When you finally manage to get away as a student it feels like you have won the lottery. But after the flights and hotel have been paid for and you’ve got all your spending money sorted, what if you can’t actually afford to do a lot when you get there? How will you survive? Well I have been there, done that and got the t-shirt so you don’t have to. Read on for my tips on how to save money on holiday.
Get a payment Plan
This isn’t so much money saving as distribution. Chucking money at flights and a hotel before you have even left the country is sometimes a large outgoing that is not really affordable. A lot of travel companies offer some form of payment plan so you can spread the cost over a few months. You might find that you are able to save more leading up to your trip this way and leave yourself with more spending money.
Divide up your money
This one is arguably the most important, and the first thing I always do when I get somewhere new. Divide up your money equally for each day and then redistribute it according to anything you have booked and what time you are leaving on your last day. Now you have a rough idea of how much money you can spend per day, you can start planning an itinerary.
Plan your itinerary
Sometimes it is not possible to plan your itinerary, and it can be nice just to go with the flow. However if there are things you know you definitely want to do on your trip, make sure you set some money aside for them.
Remember the essentials
By essentials, I mean food and drink. These can sometimes be the most expensive things – particularly in Europe – so try and scope out a few possibilities on your first couple of days for the rest of your stay. I often visit a McDonald’s on my first day somewhere, as I know it’s never going to break the bank and it is familiar which is nice. It’s probably a good idea to focus on one meal as your main and then go for more snack based options for the other two meals. So for instance if you are getting a full English somewhere, go for a light lunch and maybe just a main for dinner. Alternatively, grab a croissant or two for breakfast, something like a pasta or quick treat from a street vendor for lunch, and then go all out with an evening meal. You can tailor this around the activities you end up doing, but food should always be your priority.
Only buy things you really need
This seems obvious, but is it really worth getting everyone you know a souvenir fridge magnet or is that money that could be spent elsewhere? I know a lot of people have traditions regarding souvenirs, but if this is the case try and increase your budget as much as possible so you can cater for this.
Similarly, if you plan to travel just with hand luggage and know you want to buy extra toiletries when you arrive, try and double up on 2-in-1 products and make sure you can bring them back home with you to get the most out of them.
Be strict with yourself
If you are taking cash but bringing a card for emergencies, make sure you don’t dip into the card unless you really need to. It can be easy to get into the holiday vibe and just make the most of your experience but remember you have responsibilities at home too!