9 tips for having fun saving money

This year, carry these 9 tips in your bag to save on your 2023 vacation. Simple and practical, they don’t require a lot of effort and don’t prevent you from having fun. A few simple precautions are enough to avoid unpleasant surprises. See what they are.

1. Take advantage of airline miles and hotel points

If you’re a frequent flyer, it pays to stick with the same airline (or group you belong to). The best part is that in some cases you don’t even need to register for an additional card. TAP, for example, has partnerships with financial institutions or credit card issuers.

If you are going to incur expenses with the card, take the opportunity to accumulate air miles deductible from the price of your next trip.

The same goes for hotels. If you travel a lot for work, try to stay with the same hotel chain and accumulate points on your loyalty card. This way, when booking the 2023 vacation, you can convert these points into nights of stay.

2. Book your 2023 vacation in advance or at the last minute

This is one of the most obvious but so often overlooked tips. Letting the 2023 holiday dates last is an expensive luxury. Whenever possible, book flights and hotels months in advance to ensure you save money and have more flexibility in your choice. But if you can’t do that, there is another option: buying at the last minute.

You can find last-minute flights on airline sites or on specialized sites. Of course, in these cases, you cannot be too selective in the destinations. But if you want, for example, flights under 10 euros, be aware of low-cost promotions and newsletters and be quick to decide.

3. Avoid commissions with payments in other currencies

If you leave the Eurozone during the 2023 holidays, then you will be subject to bank charges for payments in foreign currencies. To avoid this additional cost, choose a card like Revolut. It is a prepaid card that works via a smartphone application.

By installing the app and opening an account, you can make purchases in 29 different currencies free of charge, in more than 150 countries with a Visa or Mastercard contactless card.

Revolut’s simplest plan (Standard) has no monthly cost and allows you to open a checking account, both in euros and pounds. It is also possible to withdraw money from distributors without commission within the limit of 200 euros per month.

4. Choose the local currency and save on exchange fees

If you are paying abroad with a credit or debit card, you may be asked whether you wish to pay in local currency or in Euros. To ensure you get the best exchange rate, choose to charge in the local currency of the country you are in: if you are in the United States, pay in US dollars, if you are going to England, choose pounds.

The reason is simple: if you pay in local currency, the transaction will be converted into euros at the rate set by Mastercard or Visa. Your banking institution will add its own profit margin, which normally does not exceed 3%, and the total cost will appear on your euro statement.

However, if you choose to pay in euros at the point of sale, you can use a service known as Dynamic Currency Conversion which allows the merchant, i.e. the store, bar or restaurant, to set own exchange rate instead of using the official rate. . In some cases, this rate can reach 7%.

The same applies to ATMs, where these fees can reach 18% if you choose to withdraw in euros, and not in the local currency. When you consider how much you can spend with your card during the 2023 holidays, the savings are significant. If you do not have the possibility to pay in local currency, you must request it.

5. Prefer bank cards with cashback to pay for holidays in 2023

Credit cards with cashback allow the consumer to have a predefined percentage of the amount of their expenses transferred to their account. This amount can then be converted into purchases at supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations and hotels.

Unlike what happens with the points system, discounts or airline mile programs, cashback is a more versatile and comprehensive alternative, as it can be spent freely on different products or commercial establishments, as any consumer normally would. with his current account balance.

For example, if you make a purchase with a credit card with 3% cashback, the following month you will receive 3% of the amount you spent on your account.

6. Save on car maintenance

Before leaving for the holidays of 2023, it is recommended to carry out a technical inspection or maintenance of the car, in order to ensure a smooth and safe journey. To save money, analyze the added value and costs of service packages offered by the largest national workshop networks.

As a rule, there are discounts for payment with certain credit cards. For example, Midas is a partner of the Visa or MasterCard networks. The same is true for several financial institutions (Santander, Caixa Geral de Depósitos or BPI) which translate into benefits for customers.

Finally, many service stations have specific collaboration protocols with garages. Before paying, find out about possible partnerships with Galp, Repsol or BP, to ensure you get the best price. This way you accumulate points that can be converted into discounts.

7. Cut fuel costs without cutting miles

Fuel is an important part of the holiday budget. To save, find the cheapest gas station to fill up. Do this before you leave the house to ensure you don’t have to refuel on the highway or elsewhere beyond your control. Also, avoid driving with the car too heavy, moderate the speed and avoid using the air conditioning.

When you need to refuel, don’t forget to add points. If you usually shop at Continente supermarkets, take advantage of the discount offered at Galp gas stations. If your preferred shopping destination is Pingo Doce, you can use the accumulated balance on your card to reduce the final amount payable at BP gas stations.

8. Watch out for restaurants

Unlike with hotels and travel, restaurant spending is often unplanned and it’s easy to make impulsive decisions. These are small expenses that accumulate, and with each meal, the budget fills up a little until it becomes difficult to digest. If you go to a restaurant, read the reviews beforehand, assess the price level and see if it is really worth it.

Avoid the so-called “tourist traps”, places on the main terraces of the city or on the seafront, which charge high prices for their location. Rather follow the example of the locals, prefer small restaurants and cafes a little away from the center.

A good alternative is to change hotels to local accommodation solutions, with a small kitchen where you can prepare a few meals. Especially if you are traveling in a group or with a large family, you can save a few hundred euros on your vacation. The downside, of course, is having to shop and cook, and not enjoying the local cuisine as much.

9. Consider interest-free holiday credit 2023

As important as the chosen destination is the method of financing the vacation. There are specific credits for holidays without interest and some travel agencies practice this modality. It is best to compare the different offers.

It is perfectly possible to take out a holiday loan without going into debt. However, before moving forward, assess your effort rate, the percentage of total household income intended to pay the installments of the loans taken out so far. This rate must not exceed 33%, or one third of the total household income.

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