In adviceOn Tuesday 19th Dec, 2017

Vacation mistakes that could be costing you hundreds

Written by

Travel at 60

Image: Getty/RJW

It's natural to get caught up in the moment while on holiday — we use our credit cards on souvenirs, bus trips and dining out with little thought for how much we're spending.

But you're not the only one as new research out of the UK has found that two-thirds admit to struggling with budgeting while on holiday, while one in 10 travellers don't bother keeping track of their holiday spending at all. 

The study, conducted by financial insurers Air Travel Organisers' Licensing, found that travellers underestimate how much they are spending by around $689. 

According to the study, the food and drink expenses are what cost us the big bucks while on holiday, which could be due to on-the-go eating habits or the incorrect assumption that hotels have meals included.

To avoid hefty bills when it comes to purchasing food and drink, there are a few things you can do.

1. Do your research

This means finding out whether your accommodation comes with meals included. If not, check what is close. Is your hotel only located near high-end restaurants? Is there a supermarket nearby that you could pick up some supplies for breakfast and lunches? By planning ahead you can save quite a chunk that could go to other areas of your trip.

2. Have a budget in place

Set yourself a meal allowance and budget how much you want to spend on food per day. This doesn't mean you need to live on cheese and crackers, but erhaps make it a rule that you can fine-dine once a week and set a limit on how much you can spend on food for the remainder of the week.

3. Act like a local

Make use of the local supermarket. A whole loaf of bread and a few fillings will ensure you have fresh sandwiches for lunch each day and perhaps a piece of toast in the morning.

4. Accessing your money abroad

Another unnecessary expense that travellers get slapped with is exchange rate charges from using foreign ATMs. Avoid using ATMs that have a bad exchange rate and on top of that have big surcharges for using the service. Check with your bank to see if you can get a temporary travel card or if your bank has any overseas partners.

5. Avoid any unexpected travel charges

More and more airlines are coming up with new charges for extra services like choosing your seat, extra carry-on baggage and meals. It's also important to take into account the money you might be spending on a taxi to and from the airport or parking charges, too, if you decide to leave your car in secure airport parking. While budgeting and looking at your finances may seem like a drag, it might just be worth it especially if it's spent on souvenirs or a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

How do you budget your travel expenses? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Travel at 60
How do you budget your travel expenses?
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