10 Ways To Make Your Holiday Spending Stretch Further

10 ways to make your holiday spending stretch further. Here’s a list of hints and tips to help you get the most from your money without lessening your holiday experience!

We recently returned home from an astounding trip of a lifetime.

A tick off the bucket list experience!

So we thought it might be of interest to you for us to share our 10 ways we make our holiday spending actually stretch further when we’re on holiday.

And if course this fits perfectly into the 80/20 rule – “less is more”.

Airplane in the sky and cloud at sunrise.

It’s no secret that we cherish our holidays and we both work and save hard to get the very best holiday for our money whilst still keeping to our principles of the 80/20 rule.

I’m sure you work and save hard for your holidays too and we hope these tips below will help you prolong that experience.

So when on holiday, here’s how we do and see everything we want, without breaking the bank or going over budget.

Woman pulling a case through streets.

1) Plan

Plan the trips and places you want to see and go to before you leave home.

Now I don’t mean a rigid plan, because after all you’re on holiday and not under the wielding stick of your boss!

No I mean just some days and times you intend to see and go to those places you’ve always dreamt of.

Planning ahead means you know how much budget you need for each day.

We live in an online world now so its not difficult to check out entrance or tour prices.

In fact if you can book up and pay for all these sorts of things prior to leaving home that’s an absolute bonus as you wont have to worry about that cost when you’re there.

Ensure too that all your hotel transfers are reserved / paid for in advance.

Check out any incidental resort or service charges that might be added at the end of your bill, even though your hotel / accommodation has been paid for in advance! (God bless you America for that environmental resort charge???)

Checking out online and asking your travel agent too, prior to leaving about any such hidden charges will help to save your holiday spending money budget!

2) Budget

So talking of budget make sure you make one.

We make a daily cash budget of how much we can spend in total on each day and we stick to it. It’s a cash only budget (the credit card is only there for emergencies).

Before going on holiday set this budget by checking out the costs of food and any activities you can’t pay upfront for, online in advance.

3) Food

Well now you knew that on a blog mainly associated with food we’d get round to talking about that soon now didn’t you? Well here’s what we do.

As soon as we get settled into our accommodation we look for the nearest store/supermarket so we can get some basics in like water, oatmeal (porridge that you can make in a mug) fruit, nuts and snacks.

Breakfast – most often you’ll have a kettle in your accommodation and mugs with complimentary tea and coffee.

So using the oatmeal you bought and the free drinks, that’s breakfast pretty much sorted.

If you can eat breakfast later, maybe go out for a walk to check out where you’re staying (which is often the quietest time to check out the place) then you might not even need to think about the next meal!

Of course if you’ve got breakfast included as part of your accommodation deal then don’t forget to stock up on the free fruit and anything else you can take for later.

And don’t be ashamed of this either. You’ve paid for your breakfast and likely any leftovers might just get thrown out anyway!

Lunch – if you need lunch then what we do is make up a packed lunch of some sandwiches and bottled water and some fruit.

And a brilliant tip from Lady Lynne is that if you’re running low on bottled water and are only allowed a certain quota per day, then check out your hotel gym which might stock extra bottles or a water fountain you can fill up your empty bottles from.

Dinner – we try and make time during the day to check out some local places and / or look for reviews of those places or others online.

We also get an idea of the prices beforehand meaning we’re still sticking to the budget.

Also, we always try and avoid the accommodations’ food option as its usually vastly inflated, unlike local places where you’ll get more for your money.

Sometimes we’ve been able to get accommodation with kitchen facilities too. That’s bonus and can be great fun to purchase local ingredients from regional markets to cook. That really is you having a truly local experience!

Hotel room door key in lock.

4) Toiletries

Most places you stay have complimentary shower wash, soap and shampoo so unless you’re extremely fussy I say leave those at home.

Not only that you’ll save on the weight of your luggage, avoiding any extra charges and if you’re like me and carry your toiletries in handy re-fillable plastic bottles then you could be leaving with full bottles rather than half empty ones.

Again, don’t feel guilty because after all you have paid for these in your accommodation costs!

5) Public Transport

Use it.

It’s less expensive than getting a taxi everywhere, plus you’ll see more of the place you’re staying in.

Check out public transport options online before you arrive at your destination.

Most cities have buses and you should be able to buy travel cards / passes to cover you for the duration of your stay.

Walk to places. You’re on holiday.

You’ve got the time to see real life where you are and other than using public transport if too far away, most places you’ll probably want to visit are usually those historic ones within walking distance anyway.

Buy a cheap map to avoid using your cell phone GPS.

6) Don’t bother with souvenirs

The best souvenirs you can ever have are your memories.

Those memories are far more precious than a fridge magnet or plastic donkey wearing a straw hat!

Capture those memories on your cell phone or with a decent camera its fun and cheap that way.

Having a decent camera is the only thing I’ll spend money on to be sure I don’t miss any special occasions when a cell phone camera might not be adequate enough for the light or panorama.

Create digital albums of your memories using those images and scan any tickets from the flights you took or places you visited when you get home.

If you must take something physical back a small beach pebble might be a suggestion?

Avoiding buying “tourist tat” keeps to the 80/20 rule of less is more and doesn’t clutter your life with any further unnecessary objects.

7) Watch Your Mobile Phone Costs

Switch your cell phone’s data roaming and mobile data options off. Only connect to the Internet on the free WiFi options in your accommodation and / or public places.

8) Travel Only With Essentials

Travel light with only essentials needed to avoid any airport excess baggage charges. Make sure you’ve checked in advance on all flights you’re taking. Especially those local in-country ones.

Ladies – you don’t need to carry a hair dryer. Most hotels have one, just ask if its not in the room.

9) Check Up On Costs Before You Go

If you’re in a foreign country, get used to the exchange rate before you go.

It’ll give you a sense if something is more expensive that it should be.

Before purchasing an item from somewhere, make sure you’ve compared the price of it elsewhere.

Always be careful if you’re using a currency exchange centre to get cash in your destination.

Often you can buy pre-paid ATM cards prior to travelling that will allow you to take out your cash in local currency. A quick search on the internet should tell you where the best exchange options are.

Ask a local! These are the people in the know. Be friendly and polite they may give you the best recommendations for places to stay / eat / visit.

10) Tip adequately

As someone from a country that isn’t used to tipping for everything, other than in a restaurant this one is challenging for me.

However, I’ve noticed on all my trips that if you give just slightly more than the standard % (when earned of course) you’ll get that little bit extra help.

Often again those locals are the one’s in the know and will be willing to give you the benefit of their local experience to help you get you the best deals.

Couple on vacation looking at a sunset.

Being smarter with your holiday budget and where you spend your money will make it stretch further.

It’ll mean you have more of it to spend on the things that matter. An extra trip or perhaps a longer holiday trip altogether.

Often forcing yourself to be frugal whilst on holiday means you’ll avoid those carefully designed tourist traps and get you where the locals go where you’ll experience real life and not what they want you to charge you to see.

And of course being on holiday doesn’t mean to say that you can’t treat yourself.

It’s like the 80/20 rule for eating. For 80% of the time you’ll stick to the plan.

And then maybe within limits for the other 20% you’ll treat yourself to a really nice bottle of wine or a slap up 3 course meal in a quality local establishment.

Wherever you’re going on holiday this year, Lady Lynne and I hope that by sharing our 10 ways to make your holiday spending stretch further will help in making that experience even more enjoyable!


  1. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    Fantastic tips, Neil!
    I don’t really do any traveling, but one day 😉

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com

      Thanks Rebecca.

      If you are ever travelling in our direction please be sure to look us up and expect a warm welcome. Lynne and I would love to show you the mountains of Scotland. 🙂

  2. Shashi at Savory Spin

    I so so love this post and your tips, Neil! Looks like you and Lady Lynne budget and travel a lot like my daughter and I do. I am a huge fan of getting a hotel with a complimentary breakfast and then we grab fruit and an extra muffin or pack of granola or whatever to munch on for lunch and then get dinner some place around so we do enjoy the local fair – except for that time we went to Disney when we opted to eat out only 1 of the 5 nights we were there as the convenience store was a way better option then. My daughter and I will be heading to London and Italy (will blog about it after we get back) and public transport is not only cost effective – but, like you said, it’s like a free tour of the sights around – unless it’s on the underground tube! 🙂
    So enjoyed this post, my friend! Hope you and Lady Lynne have a wonderful rest of the week!

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com

      We are saving up for our Hadrian’s wall walk now Shashi, in September. Across the middle of the UK.

      You and your daughter are very much like Lynne and I with your choice of grabbing some extra breakfast stuff. 😉

      It’s a shame that you’re not coming up to Scotland this time Shashi, but maybe next time? I look forward to hearing all about your exciting adventures in both London and Italy!

  3. David @ Spiced

    This is a wonderful post, Neil, and I agree with everything in here 100%! Laura and I just got back from a Rhine cruise, and we totally followed a lot of these tips. This was the first time we’d done a cruise as we normally opt for hotels…but I gotta say it was nice not having to pack up our stuff each night. And since everything was prepaid, that part of the trip was nice and easy, too. We just saved our money for stuff like donkeys with straw hats. (Hah! Just kidding!) Thanks for these tips, my friend. Now I just need to go on another vacation to use some of ’em. 🙂

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com

      A Rhine cruise is on our bucket list! Are you going to write about it on your blog David? I hope so!

      We’ve never done a cruise before but I think rather than go on a huge cruise liner, to start off with, we would do exactly as you and Laura did and do something like a river cruise in Europe.

      Hope this tips come in handy for future. And thanks for taking the time to comment, you must have a lot of catching up to do on normal stuff having just returned?

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