Summer holidays can be wonderful; sun, beautiful locations, a break from day to day life – but your finances can put a squeeze on the enjoyment. You can also check out some of this ultimate list of money saving tips for 2017 that will help you save more for that summer holiday. Consider these 11 great money saving tips for your travels to maximise your enjoyment while you’re away!

  1. Mobile costs

You’re likely to have heard horror stories about people who have used their mobiles abroad and returned home to find astronomical bills, mobile providers are more transparent about costs now – but it still pays to be careful. If you’re going abroad let your provider know, they can almost always provide an add-on that will save you a fortune. Don’t leave it to chance!

  1. Transport options

If you’re heading for an airport or holidaying in the UK there’s a good chance you’re going to need to book parking, train-tickets or taxi rides. Consider your options carefully, the car might look the best bet until you add airport parking charges on top – and the train can be very expensive unless you book early. Consider the most budget -friendly options such as the coach – you’ll get there on time and it’s a big money saver.

  1. Flying? Look at indirect routes

Flying direct might be the hassle-free way of doing things – but if you can deal with a change or a wait for a couple of hours then flying with a stop-off can really reduce the cost of your flights – sometimes up to £100 per person. If you’re booking online make sure you’ve unticked the ‘direct flights only’ box, or if you’re talking to a travel agent let them know you’re keen to keep the price down and see what they can suggest.

  1. Change your money early!

If you’re going abroad try as hard as possible to avoid changing money at the airport or using cash machines abroad. At airports you’re likely to be charged a ridiculous exchange rate – this is the price you pay for not planning, and it can be a big one.

  1. Watch those bag weights!

Be honest! What do you really need to take? The temptation is to pack for all eventualities, but most people come back from holidays having worn less than half of what they’ve packed. Checking in hold luggage can really bump the cost of flights up – so if you can stick to your carry-on allowance you’re going to be making a big saving. Don’t forget that any children flying with you can take a carry-on bag too, share all the space, you’re likely to have at least one person who travels light!

When you’ve loaded those carry-on bags check, check and check again that you’re within the weight limits. You can get a luggage scale for a few pounds and the cost for checking a bag into the hold on the day can make your eyes water, so don’t leave it to chance.

  1. Wear and re-wear

It’s understandable that with the sun beating down you’ll want a fresh clothes for the following day – but rather than taking your risks with luggage weights – pack some travel wash. For a couple of pounds you can do a quick hand-wash of the clothes you’ve worn during the day – and if you’re somewhere warm, they’ll be dry in no time.

  1. Take a picnic!

We’re not suggesting that you pack a week’s shopping into your luggage! But taking some sandwiches with you to the airport can really save money. If you’ve ever eaten at an airport or on a plane you’ll know that the prices can be hugely inflated compared to what you would expect to pay elsewhere – in some instances a light lunch for a family of four can total upwards of £35.

You won’t be able to take bottles of fluid into departures – but you can take a couple of empty bottles that you can fill with water when you’re checked-in. Airports and planes are money making machines too – so be wary.

  1. Self-catering? Avoid unnecessary little costs.

Going self-catering can reduce the cost of your holiday from the outset, but it might mean spending on lots of things that you have sitting at home. It’s unlikely you’ll go through a full bag of coffee, tea, sugar and salt while you’re there – so take some with you.

  1. Book a car very carefully

There are often tempting offers on rental cars when you’re booking your holiday – but be warned, the costs can mount up incredibly when you’re trying to drive it away. If you’ve paid for the car upfront you’re still likely to need to pay for a full tank of fuel before you get the keys, on top of that, there can be additional insurances, mileage limits and road toll charges.

Research carefully and ask people about the experiences they’ve had, it’s not uncommon for unexpected rental charges to run into the hundreds.

  1. No car? Go by foot!

When you’re at your destination you can really trim back on costs by staying local and walking to where you’d like to go. Return tickets on a bus each day can mount up – it’s money that’s better in your pocket, and you’ll walk of any extra holiday calories you’ve been tempted by! If you’re staying in a city, walking can help you stumble across hidden treasures and amazing undiscovered places.

  1. Hungry? Take a few more steps!

As you stand marvelling at the beautiful view or site that stands before you you’ll probably catch the scent of a lovely coffee shop or restaurant strategically placed to draw you in at the most breath-taking points in your holiday. Resist and your wallet will thank you!

You’re almost always charged a hefty premium for eating or drinking in that prime location, so walk a few hundred metres and watch the prices drop significantly… Not sure if you’re in a ‘touristy’ café? If there’s pictures of the food on the menu they’re catering for people unable to read the language and the answer is probably yes!

  1. Check for apps!

Have a look for free money saving apps that are relevant for your location. Whether you’re in the UK or abroad there are thousands upon thousands of buy-one-get-one-free offers on meals, drinks, day out, attractions, museums and much more. Check some apps and see if there are deals in your planned location.

Enjoy your time!

Going on holiday is an ideal way to unwind, but don’t let worry about the spiralling cost ruin your enjoyment. It’s easy to get carried away, so keep a budget in mind to avoid worrying about debt when you return.