Last Minute Money Saving Tips For Your Holiday

We have 7 sleeps until holiday and we have a few things left to organise for holiday. As ever I am keen to save as much money as possible. I have many things to still sort out….here is how I’m going to get for as cheap as possible and do some money saving!


Holiday money

So I have a Halifax clarity card, only used for holiday time. This credit card gives THE BEST currency exchange rate and no charges to withdraw cash abroad. Today the 1.41 Euros to £1. I of course have forgotten my pin number, so I was organised enough 2 weeks ago to get a reminder sent to me. This is a great credit card but must be paid off as soon as you get home as interest is charged immediately. I only use when I need to pay for things in a foreign currency or on holidays.

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I will order some Euros before going, just £500 worth to pay for deposit and the first fee days on holiday until we get our barings.  Moneycorp who has a rate of £1 = 1.401, the best rate for delivery. If I order today more than £500 there are no fees and it will be delivered tomorrow.

To work out the best exchange rate I always check Travelmoney comparison – Moneysavingexpert this is always up to date with the best rates in real time. Do not get your currency from the airport, or even from the high street is pretty expensive. Just to compare for you

  • Halifax Clarity card…. £500 gives me 705 Euros
  • Moneycorp ….. £500 gives me 700 Euros
  • Asda ….. £500 gives me 696 Euros
  • Tesco…. £500 gives me 689 EurosAug 2015 trunki
  • Airport…. £500 as a walk in 630 Euros !!! Red for danger…dont do this!!……..

Holiday essentials.

Swim nappies are on promo in Tesco for 2 packs for £8. Medical essentials, bought in Tesco own brand versions. Swimming costumes, bought in Next sale recently or March one. Trunki, bought for Jack on Knebworth items for sale on facebook for £10, brand new price £30. Insect repellant – I have been bitten about 5 times in the past week Tesco. We got our sun cream from Lloyd chemist on a BOGOF offer.

Packing and children’s entertainment tips

…from travel expert Teresa Clowes, mum of 2 boys 5 and 2.


Pack balloons in with the children’s toys. They are always a treat for a child and can provide entertainment for all the family in the smallest of spaces such as hotel rooms for a quick game of balloon volleyball!

BBC Iplayer

You can download programmes to watch while offline – perfect for long journeys or if your usual TV package is not available where you are staying or there is, shock horror, no wifi.

Small cars/animals.

As a Mum of boys, we have tons of these things, they provide endless entertainment and can be used in many places

A new treat.

Especially good for taking up time on a long flight, buy them some new treats and wrap them up in paper like a present.  This adds to the excitement and fills in an extra few minutes!  I found sticker books particularly successful and managed to find one about an airport which was perfect for teaching my son about all the things to see!

Paddling pool.

If you’re going somewhere warm and sunny and will have your own outdoor area at your accommodation, pack a small paddling pool to help them cool off.

Let them do the packing.

Get the children involved with getting excited about their trip by allowing them to pack a few things for themselves, guide them towards small books and toys!

Car accessories

We are hiring a car so have invested in Bubble bum travel car seats. Great value at £19.99 each from Ebay, although I am told Aug 2015 Bubble bumthey are available in Home Bargains for £14.99 but are currently sold out. £60 for 3 car seats rather than £150 in hire car charges over in Spain. I have also taken out excess removal insurance in this country from Insurance4carhire. Do take this cover out via Topcashback as you will save an additional 15% off the policy cost of £39.99:-) This will cover us for any huge excess claims and will mean we dont have to pay the often 200 Euro excess removal fee when collecting the car.

Maximise hand luggage

As this is free on the cheaper airlines, we are taking 5 hand luggage bags, borrowing a couple from friends. We have paid for 2 * 20KG bags to go in the hold which at £40 each we wanted to minimise this obviously. But do remember to not put liquids in your hand luggage as it will get confiscated. My hubby on a recent trip to Barcelona forgot this and lost his toothpaste, hair gel, deoderant and moisturiser.

Travel insurance

We have an annual policy covering all 5 of us. Its cost me £40 back in March. I searched for the best deal on Topcashback and I went for Debenhams. I checked the small print to ensure it had good coverage. Also make sure you have you European Health Insurance Card in date and with you when you travel. If you fall ill you will be seen like a person of that country in the public health system so will mean avoiding unneccessary costs. To apply for one go to Euro Health Insurance card. You apply for yourself, partner and children all at the same time. I applied on Friday and the cards arrived today Monday in the post.

Last minute essentials

..come from Amazon. Dylan my eldest has just reminded me that we need ear protectors for his grommet filled ears. And a good book for me on kindle, this one has been recommended. The Girl on the Train

And a great album to download for the plane journey, maybe Now 91 to keep the kids happy!



More to explore


Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Lynn
    Loving the site – but if I get any tighter with our family’s money all my savings will get blown on divorce lawyers’ fees!!

    Anyway, on Number 4; just thought I’d let you and your site’s followers know that you don’t need to buy separate car seats when flying abroad – airlines will usually let you take one per child free in the hold in addition to any baggage allowance. Obviously, check with your airline first but I know easyjet do!

    1. Great tip john I really didn’t know that. Handy for booster seats for Defford. Im flying monarch and easy jet. I will ask them at check in tomorrow:-)

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