There’s nothing quite like booking a holiday to give yourself something exciting to look forward to – but having to part with so much cash can be quite the downer.

Especially if you’ve got kids and you face those price hikes that come with the school holiday dates .

Luckily, the travel money specialists at FairFx have shared some easy tricks and tips for holidaymakers looking to save a few extra pennies.

In fact, you could stand to save more than a few pennies – we’re talking thousands of pounds.

FairFX looked at costs associated with a family travelling in the peak school holidays to top destinations and added up example savings, which totalled £1,939.

But with handy hacks you could cut these costs down quite significantly, from car hire extras to the benefits of being flexible with dates.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, commented: “Holidays are an expensive purchase, but savvy holidaymakers can save big if they plan ahead.

“Just a few small changes can go a long way and being organised in the run up to your holiday could add up to hundreds of pounds worth of savings, enough to fund some memories whilst you’re on your trip or to start a fund towards the next one.”

Check out the FairFX tips below…

Want to find out more? You can also get more advice on our holiday booking guide for 2018 .

Savings money
(Image: Getty)

1. Think ahead for car hire extras

The hire of car seats for young children costs an average of £70 per week, but don’t assume you couldn’t bring your own – it’s worth checking if your airline will let you bring it at no extra charge and put it in the hold.

It’s also worth bringing your own sat nav, as a rented sat nav costing an average of £80 for a week.

Potential saving? Up to £220.

2. Consider the airport you travel from

Can you travel a bit further afield to fly?

Research from FairFX found flights for a family of four travelling to Cyprus come in at £480 cheaper by flying from London Luton instead of London Stansted; £365 cheaper if you travel from Leeds Bradford instead of the East Midlands, and £153 cheaper if you travel from Edinburgh than Glasgow.

With average savings of £334 the cost of fuel or trains could be offset by the big savings you could make by travelling from an alternative airport.

Potential saving? Up to £334.

3. Unsociable flights could have benefits

If travelling in the middle of the day isn’t important to you, take advantage of the savings on night flights.

FairFX research revealed the cheapest return for a family of four between Luton and Palma, Majorca was £380 less than flights on the same day where all travel is between 10am and 4pm.

Potential saving? Up to £380.

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4. Book airport parking in advance

You’ve booked your flights, but if you plan on driving to the airport, the next job should be to book your parking.

A week of parking at ‘on the day’ prices in Luton is £385 but booking in advance gives you an early bird price of £53.99 – a massive saving of £330.

At Leeds Bradford airport the saving is £166, making an average saving of £249.

Potential saving? Up to £249.

5. Pre-pay for any extra luggage

If you’re likely to exceed your baggage allowance, pay for an increased amount well in advance as the price rises considerably once you get to the airport check-in desk.

TUI charges £13 per kilo at the check in desk compared to £18 for 5kg in advance – a saving of £94 if you need 10kg more for your family.

Similarly, Thomas Cook charges £10 per kilo at the airport and just £15 for 5kg if you book 30 days in advance, saving £70 on 10kg.

Potential saving? Up to £82.

6. If you can be flexible with dates, use it to your advantage

Supply and demand means that flights during the school holidays can cost considerably more than outside of term time, but you can still find savings by being flexible with your date of travel.

Flights for a family of 4 from Manchester to Faro were £304 cheaper on Tuesday 7 August than on Friday 3 August.

Potential saving? Up to £304.

Read More

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7. Bring your own food on board

British Airways’ M&S sandwiches can cost up to £4.95 each, alongside crisps at £1.15 each, and Percy Pig sweets at £2.00 a packet.

Add in a few biscuits at £1.20 per KitKat and an inflight ‘snack’ could cost a total of £30 for the whole family before you’ve even thought about drinks.

Potential saving? Up to £30.

8. Don’t forget travel insurance

For full protection, book this as soon as you book your holiday. If you don’t and there’s a problem and your holiday is cancelled, you could lose everything.

When booking a package holiday, always check that it’s ATOL protected .

Potential saving? If things went wrong, the cost of your entire holiday.

9. Follow the pound

If you’re open-minded about holiday destinations, you can save considerably by visiting places with a favourable exchange rate.

FairFX has found that your pounds will get you 43% more Argentine Pesos compared to last year – giving you £150 more for every £1,000 exchanged.

Potential saving? Up to £150.

10. Don’t leave changing money to the last minute

You’ll miss out on better rates and end up paying significantly more.

Research by FairFX shows that you can pay up to 19% more for your travel money at the airport compared to purchasing in advance.

Using a FairFX Euro currency card could mean an extra £190 worth of Euros for every £1,000 exchanged.

FairFX recommends setting up a currency email alert so you can buy when the rates are in your favour and lock in these great rates on a Prepaid Currency Card which you can use abroad without paying costly credit card charges.

Potential saving? Up to £190.

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