It’s the summer time, and in the final few weeks, before we all get back to normal, we’ll be jetting off to various different countries. Of course, we’re all about saving money here, but holidays don’t follow the trend. It’s certain that we’ll be spending a lot of money on travel, accommodation and spending costs.
However, it’s that latter topic that I want to focus on today. When we get to our intended destinations, it’s far too easy to find ourselves in a position of vulnerability. We often simply agree to pay whatever we have to pay as we’re in a foreign location that we don’t understand. With the right amount of preparation, however, we can find ways to save those all-important finances with ease.
Let’s take a look at some financial tips to help you on your holidays this year.
Install GPS Maps Before You Go
We kick things off with a topic that centres entirely around the use of your phone. If you’ve ever been abroad and forgotten to turn your phone’s internet off, you’ll have felt the financial pain. It racks up a huge data bill that might take a very long time to pay off. Now, here’s the thing: we need mobile internet for lots of uses. One of those uses is GPS, where we can find destinations, or even play Pokemon Go in a new country! The best thing to do in this scenario is to download the maps ahead of time. Then, when you get to the new country, you don’t have to use up your internet connection downloading massive map files.
Always Pay Local Currency Rates
You’ll find that most people will tell you to never use your credit card abroad. We’ll focus on a few additional methods of taking out money later on, but let’s say you have no choice. Now, you have to use your credit card, and you need a way of doing it without incurring too many additional costs. When you decide to take that money out, you’ll normally be given an option of your home currency, or the local one. Always go with the local one. By choosing your home currency, you’ll find that conversion rates also include extra costs for the privilege. It’s much, much easier to stick with the local currency.
Check Your European Health Card
You know that beautiful little health card that practically protects your wellbeing while you’re away? Did you know that it might well be invalid? In many cases, the reason for this is simply because it’s out of date. Unfortunately, we use them so rarely that we simply don’t take the time to check this detail. And, as it stands, it’s a totally free service for those who want to use it in the UK. You will probably come across people who choose to charge for them – don’t give in! You should never have to pay for a European Health Card under any circumstances.
Deal With Injuries Accordingly
Following on from that European Health Card advice, let’s talk about injuries. If you get ill or injured while you’re abroad, there are a few things you can do. Ultimately, the first port of call for something like an illness is to make use of that card. However, if you get injured in a personal injury scenario, you might actually be able to claim compensation back in your home country. Some companies will treat your injury as a normal personal injury claim under the right circumstances. And, if you’re wondering “how much injury compensation could I claim?”, the answer is – it depends. These things are worked out on a case-by-case basis.
Buy A Local Sim Card
We’re back to the topic of your phone again! Nowadays, we’re totally reliant on our phones to provide methods of communication. The idea of going for an entire week without as much as a text to concerned family members is unthinkable. However, using your phone abroad is very costly, as we mentioned earlier. Amazingly, we decide to pay the extortionate costs as a desperate measure in many cases. You know what’s easier? Buying a local sim card! Find a local phone shop, and buy a prepaid sim. As long as your phone is unlocked, that card should be able to fit your phone with no issues. The costs to both call and text will be significantly reduced from this moment on.
Uncover Vouchers & Deals For Local Attractions
Here’s a really easy tip that will come in handy whether you’re on holiday or not. The whole idea of a holiday is to explore what the destination has to offer, right?! Inevitably, this leads us to historic monuments and amazing entertainment attractions. And, because they’re the best of the best, we end up spending far too much money on them. In many cases, you’ll find that the internet is your portal to a vast array of discounts. By searching for the name of the attraction, followed by the term “voucher,” you might just come across what you’re looking for. 2-for-1 deals are very common, as are 10% and 20% vouchers. Even if you can’t find any offers, you normally get a discount for simply booking online ahead of time.
Pay Attention To Rental Car Policies
Renting a car is by far and wide the best way to explore a destination where you’re on holiday. After all, you’re only going to be there for a short amount of time. If you’re forced to comply with bus and train times, you’re going to be missing out on valuable exploration time. But, rental car companies know this. They know that you’re willing to pay over the odds, and they’ll be even happier if they can get a bit more out of you, too. While rental prices can be saved by shopping ahead of time, it’s the policies I want to focus on today. Whatever you do; read the policies carefully. There might be clauses stating that you can’t go past a certain location, or that mileage must be restricted to a certain amount. If you don’t follow those rules, you’ll be paying for it.
Inform Your Bank That You’re Going Abroad
So, when you’re doing all the final preparations before you head off on your travels, I want you to think of this. Make the call to your mobile phone company in the first instance, and tell them you’re going abroad. This should save additional costs. Then, I want you to do exactly the same thing with your bank. The reason for this is simple. When you go abroad and start spending money in a foreign location, your bank gets suspicious. After all, you spent £50 in Derby, UK last week, and now you’re spending $50 in Carolina, USA this week! How are they are supposed to know that your card’s details weren’t stolen or hacked? This can lead to your account becoming unexpectedly frozen. A quick call is all that’s necessary to prevent this.
We very briefly mentioned earlier how using your cards abroad can be an expensive thing. It often comes bundled with additional costs for the privilege of being able to do it, wasting money in the process. Why not go prepaid instead? By loading a prepaid card with funds, you can eliminate the possibility of going overboard with your spending, for one thing. Also, it means that there are no nasty charges that appear on your bank statement when you get back. When looking for prepaid cards, take your time. There are lots of deals out there, and some come with more downsides than others. Prepare this ahead of your trip.
Bring Lots Of Cash – But Not Too Much…
We haven’t even mentioned your all-important travel insurance policy today, but we’ll briefly touch upon it now. As is the case with a rental car policy, your travel policy has a lot of clauses in it. You need to make sure you’re studying these before you go abroad. One of the clauses that sometimes makes an appearance is that you’re only covered for certain amounts of cash. If you decide to carry more than that, and you get robbed, you won’t be able to recover those funds. So, in the first instance, exchange your money ahead of time. Find out how much you can afford to bring, and don’t go over the top. If you really need more money, think about the prepaid option we mentioned above.
Remaining in control of your personal finances is all about preparation. As long as you take the time to prepare for your holiday in the right way, you shouldn’t have to face any nasty consequences. Once you get abroad, things are going to be more difficult to manage if you haven’t organised yourself. So, use this guide as somewhat of a checklist. Go through our points once more and make sure you’ve ticked off what you need. Then, add your own flavour to the mix, and you’ll be all set for an amazing holiday.