Most of us look forward to our annual summer holiday to escape the rain and soak up some culture. However, many of us also know the familiar sting of a post-holiday bank account, with just enough cash to scrape through the remainder of the month. If you are in the process of planning your next summer trip, here is a money-saving guide to help banish those post-holiday blues and put a smile back on your sun-kissed face.
Book time off
Fridays and weekends are the most popular times to travel. As a result, airlines hike up the prices. According to Which? research, flying back on a Sunday can be up to 45% more expensive. If you know that a holiday is on the cards at the start of the year, book time off work so you can plan out-going and return flights on a mid-week day. Like any other form of public transport, you can cut costs by booking a few months in advance. The longer you wait, the more you will have to pay.
It is always best to research car hire companies in the area to find the best deal. Take extra precaution when using the car whilst on holiday and remember to take a few detailed photos of the car at the start of the holiday, including any existing scratches and bumps.
Handy mobile apps
So many travellers overlook their phones whilst abroad. Instead of stowing your smartphone away in a draw for emergency phone calls, use it to the best of its ability with a range of money-saving apps. At the start of the year, iPhone alone registered around 775,000 apps in its store, with thousands more added to its 2013 roster every month. From the millions of available online apps, an abundance of travel apps have emerged to solve all of your holiday woes. Amongst them is the free XE Currency app which accurately converts a myriad of currencies so you can start to save as soon as you hop off the plane. Once you have arrived at your chosen destination, use the Kayak app for iPhone, Android and Blackberry to scope out the best prices on hotels, car rentals and flights for returning home. The Meal Ticket app for iPhone is another great holiday app which lets you search for restaurant deals and coupons by area. When using your mobile abroad, remember to turn off data roaming whilst it is not in use and report a stolen mobile as soon as possible.
Package holiday deals, vouchers and exclusive offers have become big business in 2013. By using these online travel agents and price comparison sites, you may be able to snap up some savvy deals within your destination of choice. Even holiday activities such as horse riding, scuba diving and skydiving can be enjoyed for less with online vouchers, so start browsing now. Popular sites include Expedia, Secret Escapes, TravelSupermarket.com and Holiday Comparisons.
As a general rule, do not exchange your money at the airport as the exchange rate will be rubbish. Use sites such as travelmoneymax.com before your trip to find banks and bureau de changes with the cheapest rates. Alternatively, you can order currency online at Travelex then pick up the cash later in one of their bureau de change.
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