Holiday Hacks: 10 Tips To Lower House Bills While On Vacation


As millions of Britons take to the skies, roads and seas for a summer break, thoughts of chores and bills will be far behind.

But just before a vacation is the time when a few quick home hacks can help keep household costs as low as possible while enjoying the sun, according to Ernest Doku, telecom expert at

“When we go on vacation, we easily forget that many devices and services in our homes can continue to cost us money.

“Wasting money on gadgets you don’t use is pointless when the cost of living is so high, so take a look around your house and see what you can turn off.”

In collaboration with USwitch, we’ve put together ten top tips to help you save on broadband, mobile, and TV, and reduce your energy consumption:

1. Bye Alexa

Before zipping up your suitcase, check for internet-enabled devices that you can turn off while you’re away. While it’s worth keeping online doorbells on for home security, smart speakers like the Amazon Echo can be safely turned off.

2. Streaming Suspension

Unlike TV bundles from companies like Sky and Virgin Media, most streaming services offer ongoing contracts, making it much easier to cancel. So if you’re out in the sun for a fortnight, canceling a month can save you up to £15.99 on Netflix, £7.99 on Disney Plus and £4.99 on Apple TV.

3. Simple life

If you’re taking a European break and it’s with a mobile operator that has reintroduced EU roaming charges, you’ll probably have to pay a few pounds a day to use your normal limit. A cheaper option is to buy a one-month SIM-only plan from a company that still offers free roaming, such as Lebara. For £4.95 you get 4GB of data and unlimited calls and texts for use in 40 European destinations.

4. Downgrade your TV deal

If you’re going away for at least 14 days, see if there are any extras on your pay-TV contract that you can cancel. If you have a TV and broadband bundle with Virgin Media, you can take advantage of their new Stream service, which makes it easy to add or remove channel subscriptions each month.

5. Check the refrigerator

Make sure you have removed any food that could rot while you are gone. When there is nothing perishable left, you can increase the temperature of the refrigerator to save energy. Placing bottled water in your refrigerator will also keep it cold and reduce the compressor workload.

6. Turn off the hot water

Most households have the heating turned off during the summer months, but make sure your hot water is also turned off before you go on vacation. Running a 2 kW boiler for two hours a day over a 14 day holiday could cost you over £15.

7. Unplug your devices…

Most gadgets continue to use a small amount of power when turned off, so unplug computers, laptops, televisions, smart speakers, and mobile chargers before going on vacation.

8….but maybe not all

Use common sense with items like your router, which is designed to be on permanently. If you regularly turn them on and off, your ISP may think the line is down and you may get slower speeds. Most routers use less than 10W of power, which will only cost you 48p during a week-long vacation.

9. Make a hard deal

If you’re going on vacation with your car, why not put that empty driveway to good use and make some money at the same time. Many parking lot rental companies allow you to advertise for free and then charge a small commission when you rent it out. You can rent your space per day, week or month. Having a car parked outside your home can also be a deterrent to potential burglars.

10. Make sure you are insured

If it’s been a few years since you took out your home insurance policy, the value of your household contents may have increased, renovations may have increased the value of your home, or expensive new gadgets may not have covered it. Make sure your policy is up to date to avoid another nasty shock if something happens while you’re away.

Visit the site to read Uswitch’s tips on how to save while you’re away here.

July 22, 2022Chris Price

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