What should I pack for my holidays to save money?
Photo credit: Mandy Jansen
Oh no! That time has arrived. You’re leaving for your holidays today/tomorrow/this week/next week (delete as appropriate depending on your level of organization – let me guess, you chose today!!). Nothing is packed and you haven’t even thought about where to start.
Firstly, chill out. I’m sure you’ll get it all packed in time, and with 10 minutes to spare to read this article on how to save money when packing and even time to enter our online competition. I’m sure that an additional $200 would certainly help you with your holiday spending money or for anything else you want!
What can you take on your flight?
Your first thing to think about is what you can take on your flight. Does your flight come with luggage in the hold? Or are you just limited to carry-on luggage? Once you have worked this out, you can start thinking about what to pack. For a quick and useful guide, here is a list of things I use to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything: One Bag Checklist.
Do you really need it?
Print out the entire list from the website, sit down and cross off those things that you don’t need to take with you – not every vacation requires you to pack a solar-paneled calculator for example!! Once you have got your list down to just the essentials, you will be able to “travel light” which will undoubtedly make your trip more enjoyable when you’re not lugging around several kilograms that you don’t need.
Next up you can start packing your case. However, make sure you packing efficiently. This will have several advantages, including maximizing your space allowance, ensuring that your clothes don’t get creased during transport and also acts as a good checklist when packing. What’s the most efficient way of packing? Personally, I find the following video from Heathrow Airport very useful indeed:
What is more expensive abroad?
Now, we get to the interesting part. How can I save money when I’m packing? Well, in short, the answer is to plan ahead. The biggest killers for wasting money on things that you can pack (especially if you have luggage in the hold) is:
- Sun cream – this one has hurt me on occasion. Sun cream in hot countries is usually much more expensive than in England. You would think that supply & demand would make it cheaper, but evidently not. The same bottle of Ambre Solaire Factor 50 cream, for example, is £8 in Boots for 100ml, but around £12 for only 50ml for the same product in a French supermarket. If your flight allows you, you should definitely buy in advance and take it with you.
- Toiletries – as with sun cream, you will find that most toiletries will be cheaper in UK supermarket and high street stores. Toothpaste, shower gel, deodorant, shampoo, body lotion, after-sun, mosquito spray etc are all much cheaper in the UK. If you don’t have luggage in the hold, you will not able to pack these. However, buying them from Boots in the airport will usually be much cheaper than waiting until you get abroad.
- Foreign money – check out our previous article on saving money when exchanging foreign currency.
- Overspending at the airport – if you have a 2-3 hour wait at the airport before you fly, you might want to take a picnic or other supplies in order to avoid the rip off prices in airports.
- Don’t forget about parking as well – you can save up to 81% by pre-booking your airport parking.
How do I buy things when I’m on holiday abroad?
If you do forget something, its not the end of the world. You can just pop down the local supermarket or store and pick it up. However, be careful if you are thinking by paying on your card as many UK debit/credit card providers will charge quite substantial rates for doing so. I advise that you read your conditions of your own card and, if you are going to get charged, pay with the cash that you transferred at the best rate before you left!!
Want a little extra spending money – competition time
Once again, if you didn’t do it above, please think about entering our online giveaway which has the following prizes: 1st prize: $200 2nd prize: $50 3rd prize: $25 a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is being run in conjunction with a few other bloggers. Be sure to check out their blogs and share their posts each day as well for more chances to win $200!