I think we’re all a bit sick of the EU referendum vote, and I for one am rather looking forward to all the anger it brings out in people from both sides being over and done with. Whatever your views, the chances are that there isn’t likely to be an apocalypse on 24 June – regardless of which way the vote goes.
Of course, that’s not to undermine the issues that are being debated, nor imply that none of it will affect of our lives. Each person will have their own perspective and stake in the matter. But what could perhaps have the greatest short-term effect on the spending power of families is that of the value of the pound, particularly with the summer holidays fast approaching. Most people are convinced that Brexit could see the pound take a nosedive, and with school holiday prices for trips abroad already extortionate, it would certainly be a blow.
Taking things into your own hands
One way to nip that in the bud is to do some clever financial planning for your holiday in advance. For starters, you’ll want to book your flights, transfers and any activities beforehand if possible, while the currency is still at a reasonable level. But it isn’t just a case of dependency on the pound – you can take matters into your own hands too.
So many people choose convenience when exchanging their money. Every time I see people exchanging currency at an airport, for example, I have to shake my head. It’s such a waste! There are so many better ways to do it, and for no more hassle either. This nifty little tool shows how you can get good-value currency quickly, and delivered to your door.
But you can take this a step further too. Many people use their standard debit or credit cards to pay for transactions or, worse still, draw cash overseas. It really is well worth taking the time to get a specialist travel card in order to avoid getting hit by hidden charges. Just be sure that, if your currency card is a credit card, you pay it off in full that month to avoid getting stung by the nasty interest rates they tend to have.
Other useful tips
There are many other right and wrong things to do while abroad too. For starters, if you’re in Europe, and they ask if you wish to pay in pounds or euros, always say euros. Otherwise the overseas bank will do the currency conversion, and their rates are usually woeful.
Never withdraw cash on a credit card abroad either. Aside from getting fleeced, this can also do damage to your credit score. Other good tricks include using foreign-based travel agents, buying cheap annual travel cover for the whole family and, if you’re going to the US, knocking a small fortune off the price off posh hotels with sites like Priceline.
Funding the trip
Even with these clever little tricks, not all of us have the cash lying around to pay for a family holiday. That is no reason not to go though, as R & R is crucial during the year, and a getaway will make great memories for all your family members too.
Nearly one in four Brits use some kind of finance for their holidays. The problem is that many simply put it on their credit cards, or apply for a loan with their bank. This is not a cost-effective way of going about it. The market for holiday loans has become hugely competitive, and you can get a low-rate loan online, allowing you to enjoy your holiday with the comfort of knowing you aren’t going to be left forking out a small fortune in interest when you return.
Enjoying your break
You certainly don’t want to spend your whole holiday obsessing about money, and worrying more about where you can save than actually enjoying yourself. But the truth is that a lot of the above doesn’t require too much effort, and will free up more money for you to either save or spend on things that will really add value to the experience. So be savvy, don’t pay any more for things than you need to, and, most of all, have a fantastic time!