Lunchtime Money Makeover's are back and this time i'm sorting your holiday finances.
It's been a while since I've written a Lunchtime Money Makeover, the aim of which are to help you sort one area of your finances in a lunch hour without leaving your desk.
Well today's theme is holidays. The dark nights are here and you've booked your winter break but there's still a lot more to do before you find yourself soaking up those winter rays. Follow today's makeover and ensure your holiday gets off on the right foot financially:
As soon as you've booked your holiday you should book your travel insurance otherwise you won’t be covered if you are forced to cancel your trip.
- First off, read my article Seventeen tips to ensure you have the best travel insurance policy.
- Then Visit confused.com to find the best travel insurance deals . This site will not only find you the cheapest deal but also allow you to compare the benefits covered under different polices.
- If you plan on using your credit card abroad don’t get cough out by Currency Conversion (DCC). If you’ve never heard of DCC then read Money tip #6 – Make your holiday spending money go further.
- If you are planning on taking cash make sure you secure the best exchange rate. Through the wonder of the internet you can now not only source the best exchange rates but you can also order foreign currency online. Moneysupermarket’s website travelmoneymax.com will find you best online deal for your holiday money at the click of a button – saving you both time and money.
Travelling to the airport
If you plan ahead you can not only make your journey to the airport stress free but you could also save money.
- Travelling by train - The important thing is to book in advance as you will slash the cost of your ticket (visit thetrainline.com for the best deals). I’ve also compiled a list of other tips on how to slash the cost of train travel.
- Travelling by car – petrol costs aside, the real expense should you drive to the airport is the cost of parking. Again if you shop around and book early you can secure a better deal. Visit https://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/extras/airport-parking/ and simply enter your arrival and departure dates and voila another job done and money saved.
If you plan on using your mobile phone aborad you may as well spend the two weeks setting fire to £10 notes. But there are a few things you can do to keep the cost of your phone bill down:
- Don’t use your phone at all if you can help it.
- Switch off data roaming and your voicemail. It will cost you money to check your voicemail and you’ll need to sell a kidney to be able to afford the data roaming charges.
- Recent EU legislation has meant that the cost of using your mobile in Europe has been capped. However it’s still not cheap. The good news is that receiving texts is free, although sending them is not. But there are sites out there which enable you to send free text messages. So if you have to communicate with home then doing so by texts is cheaper than making phone calls.
- A lot of phones now, such as the iphone, can connect to Wi-Fi hot spots. Which means if you find a free Wi-Fi hot spot you can use Skype to make free calls over the internet. So download the free Skype app now before you forget.
- If you do plan on using your mobile a lot while then speak to your phone provider as they may well have a package which you can add on to your existing plan to save you a fortune. You may as well so this now.
- Find out who is cheapest mobile phone operator at your destination. When you turn your phone on as you step off the plane your mobile will automatically connect with the local phone operator with the strongest signal. This won’t necessarily be the cheapest. So find out from your tour operator who is the cheapest and make a note.
- But if you plan on having your mobile permanently attached to your ear for the entire time you are away then it may be cheaper to order a local sim card to use.
Looking for a financial adviser near you?
Do you need financial advice? An independent financial adviser can show you how to make the most
of your money. Find your nearest qualified and regulated adviser using this VouchedFor search tool.
Alternatively, Hargreaves Lansdown, one of the UK’s largest firms providing restricted financial advice, is offering a £200 John Lewis voucher* to new clients.