Guide to holiday spending money budget

For most of us a summer holiday is the biggest expense of the year, so any cost cutting that can be done without spoiling your fun in the sun is a must. Follow our handy tips for planning your holiday budget and some tricks on how to stick to it.

Work out what you can spend each day

The key to sticking to a budget is planning. Remember to factor in everything you may need, from drinks and meals out to souvenirs and any day trips you're planning on taking. Thomas Cook have a holiday budget calculator that you can use online to work out how much spending money you'll need to take to cover the whole family for however long you're jetting off for.

Let's do lunch

If you eat your main meal at lunchtime while on holiday, you can save money and bag some great discounts. Lunch menus are generally cheaper than dinner menus, so stay away from the main tourist traps and pick up a tasty bargain! Then simply grab a snack or some freshly-made street food in the evening. If you're staying somewhere with kitchen facilities and want a full meal, why not try cooking at home?

Walk it off

Save money on taxi fares or bus tickets by doing as much as you can on foot. Not only will you save money, but it's the best way to explore the place you're in – you might stumble upon off-the-beaten-track bars and cool local hangouts, as well as topping up your tan and burning off some of those holiday calories at the same time!

Pay in cash

Avoid those pesky bank charges when you use your card abroad. Paying with cash also makes it easier to stick to your daily budget as research has shown that whenever we pay in cash, we're less likely to splurge. Simply create a daily budget before you go away and only carry that much cash with you everyday. That way you won't run out of 'treat money' by day five and won't need to worry about any hidden charges appearing on your bank statement when you get back home.

Sack off the souvenirs

"I love that Marbella fridge magnet" said no-one's mate, ever. Overpriced souvenirs in touristy shops are never worth the money and you'll remember your trip just as well by looking through those treasured holiday snaps instead. For friends and family, send them a postcard to show you're thinking of them - but lay off the fridge magnets!

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