We've all been there. We scrape our hard-earned cash together to book a holiday and then kick back and wait for that special day to come around, putting a few pennies on the side for souvenirs, ice creams, and the odd cold beer in the evening.
But if you're one of those people (like me) who never takes enough spending money and who can never be bothered to calculate exchange rates, you'll probably find a large hole in your pocket and a hefty credit card bill by the end of your trip. If I had a penny (a Euro, or even a Kuna) for every time I'd overspent on meals or day trips, I'd probably have enough to book an extra holiday this year.
However, there is hope yet. I recently came across Thomas Cook’s Holiday Budget Calculator. It's a handy little tool that's available on the website. It works out the amount of spending money you'll need based on your destination, local exchange rates, and what sort of costs you're likely to incur while you're away.
Start by selecting your holiday destination and choosing a holiday (don't worry, you don't have to go through the whole booking process). Then based on your choice of destination, you can find out the average cost of holiday essentials like a bottle of beer, souvenirs and day trips, along with how many times you intend to buy them.
The end result is based on various eventualities like the average local cost of living and exchange rates, and should give you a fair idea of how much spending money you'll need in popular tourist locations.
It's easy to use and it's pretty intuitive too. It's not just designed for people who intend to book through Thomas Cook, anyone can use it, plus there's a link to order Travel Money. This is another handy tool that offers instant exchange rates based on how much you want to convert. It's commission-free and over 50 different currencies are available, so even if you're not booking a Thomas Cook holiday you can still make the most of their currency exchange tool.
I think they're both useful and in today's economy, the calculator app is bound to be a hit with budget-conscious holidaymakers. I'll certainly use it when I'm planning my next trip and, who knows, with those savings perhaps I can book an extra holiday this year after all...