How to… watch your budget whilst travelling!

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Did you ever come home from a holiday, looked at your bank account and had a mild heart attack? I know… a holiday can cost so much more money than you first envisaged!

But after reading today’s post all of that will be in the past as I give you plenty of tips on how to watch your budget whilst on holiday… now to put it into practice 🙂

1.Set a budget

First rule… set a budget… and try to stick with it! The first may be doable… the second a little less I know! You always end up spending more than you expect, but try to calculate that into your budget. For instance, if you think 1000 EUR is sufficient for your trip, budget 1200 EUR to be on the safe side!

2.Spread the costs

When you plan your next holiday and you start planning well in advance, that means that you can spread the costs.

Below you seen an example on how to spread the costs over a period of 7 months.

Mind, this is just an example, but you get the picture!

  • Book your accomodation in February and pay a 50% deposit.
  • Book your transportation in March and pay full prize.
  • In April you can plan some things you definitely want to do…
  • … for which you can book online tickets with your credit card and pay for them in May.
  • Pay the  rest of your accomodation in June.
  • Take some cash with you to spend on your holiday in July.
  • Pay some things during your holiday with a credit card and pay your account in August

3. Purchase ahead of time… or last minute!

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Sometimes, things can be much cheaper when you buy them way before your departure, like airline tickets for example.

On the other hand… there are always some last minute buys that can be very appealing! In need of a quick getaway? Check the sites of travel agencies and you might do a big bargain!

4. Purchase online

When you know you want to visit certain things or attend certain events whilst on your holiday, it might be wise to purchase tickets in advance. Online tickets are often cheaper then buying them at the venue itself. And buying your tickets in advance has another advantage… no queueing at the ticket line!

For our trip to England for instance, I really wanted to visit Highclere Castle so I bought tickets beforehand… and luckily so, because most of the days were already sold out!

Mind, you have to be 100% certain that you will do these things or you end up spending money on things you don’t do…which would be a pity of course!

5. Check free things to do

Just type in ‘free things to do in…’ and your browser will give you heaps of tips! Mind, check them out beforehand. Some things may have changed and you don’t want to be surprised at your destination!

6. Special offer sites

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Why not try the special offer sites? They’re definitely not all dodgy and you could save so much money… I have used these sites for diners (buy 1, get 2), to buy a weekend break at a fraction of the normal price, to buy tickets for museums/events,…

These special offer sites vary from country to country, but for Belgium/Holland you can use the sites of Groupon, Travelbird, Vakantiepiraten, Weekendje Weg,…

The only thing to keep in mind is to carefully read the terms and conditions of each offer so you won’t be disappointed.

There is one special offer site I would like to recommend highly for your next citytrip to London: https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london

This is a 2for1 special offer site which offers plenty of possibilities for your next London-trip. They also offer promotions for other cities in the UK as well, just browse the site!

Now… what’s the catch… To use the 2for1 vouchers in London (or the other cities), you’ve got to have a valid train ticket for the day you want to use the voucher(s). And that’s when you’ve got a bit of homework to do I guess…

  • Check out the offer on the site.
  • Decide on which things you want to do. Below you see an example for a day in London for 2 persons where you can save over 180 GPB!!
  • Make sure you’ve read all terms and conditions! They may vary from offer to offer…
  • Print out the vouchers (I don’t think you have to pay beforehand, but that might vary from offer to offer… again, read the terms and conditions!)
  • Make reservations when needed.
  • On the day you want to use these vouchers, make sure you’ve each got a train ticket towards one of London’s main train stations. Now even when you’re staying in London you can still enjoy these vouchers… just buy a train ticket between two London train stations like London Victoria and London St Pancras for instance (mind, it must be a TRAIN ticket, not at ticket for the tube…).
  • When showing up at the event/museum, immediately tell that you’re using the 2for1 voucher and submit both voucher and train ticket.
  • Enjoy your day, especially when you have calculated how much money you’ve saved 🙂

Now what’s not to love about thàt 😀 And I’m pretty sure you find these kinds of sites for other countries as well! We’ve got the world wide web ladies and gentlemen… we better use it!!

Once more… read the terms and conditions and the FAQ’s very carefully not to be surprised!

7.Cash or card?

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I always take quite an amount of cash with me on my holiday… I know… sooooo old-fashioned! But it makes me stick to my budget more easily. When you always pay by card, it’s hard to get track of the total amount you’ve spend and you might be very surprised upon return.

A second reason why I take an amount of cash with me is, that I can spread the costs: I pay several trips/diners cash, other things I pay with credit card for which I will receive the account the next month.

Well, these are my tips. Feel free to add any more so we can learn from your tips as well! Happy travelling 🙂

Love, Kathleen

 

 

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