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How holidaymakers can save £390 before leaving the house

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

A family of four could waste almost £400 of their holiday budget simply by failing to plan ahead.

Some summer travellers are needlessly shelling out a huge chunk from their summer holiday budget before they even set foot in their resort, according to Caxton FX.

The currency specialist calculated that holidaymakers could save an average of £390 by sorting out their foreign currency in advance, booking airport parking online, bringing their own food and drink to the airport, and using the cheapest petrol stations.

Foreign currency

According to Caxton FX, holidaymakers can save an average of £215.78 by sorting out a decent currency card a couple of weeks in advance, rather than buying foreign currency at the airport.

On 8 August the euro exchange rate at Moneycorp Gatwick Airport was 0.8787 euro cents to the pound, while the euro exchange rate at Caxton FX was 1.06010 euros to the pound.

Based on fortnight’s spending money of 1,260 euros or 90 euros per day, customers would pay £1,433.94 at the airport compared with £1,218.16 (including a load fee) if purchased from Caxton FX – a difference of £215.78.

Airport travel

Pre-booking a long stay car park at Gatwick North online for two weeks (8 to 22 August) costs £146 if you book at bookings.gatwick airport.com.

However, if you simply turn up and pay on the day, the same parking spot will set you back £285 (£25 for day one and £20 per day thereafter), so you’d save £139 by booking ahead.

It’s generally cheaper to buy petrol at a supermarket than at a motorway service station.

According to research from petrolprices.com, on 1 July 2019 a litre of petrol was 24p cheaper at Sainsbury’s in Hempsted compared with the Medway service station on the M2 in Kent.

This means you could save about £12 by filling a 50-litre tank at Sainsbury’s versus an expensive motorway service station.

Food and drink

Food and drink in airport departures or motorway service stations is notoriously expensive. Caxton FX calculated that a family of four eating at Pret A Manger would spend £30.38. Going to Tesco and buying ingredients to make sandwiches, accompanied by similar snacks and drinks, would cost just £9.61 – that’s £20.77 cheaper.

Alana Parsons, travel money expert at Caxton FX, said: “Many of us are travel savvy when it comes to getting a good deal on our holiday accommodation and flights. However, because we live such busy lives with long working hours and family pressures, it’s easy to take your eye off the ball on the finer holiday details nearer departure.

“The family holiday is a big deal and something you look forward to for months – so you don’t want to be putting a big dent in your spending kitty before you’ve even left the UK.”