Eight great holiday money saving tips
Thanks to the monsoon like UK weather, chances are many of us will be getting ready to jet off to enjoy a well-deserved sun soaked break. But, as the government announces that the UK is officially in a double-dip recession, looking for ways to save when escaping overseas could and should be of utmost importance to UK travellers. With this in mind, travel search site Kayak, has put together eight top tips to help keep your wallet full when searching for and enjoying that trip away
Passport application – plan ahead and save up to £52!
Make sure you know exactly where your passport is and if it is still valid, several months ahead of your trip. If you need to renew an existing passport or replace a lost or stolen one, the normal service, which should get it to you within three weeks, costs £77.50. However, if you need the fast track service, you’ll be charged a huge £112.50 for a one week service or £129.50 if you only have one day to get your hands on it!
The flexibility to travel on another day can result in dramatically lower fares. So next time you search, be as flexible as you can. You’ll probably find that flying Saturday is cheaper (though not so much for international). Likewise, travelling mid-week (Tuesday or Wednesday) is usually cheaper than Monday or Thursday/Friday.
Location, location, location
Many low cost airlines fly into alternative airports (like Burbank or Long Beach instead of LAX or Stansted instead of London Heathrow) and what they save in airport fees, they pass onto you. You may also appreciate the added benefit of less traffic, cheaper rental cars and fewer people at the airport bars, too.
Timing is key
The key to getting the lowest fare is to fly when others are not. The ‘dead times’ will vary by route (early morning and late night are good for leisure routes).
Arrive early – or pay to sit with your loved ones
Your seats may be unassigned if you are travelling on a budget airline, so leave plenty of time so you can get to the gate and grab a space near the front of the queue. If you want priority boarding so you don’t have to turn up several hours before, this could cost you around £10 per person.
Exchanging currency – avoid charges overseas
If you don’t want to carry large amounts of cash with you when you travel, there are options to exchange currency when you reach your destination. However, be very vary of hidden charges in foreign destinations as they often take advantage of naive tourists who want cash quickly and conveniently. Always read all information carefully and ask for a receipt.
Plan luggage carefully – share or wear
Make some time to plan exactly what you want to take on holiday and think about whether you may be able to share a case with a fellow traveller as many budget airlines will charge per case placed in the hold (around £20). Check the weight allowance too as you could be charged for your case being too heavy! Alternatively, why not wear your heaviest clothes and shoes as you could be charged around £10-£20 for every kg over the allowed weight.
Mobile phone charges – text me, don’t call
If you simply can’t bear to be disconnected from your friends or family at home while on your well-deserved break, always ask them to drop you a text message, rather than call. Worldwide, it is free to receive a text, but it could still cost you around 10p per minute to receive a call within the EU. However, be careful when writing back as this could bump your phone bill up, especially if you have a full blown catch-up!