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How to Save Money Abroad

Rebecca Bebbington·Jun 13, 2023

Are you heading abroad this year? Check out our top tips for saving money while on holiday.

We all love a good holiday! However, it’s no secret that jetting off abroad these days can be a big outlay. And while we may yearn for sun, sand and cocktails, we also have to consider those added extras like spending money, travel insurance and car hire.

We here at NetVoucherCodes want to ensure you don’t fall victim to a bad deal or arrive home to any unexpected bills, which is why we’ve done all the research for you.

Check out travel tips and clue yourself up on all the best & most affordable options for saving money while travelling abroad.

How to Save Money when Travelling Abroad

Travel Insurance

It might feel like an unnecessary extra cost to book your travel insurance before you jet off, but just a few quid could save you thousands in unfortunate circumstances.

Travel Insurance

From sickness and injuries while travelling abroad to lost luggage and flight cancellations – Travel Insurance is your saving grace when things don’t turn out as you’ve hoped.

What does Travel Insurance Cover?

Travel Insurance is designed to cover the cost of the unforeseen while holidaying, it is not designed to cover every eventuality or inconvenience while you travel. So, what are you covered for?

  • Medical Costs
  • Cancellations
  • Personal Liability
  • Personal Possessions
  • Excursions
  • Sports & Activities
  • Cutting your trip short

Always be aware that many travel insurers will not protect you if your holiday is cancelled due to restrictions in that country. You will also not be covered for anything when travelling to a country or region against the advice of the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office).

It is essential that wherever you are travelling, you get the right type of insurance for your trip boxed off before you depart. Whether you’re setting sail on a cruise, travelling outside the EU or leaving on a sports adventure – avoid any unpleasant surprises by choosing the right cover for you.

How to Get Cheap Travel Insurance

We’ve said it before and we will say it again – ALWAYS compare prices. The best way to bag yourself a deal on travel insurance is to shop around on comparison sites like or

You will need to enter all your details including location, the purpose of your trip, planned activities and length of stay and they will show you the cheapest possible prices.

Going abroad more than once? Why not opt for multi-trip insurance where you can purchase cover for multiple holidays and save when booking them together.

How to Get Cheap Travel Insurance

It’s always worth checking for a Travel Insurance discount code or offer before booking your next policy! Have a look through our travel category at NetVoucherCodes for exclusive promo codes with top travel insurers including single-trip cover, annual cover, winter sports and much more. Booking directly using a coupon code could actually work out cheaper than using price comparison sites so it’s always worth exploring.

Lastly, before booking with any insurer, make sure you check with your bank that you’re not already covered. Banks like Monzo and Lloyds bank often offer free travel insurance when you sign up. Make sure to double-check with your bank to avoid spending extra on unnecessary insurance.

Although travel insurance can cover you against these eventualities, it’s always wise to take precautions. Always opt for hotels so you can cancel or rearrange your trip if need be.

Things you need to know about Travel Insurance

  • Make sure to buy your travel insurance as soon as you have booked your holiday to cover you against cancellations or an illness’ meaning you can’t travel.
  • Check that you are covered for the country that you are travelling to as you will not be covered when travelling to any country or region which goes against FCDO advice.
  • If you have been drinking or participating in dangerous sports, you may not be covered. Always check the exclusions and terms of your policy.
  • Be sure to declare any medical condition you may have. This includes COVID-19. Otherwise, in the case you need to make a claim, it could be rejected.
  • If you plan to ski or partake in any winter sports, make sure you include winter sports cover within your policy.
  • Going on a cruise? To be fully covered, you will need an add-on to your policy specifically for cruise holidays.
  • Always check to see if you have travel insurance with your bank before booking.
  • Always take your EHIC/GHIC cards with you abroad as these can help with medical costs in Europe.
  • Multi-trip or annual insurance may be cheaper if you’re going away more than once this year.
  • Claiming due to a cancellation? Your insurer will need proof that your airline or tour operator will not refund you before accepting your claim.

How to Claim on your Travel Insurance

In the unfortunate circumstance you need to claim on your travel insurance, you’re going to need to know your rights. Don’t let the legal stuff stop you from claiming what you’re entitled to.

Here is all you need to know about making a claim:

  1. Submit your claim ASAP – Don’t hang around, contact your insurer as soon as you can. Claims can take a while to be processed and some parts of your policy may have a short window to submit a claim.
  2. Keep all of your receipts – Has your luggage been lost or has your flight been delayed? Make sure you keep receipts of expensive items or items such as food & drink you may have purchased while you were delayed. Many insurers will allow you to add these expenses to your claim but will require proof.
  3. Get your medical claim accepted before treatment – If you need to make a medical claim but it’s not an emergency, have your claim accepted over the phone before seeking treatment. If the claim is accepted, you’re less likely to be rejected later on.
  4. Complain if you feel like you have been unfairly rejected – If your claim has been rejected, you’re entitled to complain to the free Financial Ombudsman.
  5. Notify the police – If you’re a victim of theft whilst travelling or have lost personal possessions, report the incident to the police ASAP. you will also need a crime reference number or overseas equivalent.


When organising a holiday, one of the last things people often consider is currency.

Ever found yourself scrambling the day before your flight to the nearest currency exchange only to find that the rate is terrible? 


Not being savvy with your holiday money could be costing you hundreds of extra pounds. If you’re unsure whether you should be taking cash, using a card or withdrawing money abroad then take a look at our holiday currency breakdown.

Travelling with Cash

Many holidayers exchange their money for cash before they go away. This can be a really great way to ensure you stay within budget while abroad.

However, if you are concerned about carrying large sums of money around with you, or you’re planning to travel to multiple countries where you’ll need various types of currency, a travel card is definitely the better option.

Travelling with Cash

Top Euro De Change rates are usually beaten by travel cards. If there’s a good rate on the day you get cash, it could beat the daily rate when you spend using your card; however, it is a gamble.

If you are to use cash, avoid exchanging it at the airport as they massively overcharge. If you are opting for cash, you should also use a travel money comparison website for the best rate.

Debit & Credit Cards

Many travellers often make the mistake of using their personal credit or debit cards to make purchases abroad. The issue with this approach is that you’re subject to unavoidable withdrawal fees as well as ‘non-sterling transaction fees’ of around 3%. 

Debit & Credit Cards

Banks such as Halifax, TSB, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank are some of the worst culprits for adding hefty transaction fees. So, if you have a UK debit or credit card with one of these banks, avoid using it abroad at all costs.

To avoid these charges, opt for a specialist overseas card. These give almost perfect exchange rates and do not charge any extra fees.

Pre-Paid Specialist Travel Cards

Top travel credit cards for new cardholders include Halifax Clarity Mastercard, Barclay Rewards Visa, Virgin Money Mastercard and Zopa Credit Card Visa. All of these provide no fees on overseas spending with low or no fees on ATM withdrawals. Ensure you check interest rates before applying for one of these cards.

You can also get travel debit cards that don’t charge transaction fees, these include:

All of these provide no fees for spending or ATM withdrawals. However, Chase, Starling and Virgin Money require you to open a new bank account. Virgin also completes a hard credit check on customers who apply for a travel card.

All have ATM limits of £300-£500 per day with Chase offering 1% cashback on most spending for 12 months once activated in the app. You can apply for all of these travel cards online or via an app.

Other good pre-paid travel cards include Revolut, Wise and Monzo.

Tips for using your Travel card Abroad:

  • Make sure you set up a direct debit to repay your credit card in full every month.
  • If you spend or withdraw money abroad, make sure you select the ‘without conversion’ option at the till or cash machine to avoid unnecessary fees.
  • When using both specialist and non-specialist debit and credit cards, spending is almost always cheaper than withdrawing cash from a cash machine. (Cash machines add extra withdrawal fees and interest charges.)

Getting Around

Travelling abroad is great, but hopping on a train or getting behind the wheel is the best way to explore a new town or travel from city to city! If you’re planning to sightsee on your next adventure, we’ve got all the tips you need to ensure you’re not spending over the odds on transport.

Getting Around

And if you’re looking for great deals on Holiday Transfers and Taxis, enjoy affordable and hassle-free airport transfers from the likes of Hoppa and Holiday Extras. Check out what offers we have available at NetVoucherCodes and get your next adventure off to a smooth start without paying a fortune.

Car Hire

Car Hire

If you love to roam free while you’re abroad, or simply need a vehicle for work or personal reasons while you’re on holiday, we’re here to ensure you get the best deals on foreign car hire! Take a read through some of our top tips.

Choose a policy with Free Cancellation

When planning your next trip, make sure you’re looking out for a flexible policy when it comes to car hire. Always look for policies which offer free cancellation as this could save you a lot of money if you do have to change or cancel your plans. Avis, Budget and Europcar allow you to cancel or change your booking for free up to 48 hours before your reservation is due to start.

Compare Prices

Price comparison sites are your best bet for finding the cheapest car hire rates possible. Kayak, Skyscanner, Carrentals and TravelSupermarket search through hundreds of sites at speed to help locate the best deals online. Always make sure you read the full T&C’s as when you click through, companies can add extra costs such as young driver fees and fuel costs although they are required to be transparent in their headline price.

Once you have found the cheapest price possible, try then booking direct using a cashback site as this could work out cheaper! It’s always worth exploring your options before settling on a price.

Book Early

It’s no secret that being prepared pays off. Always make sure you book your car hire as early in advance as possible as this could be the difference between hundreds of pounds per day. Even if you leave it until the last minute booking beforehand is much cheaper than walking in on the day.

Pay using a Credit Card

If possible, pay using a credit card for extra protection! Providing the car hire costs more than £100, and according to Section 75, you will be protected by your credit card company if something was to go wrong. This is especially handy when dealing with car hire companies overseas. However, always make sure you pay your credit card off in full to avoid further complications.

If you’re interested in hiring a vehicle for your next holiday, take a look at the Money Saving Experts 33 tips on cheap car hire as there may be something significant to you.

Travelling by Bus

While it may not feel like the most glamorous form of transportation, travelling by bus abroad can be extremely affordable compared with other costly forms of transport like hiring a car, flights and trains. Plus, travelling by bus is a great way to enjoy some free sightseeing!

Buses are much more common abroad compared with here in the UK as they are a much easier and more feasible way of getting around, especially in bustling cities. If you’re planning on travelling from one city to another via bus, websites like BusBud are fantastic for comparing prices and finding you the cheapest routes. It can be used in cities across the globe including Spain, the US and France and is a fantastic resource for hunting down cheap bus tickets.

Travelling by Bus

Another top tip of ours is to always book your bus tickets in advance where possible. As well, if you plan on going on a return journey, for example to and from the airport, these can be much cheaper to book together instead of separately.

Travelling by Train

Planning a train journey abroad? Avoid the hassle of confusing systems and foreign languages by purchasing your tickets online or via handy apps like Trainline. You can search and pay for train tickets around the UK, Europe and Asia and see hundreds of prices instantly. They will even show you the best prices first so you can weave out the best deals.

Travelling by Train

If you plan to travel by train frequently, you might want to consider investing in a Rail Pass. An Interrail Pass is fantastic if you plan to travel around Europe. This will give you access to unlimited train travel across Europe as well as free or discounted travel on European buses and ferries. Please note you will need to be a European resident to purchase an Interrail Pass. Similarly,  a Eurail Pass can be used for travelling around Europe although can be used by non-European residents.

Top Tip

If you’re investing in a rail pass or any train tickets, always keep your eyes peeled for a discount. Students, Seniors and Families can enjoy exclusive discounts on selected tickets!

Using your Mobile Phone Abroad

Having a way to contact people is essential while you’re abroad. Even if you’re only jetting off for a week, you don’t want to feel disconnected from the world. 

Not only is it nice to be able to share your experiences online, your phone is also essential in the case of an emergency. Stay safe while you’re abroad and let your loved ones enjoy your holiday with you without racking up a massive phone bill at the end of your trip.

Using your Mobile Phone Abroad

Whether you’re travelling to Europe or Australia with a SIM-only deal or a pay-monthly contract, we’ve got you covered with a breakdown of current roaming charges and international calls.

Travelling in Europe

Since Brexit, the rules on roaming charges have changed. Free roaming in Europe is no longer guaranteed for UK citizens, so you need to make sure you know what your provider’s overseas policy is before you travel.

Luckily, the majority of providers still offer no extra fees for roaming in Europe however, there are a couple of major networks that now charge customers. 

EE, Sky, Three, Vodafone and Voxi all now charge a standard £2 a day. However, the good news is that these fees only apply to customers that took out contracts during 2021 when the rules changed (except for Voxi- their charges apply to all customers.) The cut-off date differs for each network, so check your provider to see if your latest contract is exempt or not.

EE and Three only charge customers with contracts, if you are pay-as-you-go you will face no extra charges. Vodafone and Voxi also provide bundles that lower the daily charge to just £1. So, if you recently took out a contract and are going to be charged for roaming on your next European holiday, it may be worth checking these out for some savings.

Networks like O2, iD Mobile, GiffGaff, Virgin, Plusnet and BT Mobile are still currently offering free roaming in Europe. Other providers with no extra charges include Asda Mobile, Lebara, Sainsbury’s, Smarty and Tesco.

Something else to consider is the ‘fair use policy. Even if your provider doesn’t charge extra for roaming in Europe, most restrict your data allowance. For EE and BT customers, this limit is 50GB while Three Mobile restricts you to just 12GB. Sky Mobile customers can use as much data as they want while limits from networks like Tesco and iD Mobile differ depending on your current package.

Tips to avoid roaming charges:

  • If your current provider charges for EU roaming consider switching to another network once your contract is up for renewal.
  • If you are on Three or EE opt for a pay-as-you-go SIM instead of a pay-monthly contract to avoid roaming charges.
  • Set a spending cap before you travel to avoid unexpected charges for data roaming.

Travelling Outside Europe

You can be charged as much as £3 per minute for receiving calls from a UK number while outside of the EU. You can receive texts for free however, it can cost as much as £1.20 to reply. So, it’s much more cost-effective to connect to wifi and communicate via apps like Facebook, Whatsapp and Facetime.

Alternatively, you can also buy a local SIM card with a foreign number when you arrive at your destination. This is especially useful for those of you who are travelling for a while or planning on staying in one place for a prolonged period of time. It is also a good thing to have for security reasons, as you’ll always have a way to contact someone if anything were to happen. 

Just remember, your friends and family will be charged international rates for calling your foreign number so try to avoid using it for long-distance calls.

Travelling Outside Europe

With some networks, you can also be charged for receiving a voicemail. Make sure you avoid this inconvenience by checking the international voicemail policy with your provider before you jet off on your long-haul trip. If your network does charge, you can simply follow their instructions and temporarily turn off your voicemail.

If you travel across the world for work or leisure, you should consider investing in a prepaid global SIM. Buy a specialist global SIM online before you travel and insert it into your unlocked phone. You’ll then receive a specialist number that you can use while you’re abroad. 

With these SIMs, you can top up to get minutes, texts and data for every country you visit. Prepaid bundles are often cheaper but you also have the option to use pay-as-you-go for each destination you travel to. Incoming calls to global SIMs are free however, the person calling you may be charged. 

Some of the best global SIMs include TravelSim and WorldSIM which start at just £33.

Free-Roaming Plans

If you are on the Three Network and are facing charges, another option is to buy an additional SIM to use on your holiday. As Three don’t charge pay-as-you-go customers any extras this is a brilliant way to beat the added fees. Just make sure you top it up in the UK at least once before you travel. This Go Roam deal allows you to use your standard allowance in 71 destinations including 41 outside of Europe.

Vodafone, EE and O2 also provide plans that provide free roaming in up to 81 countries. Customers on selected pay-monthly and O2 refresh plans can also enjoy no extra charges in 26 countries outside of Europe while iD Mobile provides free roaming on all standard pay-monthly plans in 50 destinations including 2 outside of Europe.

Please note: all of these policies are subject to change. Check your provider for the current list of plans that include free European and international roaming.

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