With the summer holidays fast approaching, many families are preparing for their first holiday together since the pandemic began. However, jetting off abroad doesn’t come cheap, and with the cost of living crisis in the UK at the moment, it’s important to budget carefully and not get carried away with splashing the cash to make up for lost time.
To help holiday-makers save some extra cash this summer, Little-Loans.com has partnered with Instagram Mum, Emma Stretton, to share her top holiday saving hacks.
Emma ( @emma.wears.it.all ) is a mum-of-two and savvy-saver. After a three year break, she’s off on her first holiday abroad with her partner and kids. As her partner is a teacher, they have no choice but to pay more during the school holidays which is why they cut back in other areas to save on unnecessary spending before they go and whilst they’re away.
Here’s a few things Emma does to stop overspending on holiday:
“Make a budget and stick to it. I have the Google drive app on my phone which has my various budgeting spreadsheets in. I’ll make one before we go away with a rough idea of what to spend each day. Whilst there, I keep a note of what we’ve spent in the notes section of my phone and at the end of each day I spend two minutes checking we’re on budget.”
“Obviously holidays should be about unwinding but coming back to a month of beans on toast because I went wild at the hotel bar is not ideal. So a quick scan of the budget keeps me on track.”
“When it comes to luggage, roll don’t fold! You can fit so many more clothes into a case when you roll them. Tuck underwear into shoes as well, that’s a great space saver.”
“The point of this is so that we only have to pay for one case and then take hand luggage. I’m not about to pay through the nose for the sake of an extra pair of shoes, and with my tiny toiletries as well it’s fairly easy to manage with one case.”
“I also double up evening clothes as beachwear the following day, and don’t take a lot for the kids because they really don’t care what they wear.”
At the airport
“Admittedly, buying glossy mags at WHSmith in the airport is all part of the holiday for me. The kids, however, would spend a fortune on sweets, toys and diet coke if I let them. I’ll load my kindle with new books before we go so there’s no need for the magazines and take snacks in my bag for the boys. I also take their water bottles so they don’t need to buy drinks at the airport; these also come in handy later when we’re away.”
“We will likely take some cash on holiday with us for things like tips, and beforehand will shop around for the best exchange rate. However, most of our spending will be on our Virgin Credit Card which has one of the best rates when spending abroad.”
“Before you jet off, check what you will be charged for spending on holiday and switch to a better provider if need be. Using the credit card also means I can check the app each day and keep a close eye on what we spend. If I get a bit giddy on mojitos and forget to update my budget, it will all be in the app.”
Find a local supermarket
“When we’re away, we generally always have breakfast in the hotel room and often lunch as well. Find a local market that sells basic things like bread and cereal, maybe some cheeses and fresh veg too.”
“I don’t like eating out for every meal anyway and the kids get bored if they’re sat still for too long. This saves money and means we can enjoy our evening meal even more. Buy several large bottles of water and top up the water bottles you bought from home, so you’re not spending loads on drinks either.”
“Going out for food in the evening is one of my favourite things to do on holiday. I love finding the local restaurants, which are often cheaper than hotel restaurants, and trying new cuisines. I’ll always have the local beer and my husband has the house wine. It’s less expensive and I’ve actually found some of my favourite beers that way.”
“If the kids insist on dessert we’ll just get them ice cream which is often the least expensive option.”
“This holiday will be the first we’ve ever booked where the hotel has a free kids club. We’ll also be going to the beach where we only have to pay for sun beds and, in the evening, will take advantage of the free cheesy entertainment. We won’t be spending money on water parks, days out or boat trips.”
“If it was a holiday for my partner and I, I’d rather go and explore but with kids, it’s just easier to let them enjoy themselves. Also, after three years stuck in the UK, I’m excited for some sun and a break from normal life so lying around a pool all day, spending absolutely nothing but time together, sounds perfect.”
Little-Loans.com ‘s Personal Finance Expert, Dan Whittaker, said: “It’s extremely easy to find yourself splurging on holiday. Whilst it’s important to enjoy yourself and treat the family, it’s always wise to save on expenditures where you’ll feel the least personal impact.”
“We love these tips from Emma, a mum who’s aware of the financial pressures that holidays can cause. Her tips highlight that you can still have a blast on holiday all whilst keeping your finances in good order.”