Unexpected Holiday Costs: Be Prepared
Planning a holiday can be so rewarding despite the costs, although there are some things that can be forgotten which often leave a sour taste in your mouth. Iv’e added a few here, add them to your checklist!
Us brits love holidays and can you blame us considering most of the year is cold, cloudy and wet for us. It can be expensive but if you’ve been clever you would have booked it months ago so you can manage the cost over a period of time. Hopefully you would have already checked all the passports are in date and if you’re going on a road trip you would have checked your MOT, tax and insurance is all valid.
I guess like most of us you’re probably confident you’ve covered everything, right? But after every holiday you ask yourself “How did we spend that much money!?” Its those other costs which you hav’nt thought about that hit you with the holiday blues. You end up spending money you hadn’t planned for right when you least expected it.
Take a moment to read through a few things that have caught me out in the past, these reminders should help you avoid any breakdown inducing moments once you finally get the opportunity to relax and unwind.
Plan Your Days Out
One of the whole points of going away is to get out, explore new things and try new things. This applies whether your going abroad or staying here in the UK. When I take my family on holiday I make sure I research the area and its amenities to gauge what we can do without spending stacks of cash. By doing this you can work out what each member of the family would like to do and calculate the cost of each activity in advance ensuring you can afford to each activity.
If where you’re staying only has day trips and activities that are spread out make sure if abroad you pre book a hire car through sites like EasyCar to get the cheapest fare possible, booking these at the airport is significantly more expensive than advanced booking. If you are staying in the UK be sure to get in touch with the local tourist board. These guys will be able to tell you if there are any special offers on local attractions and events. It also worth checking if you can use reward cards like Tesco reward or Nectar Card to pay for activities or even just to get a discount.
Planning days out and working out fuels costs in advance will help you plan your finances in advance so if it so happens that something crops up whilst away you’ll be confident knowing that you can or can’t afford it.
The last thing you need when turning up to your relaxing hotel or getaway is to find out that breakfast isn’t included or you have to pay an arm and a leg for a spare bed! Before setting off on your adventure double check that where you’re staying includes everything you need to ensure a problem free break.
I’ve done a fair amount of travelling over the years and I have been caught out a few times. If your are staying in the UK make sure that you don’t have to pay extra to borrow things like high chairs or travel cots as these things are easy to pack and you can pick up some cheap travel versions in any major store.
Simply cover all areas that you think may be charged for and don’t be afraid to ask.
Food & Drink
If you’ve chosen an all inclusive then crack on and fill your boots with as much food & drink that you desire. But what if your in a B&B, self catering or camping?
Firstly speak to the owners of the B&B you are staying in and find out if they’d do a deal on supplying you with meals, i’ve done this a few times and theres never normally a problem. If your self catering don’t fall into the lazy trap and convince yourself its not too expensive to get lunch and dinner out everyday because believe me, it is! If abroad research the local supermarkets and perhaps ask your accommodation provider where is the cheapest is but still retaining quality. As soon as you arrive get together and create a shopping list just as you would at home, then visit the supermarket to get your weeks shop. But remember to ensure you buy what you will eat so you don’t waste your food and money. In the UK its even easier, we like to do a shop online and just simply have it delivered to our accommodation. Make sure you pack a cool box so you can take lunch out with you rather than paying over the odds for burgers and chips.
Same applies to camping, you must make sure you plan each days food and either take provisions with you or shop at the local supermarket near your campsite. Try taking some basic camping stoves and a BBQ not only will this keep the cost down but its also really fun and can teach the kids (if you have any) some valuable life skills.
Anything Can Happen
The final tip for being prepared is to plan for anything. Set some cash aside for holiday emergencies you may be out on a walk somewhere in the wilderness and you car is parked miles away when suddenly you trip and break your ankle, now what. Your only choice is to book a cab or hop on the bus back to where you came from, you’ll need money set aside. If you don’t use your emergency fund well save it for your next holiday. The weather can be very unpredictable and we cant rely on the forecasters all the time.
Don’t just pack shorts and t-shirts and hope for the best, pop in the odd jumper and rain jacket to. You really don’t want to be spending your holiday budget on warmer clothing just because you didn’t pack one of your own.
My last tip may seem obvious to you but so many people get caught out with this. It so important to get insurance when travelling, things go missing and injuries do happen. For example; Wanderlast (travel website) explain than somebody paid £11,000 to fix a broken arm whilst on holiday in Spain! Thats a staggering figure considering you can get travel insurance from as little as £9 from places like GoCompare. Its also equally important to get insured when in the UK and if your on a road trip check with your car insurance that they’ll cover you for this kind of activity.
“I hope these tips can help you to plan better for your holidays, be sure to add them to your checklist to avoid any nasty unexpected holiday costs. I hope you have a cheap and relaxing break!”