9 Money Saving Tips For Your Holiday
Having saved hard all year for a summer holiday, why is it that so many of us end up making silly errors when booking, or frittering away money on ‘holiday extras’ before our actual holiday?
Whether it’s through poor planning, not knowing or simply by mistake, some simple errors can be quite costly, and most can be avoided. Here’s how:
- Calendar Dates
It’s always a good idea to check the calendar for any special events taking place while you are away. If demand is high, due to a special event, then flight prices, as well as hotel rates, will soar. This is less likely in typical beach resorts, but worth looking into if you are planning a city break and don’t want to pay over the odds.
- Ticket Renaming
This is so easily done, especially when you are booking flights for friends: You make the booking for your friend Chris, only to realise that his passport says Christopher. Of course, this means the ticket must be changed to match the passport or Chris won’t be travelling anywhere!
It is essential when booking flights for friends and family that they make you fully aware of the correct spellings of their full names, as shown on their passports. The cost of making changes to tickets is expensive: one budget airline charges £110 for a name change online, or £160 at the airport.
- Missed Flights
You’d be surprised how many people arrive late at the airport and miss check-in. Late check-in charges are expensive and, in the worst-case scenario, the gates could be closed and you could miss your flight and the money you paid for it, leaving you with no choice but to book another flight. Whether you’re travelling by car or rail, delays are possible, so leave in plenty of time.
FYI – for short-haul flights you should check in 2 hours before departure and 3 hours before for long-haul flights. That said, usually you will find desks open before these times, so if you arrive early, you won’t need to hang around for too long.
- Foreign Currency
Although Bureau de Change outlets at the airport might seem like a great idea when you’ve forgotten to buy your foreign currency, they will actually make a big, and unnecessary, hole in your pocket. Foreign exchange rates at the airport are not as competitive as those found online - effectively you are paying for the convenience.
Shop around for the best currency rates before your holiday, don't leave it until the last minute, or until you are at the airport, as it will cost you significantly more.
Don’t pack more than you need. Check your airline's luggage allowances and pack accordingly, leaving some space/weight for purchases made abroad. Packing too much will result in expensive excess baggage charges: Fees at the airport can be as much as £65 per kilo over the limit.
- Pre-book Airport Parking
If you drive to an airport car parking facility without pre booking, you’ll be paying way over the odds when compared to those drivers who have already booked. You can save as much as 30% when pre-booking your airport car parking online. Don't take any chances, book your airport parking as soon as you book your holiday.
- Phone Home
If you’re taking your mobile abroad, be careful about the charges your network provider will add on to your bill. If you expect to use your phone abroad, it’s worth calling your network provider in advance to see if you can pay for an add-on package that will cover your texts, calls and internet usage when you are abroad. Alternatively, purchase a sim card in the country you are visiting.
Remember to switch off your data roaming to prevent charges caused by regular Facebook and Twitter updates.
- Travel Insurance
Don't make the mistake of thinking you can do without travel insurance. It's not a cost-saving exercise - overseas medical bills can be expensive: For example, if you need stiches in the Canary Islands, you could end up paying £500.
Travel insurance is a must and is so much more than simply insuring your baggage should it go missing; it will cover medical bills and getting you home if your airline goes bust.
- Mini Bar
You may crave a bottle of water, a glass of wine or bottle of beer as soon as you reach your hotel room, but avoid the mini bar. Prices are extortionate and when you check out you’ll be presented with a hefty bill. The chances are there will be a shop very close by to your hotel/apartment where refreshments will be a fraction of the cost.