With the arrival of summer, millions of UK holidaymakers will be jetting off to spend time relaxing and enjoying the sunshine with their loved ones.
But a trip abroad can quickly blow through your budget, especially if you're hit by rip-off card fees and poor exchange rates.
Which? offers ways you can enjoy an amazing break in the sun without burning a hole in your wallet.
When you go to the ATM or pay with your card abroad, you may be given the option to pay in Sterling, instead of the local currency.
This service, known as dynamic currency conversion (DCC), means banks or businesses can use their own currency rate for the transaction.
In almost all cases, this rate is likely to be much worse than the one you'd be offered by your own card provider, especially if you're using a travel credit or debit card.
Instead, you should always opt to pay in the local currency.
When you just use your normal credit card on holiday, you could be hit with three different types of fees:
Specialist travel credit cards generally don't charge you these extra fees, making them a better choice to pack for your holiday. You'll also have the option of borrowing money in an emergency, like if you need to re-book flights or pay for healthcare out-of-pocket.
|Credit card and issuer||Non-sterling transaction fee||Non-sterling cash withdrawal fee||Cash withdrawal APR||Representative|
|Barclaycard Platinum Cashback Plus (Visa)||0%||0%||0%*||21.9%|
|Creation Everyday Card (Mastercard)||0%||0%||12.9%||12.9%|
|Santander Zero Credit Card (Mastercard)||0%||0%||18.9%||18.9%|
|Tandem Cashback Credit Card (Mastercard)||0%||0%||18.9%||18.9%|
* Pay no interest for up to 56 days as long as you pay off your balance in full each month, otherwise you will pay 27.9% APR.
Similarly to credit cards, you can rack up a fees quickly using your everyday debit card on holiday.
Some banks offer fee-free options for overseas spending on your everyday debit card.
Both Starling Bank and Cumberland Building Society offer debit cards with no additional fees for purchases, transactions or cash withdrawals overseas.
You can load a with cash to take overseas with you. Some will let you select specific currencies when you load it, locking in the exchange rate on that day, while others allow you to exchange as you go.
Most online and high street retailers offer prepaid cards. You can generally add money to your card over the internet, via text or by phoning your provider.
Prepaid cards offer the advantage of not needing to take large amounts of cash abroad. If your card is lost or stolen, balances are protected and can be transferred to another card.
These tickets are normally released 12 weeks before you travel and can allow you to save up to 80% of the full price. As an example, the anytime fare from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston in August costs £175 but an advance ticket is £29 - a massive 84% reduction.
An alternative way to cut down on travel expenses is to look for slower routes to your end station, or to travel at off-peak times.
Airport bureaux de change will rarely offer the best currency exchange rates, as they have little incentive to be competitive.
If you want to take control of your finances on holiday, a number of apps let you view all of your income, outgoings and spending habits in one place.
Most of these apps are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. They are also part of the Open Banking Initiative, which has seen the nine largest banks open up their data to third parties through a secure channel with your consent.
Showing this card entitles you to treatment in state hospitals at the same price as residents of that country, often for free or very low-cost.
Without an Ehic, you may be asked to pay for any treatment up-front.
Keep in mind that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October, you may no longer be entitled to state-sponsored healthcare under the Ehic.
According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 24% of travellers head off on holiday without insurance. But this could land you a bill for hundreds of thousands of pounds if you have an accident or become unwell.
This is true even if you have an Ehic. For example, you won't be covered for mountain rescue, returning to the UK with a nurse or air ambulance, having possessions stolen or cutting your holiday short.
Arranging suitable travel insurance could save you in the worst case scenario.
Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.