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Published on September 17th, 2014 | by Pete

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‘Before You Leave…’ — How to Leave For Holiday With More Money In Your Pocket

So you’ve decided to spend some of your hard-earned money on a holiday overseas. You’ve found a destination you are desperate to see but when you are planning to go abroad, the cost of the hotel or resort is just the beginning. It is all too easy to get carried away, lay out half your wardrobe on the bed and start to pack your suitcases before you’ve worked out the cost of everything… and then find you’ve overspent.

To help you get a head start on saving on your holiday, here are four tips to use before you even leave the house.

1. Travel at unsociable hours

Most of us already know that we should be booking flights months in advance or at the last possible minute to get the best price. But the specific time you choose to travel could make all the difference.

Most of us would choose to start our holidays by waking up and heading to the airport refreshed and refuelled. So, if you (and your family) can cope with starting your holiday at an unusual time and sleeping on the plane, you can get the same flight for considerably less money than a daytime one.

2. Take a hand luggage only option

Increasingly, airlines are helping us save money by offering cheaper tickets for people that are only carrying hand luggage. However, this comes with a risk.

Hand luggage is restricted to a specific size and shape as defined by the individual airline. If you take suitcases or holdalls that are heavier or larger than this, you could be hit with a last minute fee – as high as £100 on a budget airline.

If you can leave your suitcases at home, you can make an additional saving. But always be sure to measure and weigh your luggage before you leave.

3. Compare exchange rates

While there are plenty of places to get your currency exchanged without paying commission, it is essential to compare the different rates available. Even a small variation could make a huge impact when you are exchanging hundreds of pounds at a time.

Always shop around for currency, or use an online exchange rate comparison tool if you are unsure. And – whatever you do – don’t leave it until the last minute as airports will charge huge commissions with terrible rates.

4. Where you can, take your own

If you’re re following the advice of taking hand luggage, you may be restricted on what you can take in the way of liquids and foods. But where you can, always take your own food, drink, and anything else you can fit in your luggage!

If you’re taking suitcases, pack essentials like shampoo and toothpaste in them. These are things you could pay more for overseas, particularly if you are heading to a popular tourist hotspot.

Follow these tips and you can save money. Save the cash and you can have a happier holiday.

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