the case, consider buying more consciously. Halve the amount of money you’d ordinarily spend on food and this way you still save a bit while enjoying the treat. Skimping on those unnecessary extras isn’t cheap, it’s savvy, especially when you’re on a budget. If you really feel like treating yourself, work towards it during the year before you go away. If you can earn cashback on your cards, be sure to accumulate them and spoil yourself with what you’ve earned back.
Cash is a great way to visibly track your spending. When you can see how much you’ve spent it really puts things into perspective. With a card, you can simply tap or swipe and you are none the wiser as to how much you have actually just spent. You also just don’t feel as guilty and don’t realize how quickly the bill can rack up when you charge everything to the card you’ve put down for the room. Little expenses here and there suddenly add up to a terrifying total and that final bill can make even the most stoic of us cry. When using cash, the trick is to only withdraw how much you need and then stick to that budget. You can use the envelope budgeting hack. Get one envelope for each day that you are there and set yourself a daily budget. This way you don’t overspend for that day and you know that you won’t be met with an ugly surprise at the end of the week when there is suddenly no money left for activities.
One of the biggest things that leave people feeling dissatisfied or like they’ve wasted their money is going on a tour. You have no sooner arrived and you are already being bussed away, leaving you seeing and experiencing little to nothing that your holiday destination has to offer. One of the absolute best money-saving pieces of advice we can give you is to completely skip the paid tour altogether. If you want to experience your destination, do it yourself. Walk around, rent an electric scooter or bicycle, make use of public transport, etc. These are great ways to see and experience where you are without the time constraints of a guided day tour. These tours are designed to cram as much as possible in a really short time frame, meaning that there is no possibility of exploring longer if you feel particularly drawn to a certain site. They also feel extremely synthetic, and mass-produced. We highly recommend that you skip these over-priced tourist traps on wheels altogether.
So, what do you do if you skip these tours? How do you know where to go and what to see? Do your homework and plan before you go. Make a list of places you want to go and book your accommodation around these places. Figure out how to get from point A to B before you’re there so that you don’t spend half a day trying to figure out where to go. You could put together an itinerary, but this isn’t necessary. We recommend having some pre-booked activities and a rough itinerary because booking in advance can save you quite a lot of money.
While doing your research on possible points of interest, make sure that you look for popular apps and coupons for activities in the area. For example, certain places have apps that can help you save money on a night out, or on things like navigating public transport. Be sure to read online forums for information relevant to your destination.
Saving money on your holiday sounds boring, but it’s actually great. You come back feeling refreshed with great memories and none of that holiday spending spree remorse. Here are just a few things we hope you’ll find helpful for your next trip.