How to save £££s on holiday

The usual holiday rule is ‘take half the clothes and twice the money’. But nobody wants to come home in debt. So here’s how to save while you’re away and come back in the black.

Piggy on vacation at beach

A new survey has found that 40% of holidaymakers come home in debt as a result of overspending while they’re away, and two thirds admit they overspend on holiday by an average of £220 per person. Food, drink and pricey activities bore a hole in wallets from the moment you reach the airport. But it doesn’t have to be this way – so here’s six ways to save while you’re away and still enjoy a whale of a time.

1 Don’t buy travel items at the airport

Travel pillow, plug adapters, headphones, eye masks and sun cream will cost you a lot more at the airport than they will in your local pound shop or saver store – try B&M Bargains, Quality Save or Poundland for travel items at very low prices. If you wait till after check-in, you don’t have much choice.

2 Take your own aeroplane food

A tiny budget-airline packet of pretzels and a limp baguette are no substitute for your own favourite snacks. And while you’re not allowed liquids in the air, many airlines have no firm rules about sandwiches and crisps. So pack a picnic and save a fortune while you fly.

3 Switch off data roaming

It’s horribly easy to get caught out by mobile tariffs abroad. It costs extra to make and receive calls and texts, or download any data – so if your teenager is sneaking off to watch his friend’s hilarious gifs, don’t be surprised when the bill is astronomical. Instead, check whether your service provider offers a roaming deal, such as O2’s £1.99 a day charge.

4 Don’t fork out on beach reads

Guide books, phrasebooks and glossy beach reads can add up dramatically before you go, so either organise a book swap with friends (perfect for kids’ books, too) or join the library to stock up on holiday reading. For guides, download a couple of apps like Mtrip Guides, and Triposo, and try Duolingo to learn a few useful phrases. Don’t forget your destination’s Tourist Information Centre will also have plenty of free maps and guides.

5 Forget the hire car

Unless you’re on a road trip, or far off the beaten track, a bit of time researching the local bus and tram routes can save you a fortune. Most cities offer a saver card, which allows you to pay a flat fee for all transport, and many resorts are either small enough to explore on foot, or have a train station you can use for excursions. You’ll also have a more relaxing journey if you’re not trying to navigate unfamiliar roundabouts in a car you’ve never driven before.

6 Don’t buy lunch

Unless you’re in an all-inclusive resort, eating at restaurants for lunch will drain your budget in no time. Load up on the breakfast buffet, and don’t be afraid to take a roll and a banana for snacks. For lunch, locate the nearest supermarket and buy a picnic. Remember to pack plastic cutlery, wet wipes and paper plates in your luggage, and every day you can have your picnic in a new location.

7 Don’t take a sat nav

If you have a smartphone, Navmii is a free app that offers basic routes, map reading and traffic updates, without using up expensive data. Download it before you go, so you can get around without worrying about your 4G draining away.

Tell us your best holiday saving tips, @candismagazine #holidays

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