Managing your finances – Travel Edition
Travelling is on everyone’s agenda these days and rightfully so. Whether it’s for expanding your cultural awareness or getting away to live your best life, there’s a big world out there to see and we might as well make the most of it. However as we all know, money is a significant determinant when planning our travels. As travelling has risen in my priority list over the past few years, these are the some of the tips I’ve picked up.
Where to look:
When it comes to the best holiday provider in terms of price, I find that there’s no one website that will always give you the best prices. For closer getaways such as European city breaks, onthebeach.co.uk tends to have really good deals, as well as helping you spread the cost. Wowcher also tend to have good deals for city breaks, but often the best prices are for the slightly more inconvenient dates. For long-haul trips, Expedia is very slept on- I often see amazing deals for popular destinations such as Miami, Bali, Dubai etc. Alternatively, you could look for flights on popular price comparison websites such as Skyscanner and Momondo. Personally, I would recommend waiting until January sales to book your 2019 trips!
In terms of spending while you’re away, many of us know about Monzo, which have extremely favourable exchange rates in comparison to traditional UK banks, as well as not charging a fee for foreign transactions. Despite these features, Monzo works like a normal current account and you’re able to use it in the UK if you wish. Another option I have used is a Caxton Currency Card. Unlike Monzo this is a prepaid card, so essentially you would load it up with your chosen foreign currency before you are able to use it for your overseas spending. This has the added benefit over Monzo of making you a bit more disciplined with your spending, and again has favourable exchange rates and fee-free overseas transactions. The rise of travel-friendly cards has been so helpful, but I still always take cash with me. A lot of people don’t know but most Post Office branches do student discount on their Euro and US Dollar exchange rates so make sure you take advantage of this if you can.
Obvious, but the most important. Especially for those who want to start travelling frequently this is where your main focus should lie. Ultimately, you may have to watch your finances more closely and cut back in certain areas. Monzo as mentioned above, as well as apps such as Yolt and Starling Bank, are very good for helping you to monitor your spending. It can be triggering, but very necessary as bad habits are often revealed that are normally pretty easy for you to overcome.
Hopefully these tips are able to help a few of you. Happy travelling!