Great Hunt: How do you make sure your festive visitors save money?

We want to tap MoneySavers' collective knowledge and find out how you prepare for visits by your loved ones at Xmas to make sure they have a MoneySaving stay. Do you get them a local train or bus pass in advance? Perhaps have a spare phone with a cheap SIM for them or get an account with a cheap overseas call provider if they're from abroad?

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  • Relbs
    Relbs Posts: 26 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    When we lived overseas, visitors had often paid a lot of money for flights.

    We had a PAYG SIM in an old handset that visitors could use to contact us (and us to contact them, so we both saved money). We also had a couple of "oyster card" equivalents that we used to give guests to use on buses/metro. Sometimes they'd offer to top it up, other times they wouldn't- we didn't mind.
    In the bathroom I used to keep big bottles of shampoo/shower gel/toothpaste etc for guests to use (and in reference to the Moral Maze this week, only 1 guest ever took something home with them, and I still tease my MIL about stealing our toothpaste now!)
    For food, if we ate at home, we would provide meals; if we ate out, we'd split the bill (or sometimes they would treat us).
    Although more environment saving, we had a folder with lots of tourists leaflets in about the local area; these meant each set of visitors didn't collect their own leaflets then throw them away at the end of their trip. I'd also check on groupon websites in the run up to their visit for any deals on things they wanted to do, and would buy them in advance for guests.

    If people have made the effort to come and visit you, it's nice to help them out! In return, lots of guests would help by stripping the bed/putting towels in the washing machine at the end of their stay, and picking up bits of shopping if needed during the day.
  • For longer-term visits, it can be worth setting up a basic bank account for them. When my parents came to visit from the US for a few months I set up an account and gave them the bank card. They transferred some funds before they came and that way they only had to pay one fee to get their money over and not a fee every time they used their foreign bank card to withdraw cash or pay for goods. At the end of their trip, I transferred what was left back to them.
  • I print out restaurant vouchers from MSE and other sites for them and tell them to sign up for the free 30 day tastecard trial. Many foreign visitors are eating out at lunchtime on a weekend so can benefit from 2for1 or lunchtime only deals.
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