Everyone has a dream holiday destination that they are just dying to visit. But unfortunately your dream holiday, especially those overseas in exotic locations, can cause a huge dent in your bank account if not carefully thought out and planned. To avoid your dream from becoming a blowout, it helps to prepare for all aspects of your trip from the pre-holiday planning to managing the actual event. To ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation, while cutting down on costs, follow these tips to get on the road to your dream destination.
Prepare a financial plan for your trip
- Make a detailed financial plan which takes into consideration easy access to local currency, should you be travelling to a foreign country.
- Use credit cards with the lowest load fees. These are the fees or commissions levied on the card, whenever you transact. Also ensure to make all payments at the end of the month to avoid paying hefty interest fees.
- Always have a contingency plan/fund to cater for unforeseen emergency situations such as accidents or illness.
- Confirm that you are able to access your bank account, should the need arise. This will save you from the agony of having to deal with foreign banks which levy high fees for foreign account holders.
- Choose a combined approach when spending money overseas by using an affordable credit card with low load fees, a widely accepted prepaid card like MasterCard, with no international ATM or transaction fees as well as hard cash, both in local and foreign currency.
Consider value-added holiday packages
- Take advantage of holiday packages that combine hotel accommodation with airfare as these are significantly cheaper than separate bookings.
- Ensure to book all-inclusive hotel packages that cover accommodation, meals, drinks, entertainment and any other value added activities. This way you do not have to dig into your pocket to pay bills every time you have a meal or a drink in the hotel.
- Look for early bird discounts and trawl the discount flight and hotel websites.
- Look out for hotels and resorts that allow young children of a certain age, to stay, eat and play at no cost while slightly older children are charged a percentage of the total fee which is a great saving during a family holiday. Such resorts also usually have kids clubs which offer full entertainment programs for them, allowing the adults some quality, quiet time.
- If you’re look to save more money, look for hotels or apartments with a fully serviced kitchenette and amenities such as cookers, fridges and microwaves, in the room. This way you can buy groceries and snacks in the local stores, prepare your own meals, and cut on heavy restaurant food costs.
- To save money on accommodation, families can often get better value for money staying in short lease apartments as opposed to hotels. These apartments usually have kitchen and laundry access which can save even more money.
Look out for local deals
- Build a rapport with the locals and inquire about current and future deals on accommodation, meals or tours, that usually come at a discounted rate saving you money.
- You can also save loads of cash by choosing to eat out at local restaurants which may cost much less than the meals served at the hotel or resort.
- Visit the local markets for great shopping deals on gift items, clothing, shoes and even food. Here they will cost much less than in the hotel shops or shopping malls.
- Make use of local transport systems such as public buses and save on expensive hotel taxi services. It is wise to ensure personal security when choosing this option as not all holiday destinations are safe and friendly for foreign visitors.
- Take advantage of the hotel entertainment including swimming pools, gym facilities such as sauna, steam and massage and even live bands and entertainment which more often than not, are offered free to hotel residents. This way you don’t have to spend extra money on entertainment, and yet not compromising on fun.
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By Gavin Whittaker – This article was written in association with Tuxedo, a leader in the field of currency cards and prepaid technologies. Gavin Whittaker is a finance journalist with years of experience. Gavin is an expert at explaining the advantages of currency cards, credit card safety and financial market reports. He shares his insight on these issues with readers of a wide variety of blogs, online- and print-magazines.