It’s time for your annual summer holiday and you’ve packed your bags and checked you have your passport (twice!) But have you paid as much attention to your holiday budget as you have to your holiday outfits?
You probably know how much spending money you have and some of you might have even got your daily spend limit all worked out (which btw, is a good idea), but I bet there are a few things that you have forgotten to add to your budget. I’m not talking about things like eating out or travel insurance, as it’s more than likely you have this sussed already – but there are other costs that can come straight out of the blue, causing you to spend far more than you had originally planned.
Here are some of the most common hidden costs that can throw your holiday budget totally off course – and our suggestions on what you can do about them!
Local taxes and hotel fees
Before you leave for your break make sure you check if there are going to be any ‘tourist taxes’ to pay once you arrive at your hotel. Tourist taxes are present across many European countries and can vary massively in the price, they are typically charged per person, per night’s stay and in some countries you pay more if you stay in a higher rated hotel. Ask your travel agent or check directly with your hotel what taxes (if any) you will have to pay and factor this cost into your budget. It wouldn’t be a great start to your holiday if you had to miss things you had planned to do because you have to pay the tax instead!
International data and roaming costs
We all rely on our mobile phones for calling, texting and sometimes (over)sharing on social media, and this doesn’t necessarily change when we are travelling. In fact, we can use our phones even more when we are away, not for work, but for finding great places to visit, using translation apps and to guide us around using the maps feature. All of this comes at a cost, and it can very quickly spiral out of control meaning you have a whopping great big bill to face at the end of the month.
To try to minimise the costs, speak to your phone provider before you leave and see if they have any deals they can offer you – if you know you are more into surfing the net but won’t really call anyone, then let them know – they might be able to offer you a ‘data only’ package which may be cheaper in the long run. If that doesn’t work then remember to switch data roaming off once you have arrived at your destination, then using free wifi at your accommodation, load up your maps and set them to be used offline. This way you still get to go out and about and not pay through the roof for the pleasure.
Bank charges and fees
Did you know that every time you use your card abroad your bank can charge you a fee on top of what you are spending? The fees can be up to 3% and you also pay another fee if you use a cash point. Just think about how often you use your card to pay for things – it’s probably far more than you realise, and these extra fees add up very quickly.
The best way to avoid these high card fees is to make sure you’re using a Monese card when you travel (and at home!) With a Monese account you are free you use your card just like you would any other Visa Contactless card, except you only pay 0.5% on top of your transaction. Transferring money with Monese is also cheap, we only charge 0.5% on top of the mid-market rate, which is one of the cheapest available. Check out more information about our pricing here – and don’t forget you can now get your very own Monese account on your iPhone – just head to the app store and search for ‘Monese’.