Holiday expenses explode during the consumer-charged fourth quarter, pushing Britons’ bills higher than they are at other times of year. From travel costs to the price of entertaining friends and family, the holiday season bears extraordinary spending that isn’t part of normal household budgets. The result for many UK families is a backlog of bills, which may not be fully paid until deep into the New Year.
As Christmas approaches and holiday travel plans come together, a frugal approach can help you save money during the season. From savings you make at the airport, to bargains established before departing, there’s no reason to overspend this year. The money you save on holiday can help grease the wheels for a smooth transition into the New Year – without a mound of debt slowing your progress.
Save at the Airport
Holiday travel is an expensive proposition – particularly with the whole family in tow. With a high number of travel expenses to account for, every money-saving opportunity is welcomed by Britons traveling abroad on holiday. If you’ve saved all year for your getaway, and need a little budget relief, these frugal strategies from Irish Examiner can help you save on air travel.
- Plan Ground Transport – Holidaymakers have a number of travel options to and from the airport. Whenever possible, prearranging your ground transport can shave the cost, compared to doing it the day you’re travelling. Reserving a parking spot or booking an advanced train ticket can help you on the home side of your destination, and it also pays to investigate your destination. What will you spend on an airport taxi? Are economical public transport options available? Does your accommodation include transfer service?
- Pack Properly – While standard air travel policies once applied, airlines now institute their own baggage rules. That means a free carry-on bag on one airline, might incur charges, when you’re travelling with a different carrier. Well before your departure date, work out your luggage, according to your air travel provider’s policies. As well as meeting specific airline requirements, your bags should be properly sized for overhead bins and weighed before leaving home, so you don’t pick-up additional charges for carrying overweight luggage.
- Arrange Currency – Waiting to change your money at kiosks or bureaus can leave you with a poor rate. Whenever possible, organise your money before setting out on holiday, or risk losing some of your spending power. Getting cash from an ATM may be your best bet at the airport, but you should check your bank terms for fees and limitations.
- Shop Duty Free – A bit of research can help you take advantage of duty free deals. Before leaving on an outing, price items you frequently use, for comparison at the duty free shop. Not every bargain is worth your time, but you may be able to place an order in advance, to avoid long queues. Stocking up duty free doesn’t mean looking for ways to spend money – that type of strategy will lead you in the wrong direction.
- Hold Airlines Accountable – A rule called Denied Boarding Regulation protects consumers from costly travel slowdowns. Under the terms of the Regulation, travelers can claim compensation when airlines fail to provide adequate service. If your flight is cancelled or delayed, changing your travel plans, the airline is responsible for paying associated costs. Did you require overnight accommodation due to a cancellation? Was it necessary to eat at the airport, while waiting for your flight to board? Were you forced to pay for email or mobile access during a flight delay? As long as you meet a few ticketing requirements, you may be eligible for flight delay compensation; it’s easy to start a claim online.
Holidays are expensive enough, without overspending on air travel and transport. If you’re working with a limited amount of money this year or airline failures inflate your travel costs, these frugal holiday strategies can prevent you from spending too much this season.