This is a collaborative post with Amy (who is obviously from the UK!). Thank you for supporting CFO!
Holiday season is upon us, and if you’re worried about how far your pound will (or won’t) go when you’re abroad, take heart – and these tips – to help you to make the most of your moolah this summer.
Look for cheaper fuel
Head to the petrol stations at supermarkets, as the fuel there is often 10% cheaper than at the stations along the motorways. Petrol is around the same price in the UK as in France, but diesel is significantly cheaper, so opt for a diesel hire car.
Mark your cards
It often pays to watch the international money exchange scene for a few weeks before you go away, so you can buy your currency at a good time. Whatever you do, don’t use the kiosks at the airport, as you won’t get a good rate. Once on holiday, use your debit card to withdraw money, but try not to do it too often. You could also use your credit card to pay for things, but this only works if you pay your balance every month.
Don’t go for the hotel breakfast…
…unless it’s free, in which case fill your boots (and your face) and make up some ham or cheese rolls for your elevensies. You might find if you’re staying in a hotel that the breakfasts are really expensive – £40 or more. This isn’t your only option – scout out a decent place nearby and head there instead.
Quaff the local wines
Locally-grown wines are always much cheaper than the others on the list, and if you’re self-catering, make sure you ask for the local option at the supermarché.
Stay by the bar
If you’re on the continent, eating and drinking at the bar is always way cheaper than at a table. For example, a coffee in Rome may be €1, whereas if you head to a table it can be three or four times as much!
Head off the beaten track
If you’re in a tourist area, you can guarantee that the cafes, gift shops and restaurants will be much more expensive than the ones a little way back from the hustle and bustle. Go for a quick mooch round the back streets and see what you can find. You’ll probably get friendlier, more personal service too.
Do your homework so you don’t get a traffic fine
In most countries in continental Europe, the police will levy on-the-spot fines and there are nearly as many speed cameras as there are in the UK. Another thing to watch out for is the variable speed limits. When you enter a village, town or city, the limits drop to 50kmph or even lower, so do pay attention.
In France, there’s the added complication (although it makes excellent sense) of speed limits dropping when it rains. On the motorway it falls from 130kmph to 110kmph; on dual carriageways it’s from 110kmph to 100kmph, and on open roads its 90kmph down to 80kmph.
If you have any great money-saving tips for holidays, let us know in the comments!