12 tips for saving money on your holiday

Harvey Jones

1. Book early

The early bird catches the travel bargains so book well in advance, especially if you have to travel during peak times, such as school holidays.

2. Be flexible

Travelling midweek can also cut flight costs, so can early morning departures or late-night arrivals. Also, be flexible about your destination.

More distant destinations such as Orlando in Florida and Dubai can sometimes be cheaper than old favourites such as the Canary Islands, Balearics and Costa del Sol.

3. Point of departure

Don't just check prices from your local airport.

It may be worth travelling to another departure point if you save several hundred pounds on your flight costs.

4. Advance booking

You can make further savings by pre-booking extras such as airport parking, resort transfer, car hire and even local taxis in advance.

5. Insure your trip

The moment you book your trip, take out travel insurance. That way you will be fully covered if you have to cancel due to, say, illness or injury.

6. Book using your credit card

When you spend between £100 and £30,000 on your credit card, you get added protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

So if, say, your airline collapses you can claim your original booking costs from your card issuer.

7. Consider all-inclusive

An all-inclusive package with food and drink thrown in can help you budget but self-catering may be the better option for those who prefer to sample local cafes and restaurants.

8. Play your cards right

The simplest way to spend money overseas is to take your debit or credit card, but most cards slap on foreign usage charges of up to 2.99 per cent, plus overseas cash withdrawal fees.

Creation, Halifax, Nationwide, Santander, Barclaycard and others offer credit cards with zero overseas charges, so check what's available.

9. Avoid the airport

Don’t buy your currency from a foreign exchange booth at the airport, as they charge punitive rates.

The best rates can be found online through sites run by ICE, FairFX, M&S, Post Office, Tesco and Travelex. Most offer home delivery for around £5, free on larger orders.

10. Take your own food

It is shocking how much you can spend on food both at the airport and on your flight, so consider taking your own.

You cannot take drinks through security but could bring an empty bottle and fill it up at a water fountain.

11. Check roaming charges

Check what your mobile phone operator charges for calling, texting and surfing on long-haul destinations.

Most set an automatic cap on overseas data usage, so resist the temptation to opt out.

12. Beware this currency trick

Shops and restaurants often ask whether you would prefer to pay in sterling or the local currency when using a credit or debit card.

Stick to the local currency, otherwise the store will apply its own exchange rate, which is likely to be less competitive.