A MoneySavingIdiot abroad: How I saved £123 on my trip to Prague

If you missed my debut MoneySavingIdiot blog from last month (on claiming for a train delay), first of all - how dare you. Secondly, the basic premise is that while I help people save money every day by writing for MSE, I'm not always so clever when it comes to my own cash, so I'm sharing my quest to be better with it in the hope of inspiring other non-natural MoneySavers. This week: travel tips.

Read the full blog: A MoneySavingIdiot abroad: How I saved £123 on my trip to Prague

Comments

  • bradders1983
    bradders1983 Posts: 5,684 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 30 April 2019 at 10:37AM
    What an absolutely ridiculous article. 38% of the saving was not getting currency at the airport which no sane person does anyway, and most of the rest was merely buying the flights early.
  • theonlywayisup
    theonlywayisup Posts: 16,031 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Post First Anniversary
    What an absolutely ridiculous article. 38% of the saving was not getting currency at the airport which no sane person does anyway, and most of the rest was merely buying the flights early.

    I agree. But this is MSE, and more importantly an MSE bod. The world revolves around them differently to us.
  • stevenhp1987
    stevenhp1987 Posts: 907 Forumite
    First Anniversary
    edited 1 May 2019 at 8:37AM
    MSE_Kelvin wrote: »
    If you missed my debut MoneySavingIdiot blog from last month (on claiming for a train delay), first of all - how dare you. Secondly, the basic premise is that while I help people save money every day by writing for MSE, I'm not always so clever when it comes to my own cash, so I'm sharing my quest to be better with it in the hope of inspiring other non-natural MoneySavers. This week: travel tips.

    Read the full blog: A MoneySavingIdiot abroad: How I saved £123 on my trip to Prague

    Surely all the points in this article are just common sense?

    Pre-book, use a foreign fee-free card, use the water fountain etc.

    You would have saved more money, not buying currency at all, and just withdrawing from an ATM on arrival from a card like Starling.

    You didn't "save £123", you simply didn't waste £123. No sane person does half the stuff you've listed...
  • PamS
    PamS Posts: 4 Newbie
    Well done with all your efforts. It’s great fun researching and booking a trip and even the most disorganised person can get the most out of travelling with a bit of support. Some of the comments below are a bit harsh? Yes, most of the article is common sense to seasoned travellers, but not everyone reading it will be. On a positive note, I’ve a few more tips to help: 1. Prepaid travel cards are essential to prevent carrying stashes of cash around, but my experience for the best rates of exchange has been to get a specific Euro card for the euro zone countries, a US Dollar one for the USA and a Multi-currency card for elsewhere. Always compare fees and rates of exchange before committing to any card. I top up online before and then during a trip, if necessary, with amounts I need at any time to save having too much of a balance at the end of a trip. Multi-currency cards are loaded in £ Sterling. FairFX multi-currency card can now be used for normal spending in the UK with cashback. Also when overseas, use the card for restaurants, shops, etc, in the same way you’d use a credit/debit card as the fees/exchange rates are usually better than withdrawing cash plus ALWAYS elect to pay in the local currency, not in £ sterling! When getting cash out of an ATM, there is usually a fixed charge, so get a lump out rather than lots of small amounts. 2. I only get the bare minimum of currency here and use my loaded travel card at a local ATM wherever I am. 3. Set up a check list of things to take and things to do, which will evolve for every trip. That way, you won’t forget medication, EHIC card, or turn off your central heating no matter how disorganised you are. 4. Sign up to newsletters for airlines, like Easyjet, so you’ll get advanced warning on discounted and new fares. 5. If you travel frequently (UK/overseas), my lifeline has been Tripit.com. It’s free for the basic Tripit and you can forward booking confirmation emails, so it adds them to your itinerary, plus you can add your own notes, excursions, etc. I subscribe $49\year for Tripit Pro and it’s worth every cent! I know at a glance what trips (UK and overseas) I have pending, what I’ve booked or need to book and I can check past trips for costings or places we stayed, etc. 6. Airport restaurants/cafes will fill up your water bottle for free, if you can’t find a water fountain or, as in the case at Bristol Airport recently, the water dribbled out of their water fountain! This is just a snippet of tips, but hope it helps. I’m sure other seasoned travellers have other great tips, which I’d like to hear? Btw, I’m retired, so have no vested interest in promoting any company, but I have spent my life travelling for work and pleasure and still get a kick waiting for my next trip - Eastbourne (tennis) coming up.
  • bradders1983
    bradders1983 Posts: 5,684 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I also have another tip to help:

    7. Invest in some paragraphs.
  • Kingsd316
    Kingsd316 Posts: 1,394 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    Watch some of these before going to Prague, excellent guide


    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt7oj318jVQi7vRbc1bNjJA
    :beer:
  • eDicky
    eDicky Posts: 6,572 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 1 May 2019 at 1:52PM
    PamS wrote: »
    1. Prepaid travel cards are essential to prevent carrying stashes of cash around, but my experience for the best rates of exchange has been to get a specific Euro card for the euro zone countries, a US Dollar one for the USA and a Multi-currency card for elsewhere.
    This is bad advice, it would cost little (or nothing) more to simply use your regular bank debit card, avoiding the inconvenience and likely extra expense of changing back unused currency.

    Keep your money in pounds until spending or ATM withdrawal, at the ideal MasterCard rate without fees, using cards from Starling Bank, Loot prepaid account, Monzo, Metro Bank (Europe only) etc, plus all the fee free credit cards of course

    I couldn't struggle through the remaining impenetrable block of text ..
    Evolution, not revolution
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