The thought of travelling over the festive season can be overwhelming, especially if you have children in tow. Whether you are flying, driving or taking the train, the cost of getting away from it all over Christmas and New Year can quickly spiral out of control. However, your holiday need not be full of high cost hazards. There are still ways to cut your spending and avoid that anxious wait for the credit card bill in January.
Here are five top tips to help you save money wherever you plan to celebrate.
1. Perfect packing
When flying, pack wisely if you want to avoid falling foul of excess baggage charges. Cramming all of those holiday essentials into your cabin luggage is the most cost effective way to fly. If you do have to stow gifts and extra clothes in your suitcase then make sure you check the dimensions and weight of your luggage before you leave so you don’t get a costly surprise at the airport check-in.
2. Shop around
Do your research and secure a great travel deal. Book early for the best bargains, try out cash back websites, and take time to review ticket prices from a variety of cost comparison sites. Savings are not restricted to travel fares, shop around and you might also be able to trim the fat from many more items you will need for your journey, from food and drink to travel accessories and trip insurance.
3. Use loyalty schemes as leverage
Loyalty programmes are a great way to maximise your money. If you have earned points or vouchers from store loyalty cards, frequent flyer programmes and hotel reward deals, now is the time to cash in on them. It is also worth checking with your employer to find out if they can access travel, accommodation and local attractions discounts as part of their employee benefits programme.
4. Convert currency into cash
If you are travelling overseas you will need to consider how you can get the best value from your foreign currency. You can beat the travel money bureau prices with some careful research of the best travel money deals available online before you leave. Credit cards and prepaid cards can also be an economical way to spend whilst you’re away.
5. Fuel up for your journey
Petrol pump prices may be at an all-time high, but if you are planning to drive for all or part of your trip, you can still save by pricing up your fuel in advance and pinpointing refuel stops for your entire journey. Petrol price comparison sites will quickly tell you where to find the cheapest forecourts along your route. Simply enter a postcode to track the best deals.
Once you have made the most of the saving opportunities available during the planning stages, don’t forget to protect your finances by ensuring you secure cash and other valuables when travelling. And finally, once you arrive at your destination take time out to relax and reap the rewards of a holiday free of money worries!