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How to save for travel

Who’s ready to trade the humble staycation for a trip further afield? For many of us, 2022 is the first real chance we’ve had to book a holiday abroad since the start of the pandemic in 2020 and - boy - are we ready. Unfortunately, the last two years have seen travelers starved of the possibility of going anywhere - from the ever-changing travel restrictions to the unknown fear surrounding the pandemic, it's no wonder that many people haven’t wanted to risk booking a trip abroad.

Though travel restrictions are no longer a problem for many of our favourite holiday destinations, there’s now another factor to consider - the cost of living crisis, a further obstacle standing in our way of asking Alexa to play ‘Holiday’ by Madonna. From accommodation to flights, there are a lot of expenses to account for.

Saving for a big trip may seem like a daunting task, but you mustn’t forget that saving little and often will still help you secure your dream break just as much as putting away chunky sums. Need some help getting the most out of your money? Here are some simple saving hacks to help you prepare for your next holiday and budget whilst you’re out there.

Budget early

It goes without saying that budgeting for your holiday certainly isn’t the most exciting part of the process - but it is a necessary one. Once you’ve picked a trip to Paris, gone for a solo exploration of Sienna or decided on a romantic getaway in Rome, you’ll then be able to begin to understand exactly how much you need to budget. Knowing where you’re aiming to travel to will help you determine the price bracket you need to aim towards, whilst simultaneously motivating you to achieve that.

Sometimes, simplicity is key. Slowly building up your holiday savings can be uncomplicated if you make it so. Be sure to research things like the best exchange rates and potential extra charges you might need to pay for (such as wifi or breakfast) before committing to the first few options you come across.


Start off by making a condensed list of all the things you’ll need to pre-pay for, like accommodation and flights, plus how much spending money you may need. And, don’t forget your Travel Insurance. You could even add some visual aids to make it an exciting goal to focus on - like drawing up a progress chart or using savings pots.

Popping away something as small as £5 a day will see you raking in over £800 in 6 months. Simply download your online banking app and explore the savings pots and budgeting features to help guide you in the right direction. We’d also suggest setting up a standing order or a direct debit so that you can automatically pay into your savings without putting in too much effort!

Cut back on big purchases

Consider yourself a shopaholic? Enjoy the odd spending spree? Though small purchases do add up, it's the big blowout purchases that can really dismantle your saving efforts. When it comes to saving for a holiday, it's important to remember that pressing pause on some of your larger splurging sessions will ultimately result in you having a better time on holiday. So, where to start?

If you need some bits for your holiday wardrobe, we suggest properly scouring your favourite websites and shops for the best deals. Often, discount codes and promotions aren’t taken into consideration with impulse purchases, so be sure not to miss out on bargains. When it comes to food shopping, you could try opting for store brands and avoid the fancier options in the lead up to your break. Sacrificing your surf and turf for a simple spaghetti dinner each week could make all the difference.

It’s now easier than ever to blow your holiday savings budget by spending a sizeable chunk of money in a matter of minutes, thanks to online shopping and the contactless feature. So, it's important to try to do as much physical shopping as possible. Simply being present for some of your more impulsive purchases will help you fully understand whether they’re necessary or not.

Try our cashback feature on the Virgin Money mobile banking app and pick up cashback on your holiday shopping - be sure to check out all the offers available. Also, using your online banking app to track your transactions is also a great way to really get to grips with your spending and have a real awareness of your bank balance.

Save on your spending abroad

Sure, it’s important to save before you set off - but what about while you’re out there? It’s all very well saving for your budget in preparation, but what use is that if you blow your entire holiday spends in the first few days?

Kicking off proceedings with a rough itinerary of what you’re going to do each day of your holiday will help you discern how much you should be spending each day. Of course, you can invest in a travel agent to do all of this for you but organising your own trip will save you the commission costs, as well as allow you to have flexibility with your daily activities.

When it comes to actually managing your cash while you are away, it’s important to consider exactly how you’ll be withdrawing money and which cards you’ll be using. Though travel cards are an option, nowadays people tend to stick to their own debit and credit cards for ease - and with that comes extra costs. However, with current accounts such as our M Plus Account, you can avoid them entirely. That’s right, we don’t charge fees overseas, meaning you won’t be charged when using your card or withdrawing cash whilst you’re away (whilst we won’t charge you, some ATM providers may apply a charge. You’ll be notified of this before you go ahead with the withdrawal).

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