These are difficult times with the cost of living soaring to highest levels in 20 years, interest rates at their highest in 15 years and a general uncertainty about the future economy. Holidays for many people have been put on the long finger but those diligent savers over the last 3 years in particular might be tempted to put the toe in the holiday water over the coming months… Check out John Lowe of MoneyDoctors.ie’s 6 money-saving holiday tips and make sure you don’t miss a trick when you’re treating you and your family to a long-awaited break abroad or even at home. It’s about ensuring value at all times……
- Book smart
- With airlines back in the skies, trawl SkyScanner for cheap flights and set an alert on GoogleFlights to see if they fluctuate.
- Try ClickAndGo, LastMinute.com, Secretescapes.com, HolidayPirates, BudgetTravel.ie ( largest travel agent in Ireland ) or SunSearchHolidays and build your own break (note: many HolidayPirates trips depart from the UK). A quick look on SkyScanner and AirBnB this week and you could be very pleasantly surprised at the low cost.
- Travelling last minute is one of the best ways to capitalise on resorts rushing to fill rooms at low rates.
- Buy through sites like Expedia.com, hotels.com or Booking.com to accumulate rewards that convert to money off future holidays.
- Think ahead
- Money-saving sites like Pigsback, Groupon, DoneDeal and LivingSocial work just as well abroad. You can find some real bargains on local events, meals, spa deals and day trips – so get clicking.
- Reward yourself
- Check if you can convert any of your retailer points to Avios points (Aer Lingus’ loyalty scheme); or redeem your Tesco Clubcard points against Stena Line or Irish Ferries travel tokens. Other retailers are now looking at these incentives – stay alert for new entrants to these schemes.
- Food and drink
- Staying in an AirBnB or apart-hotel gives you the option to shop at a local supermarket and cook your own food. While it might not be for every night – remember, you’re still on holidays – it’s an excellent way to save money.
- Consider packing a picnic for days on the beach, or backpack snacks for sightseeing. You’ll save a pretty penny – and you’ll never have to queue for a table!
- Banking abroad
- One of the least expensive, most secure and convenient methods of payment, credit cards are also one of the most widely accepted – and they’re less conspicuous than a wad of cash. The only problem may be the exchange risk.
- If you’re travelling within the EU, most Irish banks don’t charge for ATM withdrawals (although foreign banks may impose their own charges).
- For US Canada, Australia and UK and 5 other currencies, try the nifty An Post Money FX card – you buy up to 15 currencies here in Ireland – lock and load, at half decent rates and no commission. It’s also a safe way to travel. Revolut have also created a stir with their prepaid card – over 2 million alone in Ireland have subscribed…
- Travel Insurance
For the sake of peace of mind it is well worth reviewing your travel insurance needs….
- If your family travels more than once every two years, multi-trip insurance is almost always better value than a single-policy purchase.
- You may see insurers offering both Travel Disruption and Flight Cancellation cover. There’s usually no need to select both options, as you can end up paying for the same cover twice.
- Check out your credit card too – some providers include travel insurance as part of the package.
- If you have health insurance, you are almost guaranteed to save money on your travel cover – but even gadget insurance can save you up to 10% if you book with the same insurer.
- Make sure to start your travel insurance from the day you buy it; that way, if something happens before you leave, you will be covered.
Whatever you do, enjoy have fun and come back safely.