My luxury holiday budget tips

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Trust me, I am the first person to recognise that my travel addiction is an expensive one – but one that I could never give up! I also know that when planning a holiday there is nothing worse than stressing over a budget and constantly looking at your bank balance. Follow my simple tips for a worry free escape.

1. Open a holiday savings account
Budgeting may sound boring, but it is so simple to have a proportion of your pay automatically transferred into a holiday account. Seeing your holiday fund grow without doing anything will make the holiday even better.

2. The 8 Week rule – don’t leave your airfares until the last minute!
There is no conclusive evidence that flights booked a year in advance are any cheaper. However airfares will begin to increase dramatically eight weeks before you plan to leave. Researching different airlines and receiving quotes from multiple sources will allow you to get the best value airfare for your holiday.

3. Cash not credit
This does not mean carrying around bundles of money. Most banks now provide travel cards, which can be preloaded with your own funds in the currency of the country you’re travelling to. This card works just like a credit card and can be used for cash withdrawals at ATM’s. Travel cards are locked in to the initial exchange rate so you know exactly how much you have to spend. My tip; load up the Bloomberg app to keep an eye on exchange rates and preload your money onto the card when the rate is at its highest.

4. Best things in life are free
There’s a lot more to a destination than tourist hot spots and the ‘must-do’ attractions, which can often come at a price. Researching the area, chatting to locals and wandering the streets are sometimes the best ways to see a city. Inclusions and extras – look beyond the headline price of tours to maximise your budget. When researching an escorted tour, make sure you take a good look at all the inclusions and identify any hidden extras. Included meals, transfers, activities and quality of accommodation are the big ones to look out for. An organised tour should offer priceless experiences that you wouldn’t be able to get for the same price on your own.

5. Invest in your accommodation
When choosing accommodation, the cheapest option is not always the best. When searching for the perfect hotel, compare them on a map to get an idea about where you will be situated in relation to your must-do activities. For example, is it important for you to be close to the Eiffel Tower or key metro shopping precincts? Also check out the room size, as space when travelling is important, particularly if there are two of you in a room! After narrowing down your options, I recommend reading online customer reviews for further insight. Remember, hotels are a place to rest your head, it’s all about location.

These simple tips will not only help the wallet but will keep your holiday stress free.

Chief Diva, Andrea xo

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