Even late deal holidays and bargain breaks could end up costing you more than you thought as you are hit with unexpected charges and excessive fees. If you are not careful, that low cost holiday could mount up to an expensive break, however there are ways to cut down on travel hassles and avoid extra charges.
Never buy cash at the airport as airport bureaux de change offers poor exchange rates and you could also be hit for commission. Be prepared and get your currency before you set off. Use a money saving website to compare deals and be careful of delivery charges. The Post Office usually offers commission free currency at reasonable exchange rates as does Thomson.
Using the internet overseas can cost a small fortune and with many phones using data roaming for apps, you might not know until you receive your phone bill. So turn off data roaming. Talk to your provider and let them know you are going abroad as they might have discount packages to offer. The best way to avoid high charges is simply not to take your mobile phone at all and give people the number of the hotel instead.
Get a Cheap Credit Card
Use your credit card abroad and you risk foreign currency charges of up to 3%. Instead shop around for a specialist card that doesn’t charge these fees and use it only for trips abroad. It could save you hundreds. Never use your debit card to withdraw money as you could end up paying around £1.50 every time you spend! And always pay using the local currency to avoid the retailer giving you a bad deal on the currency conversion rate.
Beware of Car Hire Charges
Most car hire companies expect you to return the car with a full tank of petrol or else you’ll be charged a fee, so make a note of the nearest petrol station to the airport and ensure you fill it up before you hand back the keys. Also, especially in the US and Australia, ask about excess charges as some car rental firms have a disproportionately high excess which they will offer to lower if you pay an extra charge. To avoid this, always read the small print before you book and ask plenty of questions. If you are not happy then find another car hire company.
Check Travel Insurance
Many holidaymakers end up paying out twice for travel insurance as sometimes this cover is provided by banks as a perk of opening a special account, or by companies for employees. If you need to take out insurance also make sure you read the small print and ensure that you are covered for things like cancellation expenses and accommodation, lost baggage, substantial medical cover and holiday cash cover.
Avoid Being Ripped Off
It pays to do your research on local prices before you leave so that you have a good idea of how much things should cost. You are often at your most vulnerable on holiday so keep your wits about you and don’t be afraid to ask questions.