In need of a little winter sun? Or looking forward to some time on the slopes this ski season?
Follow our tips on saving up for your trip and make sure you get the most out of your break. We’ve got tips on how to squirrel away more spending money, and tips to help you plan ahead so that your savings will travel further.
1. Choosing a destination
Before you book your holiday, or even get your heart set on where you’re heading, think about the destinations where your pounds will go further.
Currency shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to holiday planning – choosing a destination with a better exchange rate means the cost of accommodation, shopping and dining out will cost you less.
Yes, you might have to travel a little further than your usual European haunts, but that usually comes with the added bonus of some winter sun and the chance to explore somewhere entirely new.
Look at where the pound has performed well over the long run and you can find destinations where your travel budget could go much further. Check out our top destinations for taking your money further this autumn.
2. Squirrel away spending money
If you leave paying off your holiday until the last minute, it can be quite a painful experience for your bank balance. Plan ahead and you can pay off the cost of your holiday bit by bit.
And as we all know, planning ahead with flights and accommodation can ultimately mean you bag a better deal. But did you know that the same can be said for your foreign currency?
Buy some of your currency every time the rate is in your favour and you’ll get far more travel money for your trip. Our research this summer found that buying when the rates were at their strongest this year would save you £63 on an average holiday, adding up to £1.7bn for the nation as a whole.
Sign up to our Rate Alert service and we’ll let you know when the pound is having a good day. Load a FairFX Prepaid Mastercard® with smaller amounts throughout the year and by the time you travel you’ll have squirrelled away the spending money you need for your trip.
3. Don’t leave currency until the airport
Even if you don’t manage to squirrel away travel money through the year, whatever you do don’t leave buying currency until the airport.
The airport is one of the worst places to get your pounds exchanged.
Our summer research of 15 UK airports found the average difference between the market rate and the rate you’re offered at the airport for euros is 13%, with the worst offender at Southampton Airport using a margin of 26%.
What does that mean for all the money you’ve saved up?
Well Brits take an average of £1,100 of travel money on holiday, and if you were to buy your foreign currency at the airport rates we saw you would lose £102 worth of euros. If you bought it from the worst offender you’d lose an astounding £208 worth of euros.
4. Plan ahead with flights and accommodation too
All major holiday destinations have ‘on’ and ‘off’ seasons, and the ‘on’ season is of course the busiest and most expensive time to travel. Consider travelling at the beginning or end of the season in order to still get the benefit of good weather and local festivals, whilst paying much less for your flights and accommodation.
Of course, if you’re set on a holiday that depends on the weather (such as a ski trip) or a particular event then you have little option around which time of year you travel. But you probably have a little flexibility over time of the week, right?
Well flight prices can vary massively from one departure day to the next, so make sure you play around with your travel dates a little to get the best deal.
If you’re on a tight budget but saving for a winter break, remember that with a little smart planning you can still have an amazing winter break. Follow these simple, smart tips and you’ll have for more to spend on your winter break…meaning you’ll get more sun or more time on the ski slopes, whichever you prefer.
If you’re planning a winter break, get more to spend by ordering or loading your FairFX Currency Card in advance and locking in a great rate.
Any money loaded on the FairFX Card is not protected by the FSCS.