MSE News: The holiday sun MoneySaving checklist

This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"If you're jetting off on holiday soon, with the busiest holiday week almost upon us (the last in August), here's our checklist to keep costs to a minimum and enjoyment to the max ..."


  • edited 11 August 2010 at 9:21AM
    casper_gcasper_g Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    edited 11 August 2010 at 9:21AM
    Bit of a specific one this, but if you're going to Mexico, take Mexican Pesos not US Dollars. I've just come back and was surprised by the number of people who had taken USD. Do this, and you'll pay over the odds for everything. Just because Americans do it, and some shops show prices in USD, doesn't mean it's a good plan.

    In touristy souvenir shops and bars, with prices displayed only in USD, getting out pesos immediately led to traders offering prices that were a good 15% lower. Even paying the departure tax at the airport cost more in dollars, as the exchange rate was quite unfavourable.

    ETA: there were even ATMs offering cash in USD. Use one and the transaction shows in pesos on your statement, the cash machine operator takes a hefty cut on the exchange rate AND a transaction fee, then you go to spend the dollar bills and get ripped off again. How is this a good thing? And yes, you can even tip in pesos in t he resorts. Staff will thank you for it.
  • peterbakerpeterbaker
    3.1K Posts
    This year I had a couple of teenagers with me who absolutely could not stop themselves texting their friends.

    When they are in the UK they have massive text bundles so it is not an issue, but even at the new low price of 10p or 11p per text in Europe, the costs can mount quite fast at the rate they text :p

    So, bit of a gamble this, but they are responsible kids, so I opened up the data roaming gates for them and introduced them to FishText.

    That's the data>SMS gateway that BBC Click featured a few months ago. Fishtext SMS arrives exactly the same as if it is sent normally.

    The trick is that when you receive your friend's reply (via normal channels) you must remember to use the little Fishtext Java application to send your reply.

    The cost of a single text charged by Fishtext is less than 2p ... nearer 1p in fact.

    "Ah, but what about the data charges??" you rightly ask.

    Well, the answer is, barely a scratch. I don't even think the data charges amounted to 1p per text. There is a setting in Fishtext to check for incoming messages from other Fishtext users. You can set this to check as often as every 30 seconds. To avoid data charges I strongly recommend this is left OFF so it does not check at all.

    So, if those to whom you entrust the handsets are responsible enough not to start browsing or Skypeing then I recommend Fishtext to save quite some p/ppt pennies/pounds per teenager!)

    PS I have no link with Fishtext other than as a satisfied customer. I have used other applications like this e.g. Vyke and SMSBug, but I havent found any cheaper than Fishtext.
    PPS Whether or not you decide to try Fishtext, I do recommend that you check your phone carefully (especially if it is some kind of smartphone or iPhone) on an inclusive UK only data package to make sure that there are no applications running which constantly link to the internet e.g. to update the latest weather reports/download maps for GPS. I think in most cases you can switch these off but you need to know how before you leave UK.

    Have a great 2010 holiday :beer:
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