Organising a holiday is a stressful experience. Whether it’s booking a last minute flight, or organising accommodation on a budget, there’s a million and one things to think about besides making sure your passport and documents are safe.
The stresses of holiday planning often mean that spending money is given little thought. However, if you end up committing any of these 10 common mistakes, you could find your holiday cash won’t stretch as far as you’d have liked:
You Bought Holiday Cash at the Airport
Never, ever wait until the airport to by currency. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Euros or Yen, it’s simply not a good idea. You could save huge sums of money by shopping around before hand. Don’t stick to the same source year after year either. The rates constantly fluctuate, and by being savvy, you’ll save big.
You Didn’t Inform Your Bank You Were Travelling
Yes, it might be a chore, but if you don’t inform the bank you’re going abroad, you may have your debit card blocked when you try to use it at an obscure cashpoint. Anti-fraud measures are very tight in this day and age, and you need to make sure you don’t get caught out.
You Don’t Understand the Currency Conversions
If you’re heading to somewhere like Prague, your £20 note will have been converted into about 700 Czech Crowns. That can be a headache to calculate if you don’t have a converter app on your phone. You may get overcharged if you aren’t sure how much you’re really paying.
You Used Your Credit Card for Spending Money
Credit cards are are really useful on holiday, and it’s a good idea to take yours with you. Just make sure you’re aware of the charges for using it abroad. In addition, the card company will do their own currency conversion before charging your account, and you may not get a favourable deal.
You Used Your Credit Card at the Cash Point
Even if your credit card doesn’t charge a fee for using it abroad, avoid withdrawing money on it from a hole in the wall. This is because you will be charged interest from the day you make the withdrawal, which could end up being extremely expensive – and not a nice surprise to come home to.
You Allowed Shops to Convert Currency
If you do happen to use a credit card in a shop, you may be asked if you want the total converted to pounds so you can pay in your home currency. This is often a ruse employed by shopkeepers to get a better price for themselves. Don’t be temped.
You Didn’t Check Your Mobile Phone Tariff
Whilst it’s not strictly a “holiday money” problem, the huge bill that you could build up by leaving your mobile data turned on won’t be a welcoming gift when you return home. Always check that you’re on the right tariff, or consider an add on to your contract just for the holiday. If you must call home, try using a cheap international call service like Cherry Call to take the sting out of distance calling.
You Didn’t Set a Budget
Once your flights and accommodation are paid for, it’s important to set a daily budget so that the excitement of the holiday doesn’t cause you to go crazy with the cash. Perhaps try to limit the amount of cash you withdraw, and only take a set amount out each day.
You Converted Too Much Cash
Exchanging currency once you’re back in the UK will always be a bad deal. It’s best to use a service with a preloaded cash card, then you can simply go online and load more money onto it whilst away from home.
You Didn’t Keep Your Cash Safe
Finally, it’s super important for your budget, and your personal safety to keep your cash well hidden and secure. Never count it in public, and never leave it on show. Hopefully by avoiding these classic holiday money mistakes, you’ll save yourself a fortune!
By Harry Price
Harry Price is a writer and personal trainer. After losing 115 pounds by changing his eating habits and exercising, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in personal training to help others achieve their healthy goals.