How To Make The Most Of Your Holiday Money With The Low Pound
But don't fear: we've spoken to a range of savvy money experts to find out how to make your cash go further once we head for our long-awaited holidays.
We grilled them for tips about on everything from paying in local currency, to where to exchange cash to make sure that wherever you go, you're getting the most bang for your buck...
1. Be prepared in advance
If you arm yourself with all the financial knowledge you need before your trip, you can end up saving a fortune in everything from where to withdraw cash to which credit card to use.
"Working out where your holiday money will go furthest isn't just a question of looking at exchange rates - there are lots of other factors which affect the local cost of food, accommodation and so on.
"But if the exchange rate is in your favour that certainly helps. This year for example Turkey is a popular good-value destination," says Steve Nowottny, news and features editor at MoneySavingExpert.com.
"When paying on a card or withdrawing cash from an ATM overseas, you'll often be asked if you want the transaction to be in pounds or the local currency.
"As a general rule, never pay in pounds - it's almost always best to opt for the local currency, as otherwise the overseas retailer or bank will do the conversion and rates are generally awful.
2. Use the right cards
"The easiest and cheapest way to spend abroad is often on a specialist overseas credit or debit card. Unlike most credit or debit cards which add a 'non-sterling exchange fee' of around 3 per cent, these don't. If opting for a credit card though always make sure you repay in full," says Steve.
"Whatever you do don't just assume your normal debit card will be OK to spend on, without checking the charges. Some not only add around three per cent to the exchange rate and charge cash withdrawal fees - they also add charges every time you use them overseas, so a £5 glass of wine could cost £6.40 a time."
Consider cards such as Revolut, Starling or Monzo, which come with handy features to help you save on fees when spending abroad.
3. Don't get ripped off at the airport
Jasmine Birtles, founder of MoneyMagpie.com, says it's very important not to be lazy when it comes to buying essentials such as shampoo or suncream.
"For the last few years, it's been easy to think 'I'll just buy suncream when I get there', but now it's really important to take everything before you get there," she says.
"If you're a family doing self-catering, take as much as you can, even your favourite cereal, because it's not just the exchange rate, but also the cost of living that has gone up in other countries so it's a double whammy."
If you haven't booked your holiday yet, Jasmine has another tip for you. "Buying an all-inclusive holiday is also a good idea - anybody who bought one of those a few months ago is quids in now."
Sven Schindele, Banking Products Director at Tandem Bank, says that if you are yet to book your trip, you should consider looking at different destinations and currencies.
"While the pound has fallen heavily against the dollar and euro it remains strong against other currencies including the Icelandic krona and the Sri Lankan rupee," he says. "A travel-friendly card such as the Tandem Cashback Credit Card can be used across the world, anywhere that accepts Mastercard. You will also receive 0.5 per cent cashback on every transaction over £1 which can go a long way to adding value to your holiday money."
4. Approach foreign currency as you would hotels
Jasmine recommends using comparison tools on websites like MoneySavingExpert and Travel Supermarket to compare foreign currency before you go. "If you do research in advance, it gives you the opportunity to get the cheapest rate and the best value."
Many companies will allow you to order a range of currencies online with competitive rates, and either pick up from the airport or have the currency delivered to your home.
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Nick England, CEO of pre-paid currency card provider EasyFX, also recommends spending time researching foreign exchange options, just like how you'd spend time researching flights or accommodation.
"Research shows that 27 per cent of British holidaymakers spend no time looking for a better deal on exchanging currency ahead of their trips. However, for the Brits that do spend time actively looking for a good deal, 64% of them see savings of up to £100," he says.
5. Make money back
Another top tip is to use cashback sites to earn money back on your holiday booking.
"Sites such as TopCashback.co.uk offer money back on purchases from hundreds of travel retailers, including the likes of Expedia, British Airways and TUI," says TopCashback's spokesperson Abigail Yearley.
"Right now, by shopping at TopCashback you can earn 11 per cent cashback on hotel bookings with Expedia, and 8.4 per cent cashback on all new customer bookings at Hotels.com. The money saved can go towards some more holiday treats or even put aside and spent later."
6. Travel deals to destinations with a cheap exchange rate
According to travel search platform, HolidayPirates, these are the top five places to visit considering current exchange rates.
Exchange Rate: 1 GBP = 37.42 Thai Baht
Why: Known for its street stalls and cheap accommodation, Thailand is a wallet-friendly destination as it is, but with the current exchange rate, it has become even more appealing.
You can fly from London to Bangkok, Thailand from as little as £314 in 2020, with airlines including Eva Air, Thai Airways and Shenzhen Airlines.
Exchange rate: 1GBP = 23.18 Mexican Peso
Why: It may be a 10+ hour flight to get there, but once you've arrived, Mexico has so much to offer. To put the joy of the recent exchange rate in perspective, a pint will cost you as little as £1 and a lunch will cost around £4.
You can fly from London to Cancun, Mexico from just £340 in 2020 with airlines including American Airlines, Tui and AeroMexico.
Exchange rate: 1 GBP = 11.69 Moroccan Dirham
Why: A hop and a skip away from London, Morocco is an affordable place to visit for a quick injection of Vitamin D on the beach, bustling markets and desert safaris.
You can fly from London to Rabat, Morocco from just £34 in 2019 with airlines including Ryanair, easyJet and Royal Air Maroc.
Exchange Rate: 1GBP = 8.06 Croatian Kuna
Why: Tourism in Croatia has increased in the past years, making pricing for accommodation and food rise. However, the current exchange rate still makes it a top value-for-money destination.
You can fly from London to Zadar, Croatia from just £26 in 2019 with airlines including easyJet, Ryanair and Eurowings.
Exchange Rate: 1GBP = 6.77 Turkish lira
Why: Turkey has truly become a hot spot for British holidaymakers as of late, with one of the main reasons being the current exchange rate.
You can fly from London to Dalaman, Turkey from £95 in 2019 with airlines including Thomas Cook Airlines, Jet2 and easyJet.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
Topics: Life News
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