7 handy tips to save cash on your holiday…even if you’ve booked

Nearly time to go? Still a chance to save!

It’s that time of year again! The clocks have changed, the days are brighter and the nights are longer. All we need now is some hotter weather and we can well and truly herald the arrival of summer.

Many of you may already have spent a fair bit booking your holiday, but even if you have there are still lots of ways to cut costs in the build up.

Airport parking

When the day of your holiday comes you need to get yourself to the airport. Car parks can be expensive so don’t pay when you arrive but plan in advance and look for deals on sites such as Airparks or BCP. To get even more saving before your holiday be sure to get cashback on your purchases too!

Depending on where you live it might be cheaper to get a taxi to and frin the airport. You’ll obviously need to factor in both journeys but you will save on parking and fuel.

Alternatively, ask family and friends if they’d be willing to give you a lift in exchange for fuel money. You could end up saving a packet!

Airport transfers

For a few years now the best way to get a cheap holiday is not to go through a travel agents but book everything separately yourself. This is definitely cost effective but one thing you can get caught out on is transfers, especially if you just jump into a taxi at the airport.

Instead, book your holiday transfers ahead (either at the time you make your holiday booking) or look around for a bargain after the booking.

If you shop around you will definitely pay less and with some transfer booking services you can even earn cashback.

Travel insurance

Although cost should play a factor when you buy travel insurance the cheapest cover isn’t necessarily the best. Check the terms and conditions of the cover before you buy it to make sure it’s suitable for your needs.

If you plan to take your camera with you but the insurance won’t cover you for loss or damage then you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket to replace it.

If you pay for banking, you may already have travel insurance as part of the package so check with your bank as you may not need to take out cover. Or, if you travel quite often, consider getting multi-trip cover so the costs can be spread over different trips.

Travel money

The best rates for travel money can be found online but you’ll need to do it in advance. You can either get the money delivered straight to you or you can pick it up from a local bureau de change.

You’ll need to hunt around for the best exchange rate using a site like Travelex to compare rates. As an extra tip, if you find a cheaper overall price elsewhere, Travelex will refund you the difference.

Check with your bank if you want to pay with your card to see if you’ll have to pay any charges for using it abroad. Alternatively, consider getting a travel money card. With this you can pre-load it with cash to spend overseas and there are no charges for transactions or for withdrawing cash while abroad.

Airport dining

After a long journey to the airport you’ll likely to be hungry and will be tempted to start spending your holiday money in the airport café – but at what price!

I’m sure as a savvy spender you don’t want to pay at least £5 for a sandwich (ouch!) so instead take a packed lunch with you to eat while you wait to board the plane.

You won’t be able to get around taking your own drinks though as they’ll need to be disposed of before heading through airport security due to hand luggage restrictions.


I’m not sure of many airlines that don’t have a baggage allowance and if you struggle to fit everything in, why not consider leaving your toiletries at home and buying them when you arrive.

It’s so easy to pack everything including the kitchen sink but most places in Europe and beyond all have a chemist and supermarket where you’ll be able to pick up everything you need at a cheap cost.

If you don’t fancy waiting until you arrive on holiday to buy your toiletries, wait until you pass through security at your destination airport and pick them up then still at a cheaper price than on the high street.


If you’re stuck for ideas of what to do while you’re away then you’ll need a guide book but whatever you do don’t pay for it.

One of the first places to look is the internet which is full of guides, information and reviews of places to go so check out TripAdvisor or search for travel blogs specific to your holiday destination.

Alternatively, you could wait until you’re away and pick up free guides at the airport, hotel or resort. Asking the locals is another great way of finding out about places and sights that you may overlook if you just depend on info from a guidebook.

It may seem a little early to be talking about summer holidays but it’s all in the planning. The earlier you can think about what you need to pay out for, the earlier you can make plans and cut down the costs.

Ricky Willis is the founder and editor of the award winning Skint Dad blog. As well as hunting down bargains on the High Street and online; you can also find Ricky sharing his money saving ideas on Twitter and Facebook.

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Ricky Willis / @SkintDad

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