Article by Ceri Wheeldon
Once the children have left home or become more independent, or the mortgage is paid off we have more time and money to spend on ourselves than at previous times of our lives.
Are we more interested in travel than other ‘luxuries’ at this time ? What luxuries in life are we willing to forgo in order to travel?
Do we value new experiences over ‘things’ once we reach our 50s?
A new study conducted on behalf of RIAS suggests that the over 50s are spending more than £2 billion a year on travel…far more per head than the younger generations.
But while we might be willing to make sacrifices in other areas of spending to fund our travel, are we in fact wasting our hard earned money once we reach our travel destination by not planning our spending ahead of time and using credit and debit cards with high transaction fees. All those transaction fees for incidental spending soon add up , and can be disproportionate to the cost of the item or service bought.
Check transaction fees for your different accounts before you travel to ensure that you use the one charging the lowest rate.
If asked if you want to pay on your card in pounds or the local currency, pay in the local currency to ensure that you are charged at the bank’s official rate as opposed to the shopkeeper’s !
Try to avoid exchanging money at the airport..shop around for the best rate beforehand.
When buying currency check any potential fees if using a credit card …it might be classed as a cash withdrawal and incur additional charges (this is not normally the case with a debit card).
Another area of expenditure which can result in ‘surprise’ bills is the use of mobile phones abroad. Check your plan before you go – for data as well as calls. You might want to share your travels on facebook and instagram but be sure to check your data plan when not connected to wifi. Want to talk mobile to mobile? Look at apps such as viber (again check your data plan if not using with wifi), or facetime – they could be far more cost effective.