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10 top tips to save money on your summer holiday

Written by: Dominic Baliszewski
Summer’s just around the corner so if you’re planning your next get away, here are 10 top tips to keep the price in check.

1) Be flexible with destination

If you don’t have your heart set on anywhere in particular, look at the offers available and be flexible with your destination. If all you want is a hot beach and a cocktail, you could save £100s by swapping resorts or even country.

2) Use price comparison websites – with care

Price comparison websites can certainly save you money on car hire, travel insurance and package holidays. But comparisons can be distorted by companies striving to offer the cheapest headline prices by stripping away as many extras as possible, so be extra vigilant.

3) Don’t get caught out by currency fees

When getting your currency look for the best exchange rate and never change money at the airport – you’ll likely be charged a significant amount in commission. There are several other options from using your credit or debit card to topping up a pre-paid card before you leave. Make sure you check the terms of your card to ensure you’re not caught out with any hefty fees.

4) Budget before your trip to avoid regrets when you get back home

Work out your spending pot and allocate a daily amount – perhaps even get cash before you go and separate into daily piles. That way all you’ll have after your holiday is a sun tan and some good pictures as opposed to any debt.

5) Make the most of free baggage allowance

If you’re going on a short weekend break, instead of paying for checked luggage, consider whether you can take a smaller bag on board. You can save £15+ per person by taking less with you. Remember that liquids over 100ml are not permitted through security.

6) Do you really need to reserve your seat?

Some airlines now charge you to reserve your seat. If you’re travelling with someone in a group and want to sit together then you can pay to do so. But if you’re happy to take the risk of sitting on your own, then don’t pay to reserve your seat. It’s usually first come first served, so if you’re at the gate early enough, you can generally find seats together.

7) Be wary of car rental pricing

The pricing of car hire has become problematic as companies try to keep the advertised cost as low as possible, then catch you out with extra charges during the booking process or on arrival. Be sure to compare bottom-line prices rather than headline prices and read reviews of the hire companies.

8) Avoid petrol charges

Don’t get stung by extortionate refuelling charges added to your car hire bill or offered in advance when you pick up the vehicle. By making sure you top up the tank before dropping back the car, you could save yourself a substantial amount.

9) Walk around the corner

Restaurants and cafes that are just a few steps away from the big sights are invariably cheaper than those in the main squares. A five-minute walk can halve your bill and get you a much better experience.

10) Keep an eye on mobile use

The cost of data roaming in the EU has fallen sharply in recent years, but it can still be extortionate in non-EU countries. Turn off your data roaming and connect to Wi-Fi as and when you can, so you can share those holiday snaps to make your friends envious without the high costs.

Dominic Baliszewski is director of consumer strategy at Momentum UK

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