How to make your holiday spending money go further

Discover six sure-fire ways to make your money last longer

Marcus Webb – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Marcus Webb | Independent Money Mentor

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist

You save all that cash for a family holiday and then still burn your way through it in no time at all. Here are a few valuable pointers to make your spending money go that little bit further on your hols.

Go pound for pound

Sterling has taken a nosedive after the EU referendum. But look beyond the Eurozone and North America and you can find plenty of destinations where the weak pound still packs a punch. Plus, when you’re withdrawing cash from a foreign cash machine, always opt to be charged in the local currency. Choosing to be charged in pounds costs significantly more and is totally unnecessary.

Be a cheapskate

Vouchers are no longer the preserve of grannies holding up queues at supermarket tills – coupon websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial offer big discounts at tourist attractions in cities throughout the world. It’s also worth checking listings magazines such as Time Out, which operates in over 40 cities and often runs offers for bars, restaurants and museums online and in print.

Out to lunch

If the drawbacks of an evening meal at the Michelin-starred restaurant of your dreams are an empty bank account and a month of living off Cup-a-Soups, you should consider moving your dream forward by five or six hours. Some seriously good restaurants offer middle-of-day meals at a fraction of the evening price – you can find fantástico menú del días in Spain and formidable formules in France, sometimes for as little as a quarter of the price of the evening fare.

Phone home

The folks back home really appreciate you keeping in touch, and their gratitude might come in handy when you need a sofa to sleep on because you’ve been cleaned out by sky-high roaming charges. All the big phone providers have offers on roaming – some far better than others – and lots have scrapped roaming charges in Europe altogether, but do make sure you’ve set up your chosen service before you leave home. And if you’re going to make a lot of calls in your holiday destination, look into picking up a cheap local pay-as-you-go SIM card.

Walk everywhere

Forget public transport and ditch your ride-sharing app – walking is healthy and free, as well as being the best way of getting to know a new city. The urban pedestrian saves money, burns calories and, best of all, gets so utterly strolled-out they sleep like a log.

Skip the minibar, room service and breakfast

It’s not unheard of for rock stars to throw mini bars out of hotel room windows. We wouldn’t recommend going that far, but while there’s something gleefully self-indulgent about pigging out in the bath tub, you’ll save a huge amount of money if you leave the hotel and buy your chosen snacks, chocs and booze in a normal shop with normal non-rock star prices. Instead of room service, order in a takeaway – which makes for a far better guilty treat, gets delivered to your door and doesn’t cost the price of a small family sedan.

Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.