The holiday season is year-long now
While Edinburgh peaks in August when the Festival is on, there’s not one month when some lucky people are not heading off to the sun, with the grey pound now stronger than ever before.
Whenever you go on holiday, there are certain things that holiday makers are routinely getting wrong – many of which are unnecessarily ramping up the cost.
Here are the main culprits – and how to avoid them.
1. Leaving it until the last minute to get travel insurance:
Many people get travel insurance within a week of flying out. Don’t. Being ill or called to jury service could mean the end of your holiday plans. Findings from Gocompare.com show 58 per cent of holiday makers buy policies within a week of departure, and 27 per centarrange their coveron the actual dayof departure. While late is better than never, if you fail to get this cover in place at an early stage, you won’t have cancellation cover.
2. Paying in sterling –rather than the local currency:
Paying in pounds when on holiday might seem simple – but you’ll pay for this. You risk falling victim to a sneaky little practice known as“dynamic currency conversion”. This involves the foreign retailer using an uncompetitive exchange rate, meaning you end up paying way over the odds.
3. Using the wrong debit and credit cards overseas:
Many holidaymakers plan on using their usual credit and debit cards while abroad, as this can be a convenient method of payment. However, new findings from Moneyfacts reveal this could be a costly mistake, with atypical debit card charging as much as £9.50 for a £200 cash withdrawal abroad, and a typical credit card charging£11.96 for the same transaction.
The simplest way to avoid getting stung by unexpected charges and additional fees is by being smart with your choice of card, and opting for a piece of plastic specifically designed for use overseas.
4. Leaving it until the airport to sort your travel money:
Findings from Which? reveal that if you want to get 500 euros at Moneycorp at Stansted, you will have to fork out £478. Don’t leave exchanging your currency until the last minute. If you order your euros online from John Lewis Foreign Currency, for example, you will pay just £414 for 500.5 euros.
5. Turning up at the airport car park without having pre-booked:
Just don’t do it, ever. You will pay well over the odds if you get a space at all in peak season.
6. Having a case that is over the airline’s weight limit:
we all know that feeling of desperately trying to repack bags – or frantically trying to redistribute items of luggage among travelling companions – after finding that your bag is over the weight limit.
Check the baggage allowance and weigh your bag before you leave home. Wear bulky items of clothing so you don’t have to cram them into your suitcase and bag and, as a last resort, transfer heavy things to pockets.
7. Not having a transparent bag for liquids:
Clear bags for carrying liquids in hand luggage are not always free. Thankfully they are in Edinburgh Airport, but at Newcastle, for example, you’ll pay £1 to get one. So travel smart and save that precious holiday money for a good meal at the airport!
Katie Wood has been a full-time travel writer for more than 25 years. Author of 39 guidebooks, she has travelled to more than 135 countries and worked as a travel writer and editor for more than 30 newspapers and magazines.