Holidays are a time to get away, rest or take up new activities. But if you're travelling in a group, it can be wise to set up some ground rules when it comes to money.
While many of us may have a go-to holiday checklist when booking a holiday, there are additional things to consider along the way. Who looks after the finances, the travel documents, transport, and accommodation?
These are all important things which can often become trickier when planning a trip with a larger group of family or friends, so it’s well worth taking the time to ensure it’s all mapped out to avoid any unnecessary upset or confusion.
Below are four tips from Iain Donachie, head of money services at Tesco Bank on how to plan holidays and holiday money if you’re travelling in a group:
1) How to handle holiday money
Whether you all contribute to a joint kitty, appoint a trusted member of the group to take charge of the holiday spending pot, or tally up individual spends at the end and split amongst you, it’s important this is tracked closely to avoid any mishaps.
Our latest research finds 16% of adults have fallen out with friends and family over money on holiday. A quarter (24%) of those who have fallen out say it was because people in the group overspent their holiday fund, while 19% felt they had no control of the budget and what the money was being spent on.
Ensuring your group is comfortable with the foreign currency you’re using, what spending is going on, and how much and when to tip is crucial so that everyone can determine how much money they’ll need for their trip. It’s also important that people’s varying budgets are considered so no one feels uncomfortable. Ultimately, communication is essential to avoid any conflicts.
2) Take advantage of budgeting apps
Holiday money apps have flooded the market in recent years, making it much simpler to manage finances when you’re abroad or enjoying a group staycation. These can be used to equally split bills for drinks and food, offer guidance on appropriate tip percentages as well as help you keep track of exactly how much is being spent from the overall pot.
If you’d rather not carry as much cash, you can still keep a close eye on spending via a pre-paid card. Pre-paid travel cards can help you budget, lock in exchange rates and avoid charges which can happen when using some debit or credit cards.
They’re also a great way to pool everyone’s spending money together and the whole group can agree from the onset how much to each contribute. These types of cards also help you to pay attention to your spending and it takes away the pressure of having to work out how to fairly split a bill between the group.
3) Shop early for best holiday money rates
It’s recommended that you plan early to ensure your budget goes as far as possible. A lot of travel bureaux offer a click and collect service on foreign currency, and some will price match the best deals on the market.
It’s best to avoid taking out currency while at the airport or once you arrive on holiday as this can often result in receiving a less competitive exchange rate and paying much higher fees, leaving you and your group with less to spend on your trip.
4) Chat things through early on
Before you set off on your holiday, it’s important to know exactly what your total budget is and talk about any group spending while you’re away.
For example, think about what should be joint, such as meals out or taxi rides, and what should be separate, such as buying any gifts or additional excursions.
Getting this right is key as we found 19% of those who’d fallen out with friends and family abroad said they’ve never been on a holiday with them since, while 16% didn’t talk to them for the rest of the trip!
It may feel daunting, but it’s important to be as open as possible with everyone you’re planning on going away with, so everyone feels confident and comfortable with their finances. This will also help avoid any upset or confusion between you and your loved ones.