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Fifiteen ways to save the pennies on holiday  

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Eating local cuisine and exchanging cash before you leave are two of the top ways to pinch pennies while you’re away.

That’s according to the savings team at, who have revealed the 15 things a tourist can do to cut costs once they’re on holiday.

Darren Williams of said: “It’s easy to get carried away and spend a lot of money when you’re enjoying yourself on holiday. While this may be fun at the time, it’s often not worth it when you get home and have to worry about debt.

“With these easy tips, you can still enjoy your break with the added advantage of knowing you’ve been smart with cash.

Here are the 15 things you can do to cut costs on holiday.

  1. Avoid tourist traps

If you opt for a drink in a fancy bar outside the city’s most popular landmark, you’re likely to spend more than if you wandered to a less popular part of town. Head off the beaten path for better deals.


  1. Use public transport

We’re not talking about sightseeing buses here. To save your pennies, figure out how locals travel and follow their lead instead. This will be cheaper than public transport aimed at tourists and considerably less than a taxi.


  1. Understand the currency

We all know someone who’s headed to a foreign country and thought they were getting an absolute bargain only to discover they were totally ripped off because they didn’t understand the currency. Be savvy and get to know the exchange rate to avoid money wasted in tourist traps.


  1. Exchange your cash before you leave

Shop around the high street and find the best rate to get more bang for your buck. Airports are notoriously expensive for exchanging cash and leaving it until you get to your destination can lead to last-minute decisions that’ll cost you.


  1. Tell your mobile provider

Don’t get stung by an extortionate phone bill while you’re away. Instead, let your mobile provider know you’re going away in advance and ask them to adjust your contract accordingly. This will help to avoid any nasty surprises once you get home.


  1. Haggle

Depending on the situation, haggling might be expected in a country, particularly if you’re in an overpriced tourist area or a market. Don’t be afraid to suggest a cheaper price if you feel that they’re over-charging you.


  1. Seek out the standard tip and taxi fare

If you know the going rate for a taxi, you’ll be able to figure out if you’re being ripped off. In some countries, taxis are required to display their fare before you board, so finding this out could help you avoid being conned.

Similarly, find out whether service charges are generally included before you visit to avoid over tipping.


  1. Avoid hotel shops, bars and restaurants

Hotels are designed for tourists, so often they take advantage of this. As tempting as it is to stay on site, leaving the hotel is the way to get the best deal – unless your hotel is all-inclusive, of course.


  1. Eat local cuisine

The most expensive restaurants are those trying to tempt tourists, so while an English menu and your favourite pie might be tempting, eating like a local is the way to save.


  1. Stock up on sun cream before you go

If you’re off on a beach break, it’s easy to get stung by expensive sun cream. Cut costs here by making sure you stock up on extra sun cream beforehand.


  1. Pay cash, not card

Paying by card often comes with hefty fees, so only pay by card if you’ve checked with your bank and won’t be left with account charges each time you pay for something.


  1. Always pay in their currency

Sometimes, shops might let you pay in pounds rather than euros, but in most cases this should ring alarm bells. In these situations, the shop gets to pick the exchange rate, so sticking to the local currency is the best way to keep costs down.


  1. Socialise

Chatting with others is the best way to find out tricks that you won’t find in guide books, so take the time to get to know those you meet whilst away. Both locals and fellow tourists might be able to teach you a trick or two.


  1. Buy a travel pass

Not only will this cut costs on travel, but many travel cards include entrance to popular museums and sights, too. A travel pass can help you predict how much you’re spending and cut corners on popular tourist activities.


  1. Find your own breakfast

Eating breakfast at the hotel is so much more expensive than sourcing your own, so scout the nearby area for cafes that might be cheaper. Some hotels are much more affordable than other, so it’s always worth finding out if neighbouring hotels offer breakfast for non-guests.


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