• Sarah Reeves

    We all have a holiday budget, but how often do we stick to it? It’s easy to overspend while you’re away enjoying yourself – but having to live off pasta once you’re back isn’t great. Avoid that is-it-payday-yet feeling with these 5 easy tips to help you cut back on your holiday spending, without cutting back on the fun.

    Let’s do lunch

    If you have your main meal at lunchtime, you’ll be surprised how much you can save. Lunch menus are usually less pricey than dinner menus, but the golden rule for a cheap lunch is to keep your distance from the main attractions – once you’re a few streets away from Tourist Central, prices drop significantly. Lots of places offer a set menu during the day, too, so fill up at lunchtime and grab a snack in the evening. Or, better still, head to a night market and have a cheap dinner made from local produce, or freshly-cooked street food.

    These boots are made for walking

    Pack some comfy shoes and slap on some sun cream, because the cheapest way to get around is to walk. Not only is walking completely free, it’s also the best way to explore the place you’re in. By travelling on foot, you’ll stumble across traditional streets and off-the-beaten-track cafes, which you’d probably miss if you were on a bus. Plus, you can burn off some holiday calories and top up your tan at the same time – what’s not to love? If you do need public transport to travel further afield, ask about multi-trip discounts to save yourself some cash.

    “I really love that Ibiza Rocks fridge magnet”

    Said no-one’s mum, ever. Buying gifts for people is very nice of you, but let’s be honest – would they really care if you came back empty-handed? Overpriced knick-knacks in tourist-trap markets are never worth the money. Instead of emptying your pockets to pay for tacky souvenirs, buy a handful of postcards to send home. Friends and family can hear all about your holiday (try not to brag too much) and stick your colourful card on their fridge, right next to those ugly magnets.

    Servicio includio?

    Every country has different expectations when it comes to tipping, so it pays to do your research before you go away. A lot of restaurants in Europe, particularly in Italy and Spain, include service charge in the bill, so check the small print before you pay. Of course, if the meal is great and you’re feeling generous, no-one’s going to complain if you throw down a few coins – but don’t feel that you have to.

    Multi-currency money

    The ultimate way to save money is simple – budget in advance and leave your credit card at home. Sounds scary, but with the award-winning Thomson Multi-Currency Travel Money card it’s totally possible. Before you go away, work out a daily spending allowance, plus a little extra for emergencies (running out of beer doesn’t count!) The exchange rate is fixed when you buy your travel money, so you won’t get caught out by changing rates or nasty transaction fees. Just load your budget on to the card and you’re ready – you can even check your balance while you’re away, using the Thomson Travel Money Card App. And the best bit? If you don’t manage to spend it all, you can transfer the leftovers to another currency for your next trip.

    Load a Thomson Multi-Currency Travel Money Card in store or online during August and receive up to £20 of free travel money. Terms and conditions apply.