We all have our holiday checklist – but does yours cost a fortune or save you money? If you want to cut your budget while enjoying a fantastic holiday, read the second part of our money saving holiday checklist.
Our holiday budgets are getting squeezed more and more these days, so it’s even more important to save money when you head for your annual break.
In our first holiday checklist feature, we came up with some great tips to save you money on vacation.
So, if you’re interested in saving cash on travel insurance, flights and hotels or exchange rates, go and take a look at that article now.
But if you’d rather learn how to avoid getting caught by unexpected holiday costs, then the following tips will be just what you’re looking for.
1. Don’t get caught out by mobile phone roaming fees
If you travel abroad with your mobile or smartphone, don’t fall prey to the phenomenon known as ‘bill shock’.
This can happen when you make calls and use data abroad, unaware that it is costing you a small fortune. Some unsuspecting travellers have come home to be greeted by a mobile phone bill that runs into thousands of pounds.
You need to be careful not to rack up major bills.
You can do this by making sure that data roaming is switched off when you are abroad, and by only making calls that are strictly necessary. Remember you may be charged for simply picking up calls or listening to your voicemail, as well as making calls.
It’s worth noting that EU guidelines have progressively capped the maximum amount a mobile phone provider can charge for services in Europe and in June 2017 they’re due to be waived entirely.
Depending on what happens with the BREXIT activity of course this may or may not change.
Be aware too that in March 2017, the government announced that VAT will be added to the cost of roaming in countries outside the EU.
An option is to fit your phone with a pay-as-you-go SIM card from a telecoms provider in the country you’re visiting. To take this option though you’ll need to have an unlocked handset.
Most UK mobile phone services offer special international call costs – but invariably you have to arrange them in advance. This is worth exploring with your network provider. Basically by taking this option and paying for an add-on, you won’t be liable for calls outside it.
2. Check your car insurance is valid abroad
If you’ve got fully comprehensive car insurance, don’t assume it will give you the same level of cover when you take your car abroad.
In fact, many insurance providers downgrade your insurance to third party cover from the moment you arrive in another country. That means you could be liable for a huge bill if you’re involved in an accident.
Check your policy before you venture abroad, and – if you’re not covered – check with your insurer to see whether you can upgrade your policy to cover the duration of your holiday.
Depending on your insurer, you may also qualify for some good travel insurance deals as well.
3. Pay big bills before you travel
In our last article, we suggested using a prepaid currency card, such as those offered by CaxtonFX or FairFX, to get a favourable exchange rate on your foreign currency and give you additional safety and convenience in your spending.
It’s a good idea. However, it can be wise to pay for expensive items like car hire and hotel bills using your normal credit card or other means of payments.
That’s because, if a hotel or car hire company swipes your prepaid currency card (whether you later use it for payment or not), it can freeze a substantial amount of money for up to 14 days. That can cause major cashflow problems while you’re abroad.
The tips in this article are all about avoiding unnecessary charges before they happen. But also remember to research your holiday thoroughly in advance – the more you know about the area you’re visiting and the providers that serve it, the better chance you have of enjoying a fun and cost-effective annual break.
Hopefully you’ve found these useful pointers for you checklist – remember see our other article for more top tips to check off before you set off on holiday that will also help you save money.