Holiday budget planner

Plan ahead to save money whilst enjoying yourselves. Family holidays are never cheap, but here are a few quick pointers to help you keep a check on your spending while you’re away.

1. What’s included? Look at the deal you have - what travel, meals and trips out are included in the deal. If breakfast and dinner are included, you’ll only need a small amount for a light lunch every day, for example, but if your hotel is somewhere that will require cabs or buses to get anywhere interesting, budget for that.

2. Plan an itinerary. You don’t have to stick to it, but consider how many days in your holiday are going to be spent on the beach or by the pool (factor in drinks from the pool bar). If there are theme parks or other attractions budget for one or two trips during your stay.

3. Getting cash. Think about what is safe and sensible before ordering lots of currency in advance. It might make better sense to get out £100 of local cash from an ATM as and when you need it. However, use your bank debit card (check the fees your bank charges, before you go) rather than your credit card to take cash out of a machine, it will most likely be cheaper.

4. Use credit cards wisely. Taking your plastic is, generally, safer than carrying cash, but many countries charge a fee even when you’re paying for petrol and groceries by card. Check locally and use cards for big purchases only.

5. Make sure you know the value of the currency so you get the right change when paying for things, and when you sign in at your hotel, check that your card isn’t being used for unseen extras.

Savvy tip
If meals aren’t included in your deal most restaurants will have cheaper menus for lunch than for dinner (this timing might suit kids who are tired later, too).

Pass it on – cheaper school holidays
Everyone knows how expensive travelling in holiday periods can be. The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) lists useful bargains that offer free child places or other deals, even in school breaks.